You can’t step in the same river twice!

Written on January 5, 2016 by Campus Life in Professional

mkspeaker2We all know – markets are changing rapidly. However launching a new, high-priced medical device in China and creating turn-around within 18 months is a different kind of challenge. This Tuesday, IE Marketing Club, in collaboration with IE China Club, had the pleasure to invite Michael Chang Wenderoth for sharing his experiences with launching invisible, dental braces in mainland China.

Michael’s compelling case of launching and distributing Invisalign, an innovative dental brace product developed in Silicon Valley, gave us an insightful overview of the whole spectrum of marketing techniques and tactics. From influencer marketing up to the creation of a whole new comic character that acts and speaks the way of the main targeted end-customer: female teenagers and adults in the range up to 45 years. Obviously, healthy and beautiful teeth are a strong status symbol for the new middle class in China, growing by 25 million each year!

And, with growing markets and the flourishing urban regions, purchasing a dental treatment after university graduation in order to ‘get ready for the job market’ is nothing unusual anymore.  Even more surprising was for the ‘westerners’ in the audience the widespread use of unconventional communication channels. Emails and phone calls are completely outdated in China: Instead they prefer much more efficient tools such as WeChat, allowing instant exchange of information between the dentists and the product salesforce. Even, the (in)famous copy-cat competition in China, that appears to every innovative product launched in China has some positive aspects. With local competition, the western brand has an easier way to find and defend its price point that is now defined by the cheaper competitor brand.

We thank Michael Chang Wenderoth, who has recently joint our IE Business School as adjunct marketing professor, for sharing his stories and hands-on knowledge. Looking forward hearing more from him in the future!


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