The Greater Bay Area: A Potential Goldmine of ‘Hero’ Brands

How Hong Kong and the GBA Can Grow the Next Generation of China Success Stories

In 2014 when Jacopo Pesavento formed his plan to set up a branding and marketing company in Hong Kong he was sat on a couch in a friend’s Beijing apartment listening to music, struggling to come up with a name. Then the 36-year-old native of Milan had what in the branding business is a must: a lightbulb moment, which he described, saying: “I said the business would be like a record company. It would take unknown talent with potential and by branding and marketing them properly, turn them into superstars.”

 

Fast-forward five years and Branding Records would seem to have been an inspired name, as the company, based at Cyberport, the Hong Kong business hub, has a total of 180 clients, 40 of them currently active, ranging from start-ups to SMEs and multi-national companies.

 

The business, which employs 20 people of varied nationalities, has also expanded its operations into Shanghai. Pesavento hopes that the much-vaunted Greater Bay Area (GBA) initiative will create more opportunities for his business, as China continues its phenomenal journey of economic growth and expansion into its super-charged south.

 

The GBA aims to closely link nine major provincial cities in Guangdong province with the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (SARs) to create an economic zone which will form a key component in the next phase of China’s economic development. The area covered by the initiative has a combined gross domestic product of US$1.5 trillion.

 

Pesavento was positive about the opportunity for his company, saying: “The founders of the company are Italian and we have about 20 employees of different nationalities. Italians, Germans, Spanish, French, mainland Chinese and Chinese from the US, so our company is a mixture of people from around the world. I believe this equips us to take advantage of this initiative.”

 

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