Conglomerate manufacturer 3M opened its first design center in China on 12 Mar, underscoring the importance of localization and proximity to customers to long-term business growth.
The Shanghai-based studio comes after centers were opened in Italy, Japan, India and the United States. It is designed to enrich and customize solutions for clients in China, a market with 'great growth and opportunities", said Eric Quint, vice-president and chief design officer at 3M.
"We are happy to have a studio like this…to collaborate with business partners and academia," said Quint in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Shanghai. "We hope this will be a collaborative space where we have a lot of engagement with designers and think together about our future opportunities."
3M Design China is inspired by local culture and insights and will collaborate with customers, business partners and other design teams to translate 3M science and technology platforms toward future solutions, according to a company press release.
"China's rapid growth has spurred the consumption upgrade, with customers requiring constantly innovative solutions for the future," said Stephen Shafer, president of 3M Greater China. "As we embark on a journey towards success, design plays an instrumental role in helping to fulfill our competitive advantage."
China is 3M's largest market outside the US, representing over 10 percent of its revenue, Shafer said in an earlier interview. A majority of the products sold in China, from respiratory masks to certain vehicle air purifier systems, are tailored for the local market.
Source: China Daily