Building contacts answer to long-term market gain

A LONG-TERM marketing strategy will ensure HMV becomes a household name in Hong Kong.

Developing contacts with the music industry, suppliers and customers is a key element in that strategy.

Marketing and business development manager Chan Ho-lam said: 'The most fundamental factor of our business strategy in Hong Kong is building relationships.

'We are new in Hong Kong and, to most residents, HMV was unknown before the Causeway Bay shop opened.

'Our first step was to build a relationship with customers so, when they thought about CDs and music, they would think of HMV.' Making contact with the print, radio and television media was also important in promoting the company, Mr Chan said.

HMV regarded the media as a partner.

'We cannot promote the music. It is up to local radio stations to give CDs air play,' Mr Chan said.

'However, we are our own best promoters and a large number of customers who have been to our Causeway Bay and Swire House stores have enjoyed the quality service and have returned.' The opening of the 30,000-square-foot Peking Road store also meant HMV managers had to make contacts with local and regional CD suppliers.

'There had never been a store of this size in the region before and so suppliers never had to meet such a demand for CDs,' Mr Chan said.

'HMV had to work with suppliers to track down rare recordings.

'Most Hong Kong companies are good at forming relationships as they have to do it for many companies moving into China.

'HMV is a foreign company moving into Hong Kong and has to start off playing the local game and making local contacts.' HMV had been successful in its Hong Kong marketing strategy and made use of Mr Chan's contacts in the music industry and those of Philip Kung Yue-fei, HMV's regional managing director.

'I know business protocol in Hong Kong and the best way to form a partnership and secure good trade deals,' said Mr Kung, who has had top jobs in the territory for 25 years.