Two days ago, I did the last interpreting work for a visiting Traditional Chinese doctor. Before he went back to China, we talked about shopping and laughed about how visiting officials to the UK all chant ABCD while shopping. A is Aquascutum, B Burberry, C Clarks and D Dunhill. Especially this C, when I interpreted for many visiting officials, they always bought dozens of pairs of Clarks shoes as if they were free!
Out of curiosity, I looked for Clarks in China and realized: Clarks is generally priced over ¥1000 (over £100)–while they are normally around £50-60 here in the UK and even cheaper with a discount or in outlets. Of course they would shop with such a ‘passion’.
But is it a purposeful marketing strategy? Among the four elements, there is not much different with the product (good quality) , placement (major shopping malls) or promotion (occasional discount). It is price however that allows some variation. Perhaps the producer intentionally created a gap between the UK price and the China price, so on one hand, there is a good profit margin on sales in China and on the other hand, Chinese shoppers in the UK rush to take the advantage and buy more because of the price gap.
As for translation of the name, maybe the translator thought transliteration boring, and would rather include the meaning ‘happy and harmonious’ in the renaming ‘qile’. I personally think there is nothing wrong with transliteration for this one, as the original name is easy to pronounce and remember. Many shoppers, after coming to the UK, change from calling the Chinese ‘qile’ to the British ‘Clarks’.
Whether on purpose or through sheer luck, there is something to learn from Clarks’ pricing strategy, especially with the now bigger than ever Chinese shopping groups and their thicker than ever wallets.
This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified)