Why We Like Emerging Markets

13 Mar 2007|Added Value

Three things get us excited at Cheskin: people, culture, and change. Talk about technology innovation or new new types of emerging behavior and we start to drool. Combine that with meaty challenges from clients where we can substantially contribute to their bottom-line success, and it’s almost more than we can bear.

On the topic of emerging markets – those developing economies that are becoming more market-oriented and include Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and China – Wikipedia states, “It appears that emerging markets lie at the intersection of non-traditional user behavior, the rise of new user groups and community adoption of products and services, and innovations in product technologies and platforms.” So, it comes as no surprise that we’re tantalized by emerging markets.

Recently we embarked on a more formalized effort focused on helping our clients understand and maximize emerging market opportunities. We’ve established an Emerging Markets studio and we’ve begun our own exploration of what we see as the most dynamic emerging market segment – youth.

Building on our work in China and our book, China’s New Culture of Cool, we’ve begun an endeavor using online social networks and digital ethnography to engage and understand the youth segment in emerging markets. As a methodology, using social networks is incredibly rich, though of course it has its limits – not everyone has a QQ, Orkut or MySpace page. But those that do (and you’d be surprised at how many) are also the most tapped in and influential of this segment which is what makes them so appealing.

We’ve just finished our first phase in China using the popular QQ social network. Throughout the year we will begin investigations in Brazil, Mexico and India. Via our blogs, upcoming Emerging Markets newsletter, and various other media, we will be sharing our learnings, insights and recommendations.

We’re very excited about this work. Not only will we be able to help our clients and colleagues understand and benefit from opportunities in emerging markets, we also believe that an understanding of consumer behavior and product adoption in these markets will illuminate opportunities in developed countries as well.

Stay tuned!

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