Chinese consumers represent a large and profitable market. If business owners take the time to understand the mindset of these consumers, they can benefit from learning to market to them. Here are some tips that can help:
Product first or brand first?
For emerging brands, it is a good idea to work on building one product’s reputation. WHY? The cost of building the reputation for one product is much lower than that for one brand. Chinese consumers are more likely to be influenced by word-of-mouth, and more likely to purchase a star product of a brand that has a better reputation than other companies in the field. In addition, Chinese customers believe that one brand can deliver one or two products which are worthy to buy (no one can be good at everything). Once you have made a widespread product, it is getting easier for customers to remember your brand. As a result, the product reputation would help to grow the brand reputation.
Digital or outdoor advertising?
Focus on developing both digital marketing and outdoor media strategies rather than just focusing on one. The two forms of media campaigns will complement each other and work better instead of competing with each other. Digital media is a good method to convert traffic, but a product without an “official” exposure could be not convincing enough. Customers usually hold a traditional attitude to outdoor media – big and official image. So don’t deny any form of media readily before a comprehensive evaluation.
Shopping guides and social networks
Chinese people value reviews and recommendations from regular shoppers. They visit websites like Xiao Hong Shu (shopping guide app), Zhihu (a Chinese version of Quora), Zhidao(ask and answer platform powered by Baidu search engine), and social networks for research before they purchase a product. If some users have reported some positive feedbacks to the product, they would be more likely believe the brand.
Please notice that the user feedback is not simply a few sentences but a report with solid pictures and descriptions. Encouraging your real users to share their experience with your brand across those sites and developing a good reputation on these platforms is very essential.
Is a Chinese celebrity endorsement necessary?
It depends, for emerging brands, traffic from shopping guide websites would be more cost-efficient, but it takes time for you to cultivate your user community. Take time to find proper KOLs(Key Opinion Leader) and invest budget across those shopping guide sites and social media. This is much cheaper than a celebrity endorsement. While for an established brand, an appropriate celebrity would enable a brand to climb on one or a few ladders, because Chinese young people’s purchasing behavior is easily be driven by celebrities. Millions of fans would like to buy an idol’s endorsed brands for “supporting” his/her work.
Is a social official account necessary?
For e-commerce brands, it’s a good way to convert traffic to purchasing. If you just need to showcase the brand, this is not an efficient way because a day-to-day operation is needed for the social account, without an effort, the effect would not be obvious.
If you want to know more about connecting with Chinese consumers, contact us at ConnectX Marketing and Advertising or give us a call at (02) 9267 2972. We’ll be happy to help.