Haier’s rapid introduction of the Tianzun air conditioner in 2015 is typical of the company’s track record since the late 1990s. The company is known for several distinctive capabilities: a precise understanding of consumer needs, especially in China and other emerging markets; the ability to rapidly innovate new types of appliances that meet those consumer needs; the management of complicated distribution networks, a skill honed in the complex Chinese market; and a high level of execution ability, including the automation of factories to deliver products to consumer specification. These attributes have served it especially well in China, allowing Haier to outcompete more experienced appliance companies such as Whirlpool and Maytag in that country. In fact, Haier’s prowess — and particularly its emphasis on “what we can do and who we are” rather than on “what we sell and how we make money” — shows the kind of capabilities needed by companies that were founded in emerging economies if they are to succeed in the global sphere.

Read more in Strategy+Business: http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00323?gko=c8c2a