“It would be a big mistake to adapt to a market,” [Patek Philippe owner Thierry Stern] told the Straits Times in an interview. “If people like Patek Philippe, it’s because they like the design and the philosophy of the brand. If you start to adapt yourself to every market, you are going to lose that.”
Thierry should be lauded for not adapting Patek-Philippe for China. This is a man who understands the problems that arise when you start pandering to your market rather than catering to it.
That said, not every company shows up in China with a Patek Philippe brand cachet or customer base, and few brands could get away with imitating Stern’s strategy.
The lesson to learn from Thierry Stern’s approach is that the decision on whether or not to adapt your strategy, your product, or your entire company to China has to be based on a clear understanding of your appeal with Chinese consumers, as well as a recognition of what you might lose globally by making compromises for a single market.