blender.jpgDo you want a blender with that new cellphone? Deer Consumer Products, a Chinese manufacturer of kitchen appliances, has received an initial $1m order to supply kitchen electronics as gift items for China Mobile's customer reward programme.

This is not just any old customer reward programme, however. With more than 400m customers, China Mobile is the largest mobile phone service provider in China.

As China's mobile market becomes more mature and churn increases, the company has designed an extensive programme to reward customers loyalty with useful items such as… well you can visit the website to see the full list of Deer appliances.

The China Mobile deal follows hard on the heels of Deer winning an initial $3m order to supply Tesco, the UK food retailer, with kitchen appliances, and a similar $3.3m deal struck with a wholesale buyer to supply juicers to Wal-Mart's North American stores.

Many of Deer's traditional small competitors in South China, where most of the world's home and kitchen electronics are manufactured, have gone out of business because of the global recession .

But this trend has actually benefited Deer, because buyers in the west increasingly look for evidence of financial strength and reliability from their suppliers.

The company, currently listed on the OTC Bulletin Board, reported $44m in revenues in 2008 and $3.4m in net income.

It may not yet be a household name, but Deer has big ambitions. To get its brand better known in China it is building a chain of independently-owned franchise stories and the 40th just opened.

To boost visibility abroad — and presumably get more prestigious contracts from the likes of Tesco and Wal-Mart — it has applied for a listing on Nasdaq, a market more traditionally associated with hi-tech businesses. Blenders are hardly hi-tech and, these days, its increasingly unusual for a foreign company to seek a Nasdaq listing because of the cost and onerous corporate governance obligations.

Clearly, Deer feels the hassle will be worth it if it establishes its reputation as a company that western brand-name buyers can trust.

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