In this episode of The Negotiation podcast, we are joined by Susan Heffernan on the show. Susan is a strategic advisor for brands in the health, wellness, beauty, and lifestyle sectors. She has a track record of growing profitable international businesses and helping them navigate the complexities of the China market. She is also the CEO of Soozar, a design-led production company specializing in designing, developing, manufacturing and supplying bespoke art pieces, props and visual display accessories.
In our conversation with Susan, we gain valuable insight into her experience of operating a business in China as well as her current role as a strategic advisor for companies that want to enter the Chinese market. We dive deep into the nuances of conducting business in China, how IKEA’s business model may have influenced the market, the process of sourcing materials for manufacturing, and the current trends in China’s furniture and home decor industry. Susan also offers her predictions regarding the future of the health and wellness industry in the Asia Pacific region and the home and house space in China over the next three to five years. We conclude our conversation by exploring the effects of COVID-19, particularly on the furniture industry. Enjoy!
Topics Discussed and Key Points:
● Susan’s background and experience in China, founding and operating a business
● The challenges IKEA faced in China and how it overcame them
● Challenges of sourcing raw materials in different regions of the world
● The importance of maintaining close connections with partners in China
● China’s growing awareness of preventive medicine
● The market’s increasing popularity of fitness activities.
● Platforms that consumers are paying attention to today in the health and wellness industry
● Stunt marketing
● Advancement in packaging
● China’s emerging role in organic skincare production
● The increasing popularity of Scandinavian slimline furniture
● Impact of COVID-19 on the home furnishings market
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