The People Of China’s Ad Industry: Miriam Hanna Deller
With the winter season just around the corner, Miguel Roberg got in touch with Miriam Hanna Deller to talk about extreme sports in China and the work Miriam has been doing with the snowboarding community. Below is the interview, but first here is more information about Miriam.
Miriam Deller is the co-founder of Core Power Asia, which is a advertising and media agency specialized in extreme sports. According to Transworld Business, “Miriam Hanna Deller is a tireless entrepreneur, a person who creates and is most satisfied with work that lasts. [..] Her expertise in communication, strategic branding and event management combined with year long experience in the China market and overseas make her a natural choice for overseeing all ventures concerning lifestyle, sports, the arts and luxury traveling at her agency Core Power Asia.
Miriam has successfully managed some of the largest snowboard events in China to date, initiated and built the two most successful boardsports events in China, World Snowboard Day and Skate Deck Art, handled every detail of numerous fine art openings and fashion shows, facilitated a range of high profile collaborations and business ventures and works with the most popular athletes, artists and entertainers around the world.”
MR: Thank you for taking time to talk with [email protected] First, please tell us a little about yourself and what you have been doing in China?
MD: I’m a somewhat modern migrant worker, having spent almost a decade living and working in China. Since recently, I’m balancing my time between Europe and Asia, having set up a base for our business in Austria where I’m originally from.
In China, I’ve worked in numerous positions, all connected to media or sport, before I co-founded Beijing based agency Core Power Asia with my husband and our partners.
In the early 2000’s, my times as journalist, freelance PR consultant and event manager for local and international companies gave me a lot of insights into the mechanics of management practices in various fields in China and internationally. It was very wild West in China back then, but those years gave me a lot of strength and experience when I turned my attention to growing our own company.
MR: You work in a very unique niche market in China. Can you describe how you have been able to create demand for extreme sports in China?
MD: Demand has been growing steadily during the past years, and we fueled the interest with a consistent presence – either offering branded events to a wider public, fresh mobile, online and print content, and a key factor, surely, to support up and coming local talent that people can relate to. What drives the market are the heroes of the sport, not movie stars or musicians. It’s the core athletes, and the kids just want to be like them.
MR: How has this demand changed since you started 10 years ago? What were the problems you faced then and now?
MD:It’s a very different picture you see today, compared to ten years ago. I’m glad I saw action sports evolve in China, and it’s very satisfying to look back at major milestones, knowing that you’ve worked hard for achieving something with class, creativity and brains and most of all as team that lasts and inspires more.
MR: You created Core Power Asia to help develop this market. What is the greatest difficulty you face when convincing MNCs to work in China? How has this changed over time?
MD: Due to the global economic situations, no MNC can afford to ignore the China market, so we never actually had to persuade anyone to come to China for business. What’s changed is in general a more open mindset, alongside the understanding that things do take time to develop, however tight launch deadlines might appear at first.
MR: What is the greatest difficulty you face when convincing local companies to work with you? How has this changed over time?
MD: Core Power Asia is a local company, it’s under Chinese ownership and this has made things certainly easier, over, say being a WOFE or branch.
MR: Can you share one or two insights you have learned about the young generation in China?
MD: Highly influential, yet very opinionated. My hope is to see more interest in pressing environmental and political issues, rather than consumption.
MR: How have Chinese consumers reacted to extreme sports in China and what is the best way to reach this market?
MD: Most people who see any kind of action sport for the first time are mesmerized. Like everywhere else, it’s a mix of everything to pull people in, but anything mobile is certainly king in China.
MR: How large is the snowboard market in China, in terms of market size and revenue? How large do you think this market will become in the future?
MD: Luckily the growth has been steady over the past years, and we estimate an overall sales of 200-300 Million Yuan, with 30% growth rates over the next 3-5 years.
MR: You have run many advertising campaigns and events in China. Can you tell us about your most successful campaign or event? What made it successful?
MD: One of the more recent and rather unique campaigns were to persuade the pioneer of snowboarding, Wang Lei, to develop a limited edition product with a camera accessories company. At first it started as pure marketing interest, but soon developed into their first athlete collaboration in the firm’s history, which will continue for the next season. When it all comes together, the idea, the people, and the positive feedback from the market, it’s a success.
MR: Finally, in your opinion, where is the best place to go snowboarding in China?
MD: There are a few very nice places, and the most magical place to me is Changbaishan, located in an area up in Dongbei with the main mountain that boasts the world’s highest volcano lake and has consistent snowfall through late spring.
Miriam is truly an inspiration. The work she has been doing here in China is helping shape and change an entire industry. We are grateful for her time and if you are interested in seeing some of the work she is involved with check out this Igloo Construction or watch the video below.