Alibaba has just announced that it is investing $194m in a new financial and data infrastructure service. It is designed to help Chinese small and medium enterprises tap a rich mine of financial data.
Whilst its well publicised that Alibaba wants to be much more than an online retailer and that business to business is a key part of its strategy, I don’t think many of us saw this one coming.
The way we position the brand is to think of it as a Chinese Amazon. A China based but major global consumer and logistics business. In many ways it is a manifestation of modern China.
This move takes Alibaba into Bloomberg territory and I am not sure Amazon would have ever done that.
In my career I have worked with some of the biggest and best brand consultants in the world. I wonder if they would have advised the board of Alibaba to stretch the brand in this way?
China is pushing the boundaries in all aspects of business. I am most excited now that this now includes branding and positioning.
I guess that since there are no rules of branding really understood in China from a ‘Western training brand book’ perspective, no one has told Alibaba management that brands don’t usually stretch like this. Im sure they will break other ‘rules’ too and probably be successful at it too!