“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” That’s what Rogier Bikker, one of two Dutch guys who recently drove from China to Holland for a project called Brand New China, says. Brand New China was a personal project of two Dutch guys who travelled 20,000km along the ancient Silk Road, passing through 11 countries – and using only Chinese products.

More than being a remarkable road trip, the project aimed to change the image of goods ‘made in China’ across the world. With an estimate earned media reach of 5.6 million people, they might just have succeeded. It took a year for Maren Striker and Rogier Bikker to prepare the project and get sponsorships, including some of China’s biggest brands, such as BYD (car), Huawei (smart phones), Lenovo (laptops), AEE (cameras), Ozark (outdoor gear), XIYOUJI (clothing) and Braos (sunglasses).

Bikker is now back in Shanghai, running Swedish branding agency Rewir to help Chinese companies build strong brands. TechNode asked him to talk about the why, how and what of Brand New China.

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com