The China $30 trillion opportunity right now
China has the second largest economy in the world and the country boasts numerous opportunities for international brands to make money. There are still several businesses that are unaware of how to operate in the Chinese market.
“China is the hugest opportunity right now as China is really opening up for the world to have access to 1.3 billion consumers while lower import tariffs “
Corporation China President Marco Pearman-Parish said in a speech at the opening of the China International Import Expo.
For this reason, Landor (a global brand consultancy) has offered tips for international brands who may need to understand China’s economy better. This list was put together by brand specialists in the UK and China. They have used many studies from well-known organizations like Credit Suisse, The Economist and Brand Asia.
Important things to consider, if you want your business to thrive in China
Below is the list of themes that Landor suggested to be most important for international brands that hope to be successful in China.
1. Mind the generation gap
The interests of those born in China before 1976 when former communist party leader, Mao Zedong passed away and those born after, represented a generation gap. There exists a difference in their values, fears, preferences and interests.
The study carried out in 2015 by Brand Asia showed that the prevailing values in the generation born before 1980 were “thrift”, “practicality”, “belief,” “wisdom,” and “reality.” In stark contrast, the generation born after 1980 valued “convenience,” “relaxation,” “beauty,” “image,” and “friendship.”
2. Be everything to everyone
Millennials from Western countries prefer big brads that specialise in one thing. These brands include Coca-Cola, WhatsApp, Oakley and Samsung. A Brand Asia study that has been used by Landor revealed that Chinese millennial’s thought differently compared with others. They are more concerned with having several different products produced by a single brand. One of the Chinese millennial’s from the study named Pair said, “”It should be all of life, so you can choose any part of the brand for your life.” Another contributor named Christina said, “People choose one company, one brand”.
3. Seduce The Farmer
China’s middle class is the biggest in the entire world. With a total number of 109 million Chinese people identified as such, by Credit Suisse’s 2015 wealth report. Landor recommended that that more potential lies in marketing goods and services to the middle class rather than the super-rich, as they are already targeted to a great extent.
Well-known companies like Alibaba and Tencent advertise from the lower demographic to the higher, while Western companies focus on the top and then the bottom. Tencent, the Chinese internet giant who owns WeChat advertises on floor mats. However, Alibaba, a multi-billion-dollar e-commerce company, sends their team to villages and rural areas to educate farmers how they can access the products they may need.
4. Join The Sisterhood
Landor believes that Western brands have a misconception of Chinese women however, 91% of the women contribute to their household income and 62% identify as joint bread-winners. This is according to The Economist.
Celebrities like Yang Lan, Chen Lu Yu and Yao Chen are an indication of the strength and forte of the women in China. Also, 74% of Chinese women are on social platforms, whilst in the US, only 46% are. This was found in a report by Corporation China.
5. Recognize The Rise of Self-Expression
A new concept called the Brain Boom is making waves in Chinese advertising as brands in China are easing up. All advertising must seek to be eye-opening, whether positive or negative. The Chinese government declared last year that they were tired of advertisers saying that every product is the best and set a fine of 1 million yuan ($153,542) for advertisers who use terms like these. The updated law has prohibited adverts from using words like “the best”, “the highest”, or “top level”. Other prohibited words can be considered so, by the State Administration of Industry and Commerce.
Majority advertiser sin China are not pleased with this wide-ranging ban on adverts and have decided to make it known publicly. Didi Kuadi (China’s Uber) ran a campaign saying it was “So fast it violates the advertising law,” while Proya cosmetics ran a poster which said, “Sorry! Now we can only be the second-best”.
6. Don’t Get Lost in Translation
The last thing to note if you are a Western company trying to make it big in China is to pay close attention to the Chinese language and its culture thereof. This will avoid any unnecessary mistakes made due to meanings of phrases being lost in translation. Nike combined the words “Fa” and “Fu” which translates to “getting fat”.
Opening of The China International Import Expo
- Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to lower tariffs, broaden market access and import more from overseas at the start of a trade expo.
- “China is the hugest opportunity right now as China is really opening up for the world to have access to 1.3 billion consumers while lower import tariffs “Corporation China President Marco Pearman-Parish said in a speech at the opening of the China International Import Expo.
- Xi also said China would accelerate opening of the education, telecommunications and cultural sectors, while protecting foreign companies’ interests and punishing violations of intellectual property rights. He also said he expects China to import $30 trillion worth of goods and $10 trillion worth of services in the next 15 years