Tag: PR propaganda

Ralf HallerRalf Haller July 5, 2008

Steiff PR campaign: bring China production back to Germany

This week I heard on the radio while traveling to Germany that the small (revenue 40 million EUR) German high-end teddy bear company Steiff decided to move production back to Germany from China. Reasons mentioned were long transportation (up to 3 months), initial startup costs, among others. This news had its impact as many media picked up the story and helped Steiff’s CEO Mr. Frechen with this PR campaign. Steiff needs this PR desperately as they have to fight low cost competition and it is key to them to develop a strong brand similar to the fashion labels.

I must admit that I also fell into this PR trap and started thinking if this could be a general trend now or what impact this would have. This morning I did a little research on Steiff’s CEO and found that he told back in January already in public, see FAZ, that he would bring production back to Germany from China. At that time it did not have the PR effect he was hoping for, so now they brought it up again (I assume they have hired a PR agency to do so) and recooked this old story again.

While I can see lots of resentment in countries like Germany where jobs are lost and new ones created in China, it is also clear that the future cannot be in competing with low cost manufacturing locations but in innovation and excellent product marketing. This is true for consumer as well as for ICT industries. Thinking differently would be fatal and also Steiff is BTW manufacturing in Northern Africa where total costs (transportation included) are similar now to China I think. Lastly what Mr. Frechen will also learn over time is the fact that building a solid brand takes time and cannot be done with fake PR news. People today want authenticity, good content, interaction and not propaganda. See our new PR Services website on this topic…