5 things to think about for your China brand strategy
Chinese people love shopping. And shopping foreign brands… even more. Foreign brands are in demand in China, where all the best business players in the world are gathered, striving for success. While many cultural aspects are differed from Chinese to Western cultures, in the stance of business, one should understand the process for Chinese people prior to buying a product from your company.
- Chinese people want to buy safety and balance
In this era of stressful lifestyle that encompasses air pollution and food safety controversies, the Chinese consumers want to make sure that the purchase will improve their lifestyle. The fact that foreign companies brand themselves as healthy and/or proven to be safe are reassuring and responding to this major need of the Chinese market.
- Chinese consumers want transparency
One out of three Chinese buyers of brand have been scammed in the past. Facing this insecurity, the Chinese consumers are more demanding about the information displayed. Considering the number of copycats and counterfeit products in the market, Chinese consumers are careful and want assurance that the product is genuine. Therefore, be transparent when communicating to meet your Chinese market’s expectations.
- Opinions through social medias
Social media are used to share opinions about different matters in the West, but in China, where censorship is very present, social media is widely used for product review. In fact, 66% of the Chinese consumers rely on social media to decide a purchase, in comparison to 38% of American consumers. As mentioned in #2, Chinese consumers care about what they buy and they usually base their decisions on opinions from friends and family. Foreign brands tend to engage in conversations with the Chinese markets to monitor their expectations, but as well as to serve the customers well.
- Bargain is good, but price is not a problem
Chinese consumers like bargains, as much like the other consumers in the world. However, Chinese people are more oriented toward quality and are ready to pay the price, on the one hand to please themselves and on the other hand to impress their peers. Chinese prefer buying foreign brands, particularly luxury products, in foreign countries due to the higher pricing and the higher risks of buying a counterfeit product in China. According to a research, Chinese tourists compose 2% of the visits in France; however, 15% of the luxury product purchases are made by them.
- “What’s in it for me?”
The affluence and the extravagant purchases that Chinese consumers are doing have generated a more competitive market. Getting through this market and sailing with the wind requires the right strategy and the exact comprehension of your market. Even if your product is of top quality with a reasonable pricing, you must convince your market that the product is indispensable to acquire a certain image.
Each brand has its commitment, and for Chinese people, it should also address their identity and their needs. If they feel that the product or the brand is disconnected to what they would like to achieve, they will not pay attention to it. For instance, luxurious car in the West are associated with superior performance and comfort, however, in China, luxurious cars represent a status of power and boldness. Brands like Mercedes-Benz 奔驰 (pronounced bēnchí, meaning “Dashing fast”) or Audi (pronounced àodí, it is essentially a phonetic adaptation but the Chinese characters infers power and audacity) are not only perceived as mere products, but a part of the owner’s identity.
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