The mistakes that businesses make on their China strategy

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

Marketing to a new, foreign target audience can be a daunting affair. Marketing to a culture that is very distinct from your own is challenging because the same tried and tested strategies don’t work.

It’s easy to make mistakes and complicate a company’s entry into a new field. Fortunately, companies can determine which mistakes they need to avoid based on research.

They can learn from the past experience of other companies that entered the same market.

Due to our vast experience with the Chinese market, we know which mistakes businesses need to avoid to survive in this highly competitive field. Here are some tips that can help:

1. Fail to Recognise The Target Segment

There’s a lot of difference between Australian and Chinese culture, so products and services designed for Australian audiences don’t always work for Chinese customers. For example, Starbucks had to introduce different types of tea into their regular service in order to thrive in the Chinese market.

Most of the population prefers tea to coffee, which makes this change a smart move. Unfortunately, many businesses forget to take this into account and don’t tailor their product or service to a Chinese audience.

While the audience wants to buy and use Australian or foreign products, your company won’t gain the traction needed to succeed in the market if these products are too different. It’s a good idea to conduct research, test multiple versions or packing design of the product before releasing it to the market. The initial hard work pays off at a later date because you get a better start in the new field.

2. Going Overboard With Localization

Yes, companies need to tailor their products, services, and marketing to appeal to a foreign audience, but it’s important to take a balanced approach. Chinese audiences want foreign, Australian-made products so it’s important to retain some distinctive Australian characteristics. It is also important to ensure they know these products from a different country and aren’t Chinese duplicates. Here’s how companies can go overboard:

Chinese Languages – It’s a good idea to ensure all labels, names, and logos are in English instead of any Chinese language. There’s always a risk of names or instructions being mistranslated.

You also run the risk of removing the appeal of “foreign” product by adding Chinese characters in a large font. Businesses can add separate instructions in Chinese languages, but keep the main branding in English.

Selling Channels – Some companies want to sell items directly to the customers without the influence of Daigou middlemen. They establish local e-commerce portals in China, book warehouses to store their product, and sell at a more affordable rate.

Unfortunately, customers will doubt the authenticity of these products, especially if they’re shipped from local warehouses. That has a big impact on overall sales. Bellamy experienced this when they attempted to bypass the Daigou and established a local presence.

The easier access, lower prices, and higher supply than demand had a negative impact on sales. That led to a drop in Bellamy’s share price.

As you can see, too much focus on local presence has an adverse effect. That’s why many companies prefer to work with Daigous.

3. Haphazard and Inconsistent Marketing

Marketing should always be consistent and on-point. You need to keep up with the latest trends in the market, track customer response, consider their preferences, look at the competition, and keep an eye on previous campaigns. Establish a solid presence on social media, review websites, and other such platforms to ensure people become familiar with your brand.

If business owners are careful and plan the initial entry into the Chinese market well, their companies will enjoy more success. It’s important to conduct thorough research and determine which strategies work well before taking the step.

ConnectX has launched the Daigou Connection Program, which helps brands to distribute their products to 230 Daigou shops, 40 Taobao stores, and 600 tour guides (Influential Daigou shoppers). Send an inquiry to for a quotation.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

We deliver enriching end results for our clients.

Strategy. Action. Results

Say Hello

  • 02 9267 2972
  • Suite 32, Level 17, 329 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000
OFFICE HOUR: MON-FRI 09:30 - 18:00

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow Us

© 2019 ConnectX Sydney Pty Ltd | All Rights Reserved.

Fill the Form
Get a quick Quote

Speak with a marketing expert to find out how ConnectX could help with your business growth.