Own-brand production in China

Update date:
01 Dec 2023
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Date of publication:
04 Jul 2023
Reading time: 4 minutes

When importing goods from China, it is worth considering creating your own brand for a particular product. China is a huge market where the largest manufacturers of all kinds of products, from sports accessories to electronics, are concentrated. The notion of manufacturing in China does not necessarily entail a very high cost of goods. We do not have to create our own design at the outset and indulge in a very expensive process of inventing everything from scratch. 

A simpler method is to use OEM production. This involves searching for a manufacturer who produces a particular product and provides the option to apply your own logo to the product. Often, in such a production, we will also have the option to create our own packaging. This is a very popular method in the e-commerce industry, where shops sell other manufacturers' products under their own brand. 

We have provided an example below: 

The product comes from Chinese shopping site Alibaba. The cost of the kit is approximately USD 4. We can find information that the minimum order to produce with your own logo is 200 pieces, and to create your own packaging you need to order 500 pieces. 

Below is a similar product on Amazon where a kit with the company's logo already costs almost US$15. The product has 22,000 reviews, we can guess that there are many, many more pieces of the product sold. 

This action allows the creation of own brands for many products, manufacturers often producing products under the brands of dozens of companies from all over the world provide an already tested, good quality product. In this case, the best method is to take advantage of this and create your own product by applying your own logo and creating packaging.

With products with our own logo, we can differentiate ourselves in the market and sell our products at a higher price. With products from other brands that we import from China, there is always the risk that someone will import the same product and start competing with us on price. This is especially the case on sites such as, for example, allegro, amazon etc. Creating your own brand and taking your own photos of the product for this can protect us from this. Customers will not easily recognise that the products are the same. Such a strategy can give us an advantage in the market. It is also worth remembering that even if someone offers the same product, but without a logo, while we offer a branded product with nice pictures etc. and at a similar price, we will always be higher in the customer's perception. 

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What is OEM, ODM, OBM? 

OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer, consists of applying one's own brand logo to an existing product. Usually it is possible from quite a small number of pieces, for example sometimes even producers allow their logo to be applied to a product from 100 pieces, however sometimes it may be 1000 pieces.The term determining the minimum quantity from which the producer can produce goods for us is MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity), this abbreviation will be used by Chinese sellers. When contacting a Chinese manufacturer, it is worth asking if they can do OEM production. When searching for manufacturers on shopping sites such as Alibaba, this information will often be listed on the product page, but if it is not, it is worth asking. 

The OEM option is very convenient in that we get an already finished product under our brand name, we don't actually have to worry about anything. We send our logo to the factory and wait for the finished product, of course there are more steps to be taken, but briefly this is how it looks. 

ODM - Original Design Manufacturer, involves manufacturing a product based on our own design, using ODM we need to search for factories that can manufacture a product for us based on the design and our guidelines. This is not a cheap process and requires a large number of pieces ordered to start production, but it allows us to create a unique product that no one else has. 

OBM - Original Brand Manufacturer - this is in other words the manufacturer of a particular good who sells it under its own brand name and holds all rights to it. This could be, for example, Samsung or Apple. 

Change of responsibilities from importer to manufacturer 

When creating a product under our brand name and marketing it in the European Union, it is worth knowing that we automatically become the manufacturer of the goods and are subject to the same obligations as the manufacturer of the goods and, by marketing the goods, we must ensure that they are properly documented and safe, which is a result of European Union regulations. 

Trade mark registration

 It is worth remembering that when creating your own products, you should register a trademark. This is not obligatory, and with small quantities and unrecognisable brands it is not necessary at the beginning. However, if you have a recognisable brand and are concerned that someone might steal it, then it is worth considering. The cost of such registration is in the region of USD 500. There are stories of major brands having their trade marks registered in China by others who want to enrich themselves by reselling the trade marks to the rightful owner. There is a registration priority in China, so this is an important issue to ensure that someone does not cause us problems in the future. 

How to transport goods from China?

For more information on the topic of transport from China, see the articles below.

Rail transport

Maritime transport

Air transport

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