Marketing in China: How International Brands Can Adapt to China?

China can be a very difficult Market for a new international Brand, it is not an easy Market but it is the most dynamic market in the world and offer huge opportunities for international Brands able to be able to Chinese Demand. 

Marketing in China: How international Brands can adapt to Chinese Market?

China Fashion Week is a world-known platform for fashion design, ready-to-wear- accessories, styling, and other designs and new technologies. It’s a solid platform for promoting brands, displaying originality, and broadcasting fashion trends to the world.

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Understand The Chinese Consumer 

Chinese women spend a larger percentage of their income on fashion magazines than Western women, according to The New York Times article. Duncan Edwards, the president, and chief executive of Hearst Magazines International, stated, “We’re going through this wonderful period where huge numbers of women are coming out of poverty into the middle class and beyond. Many of these women are choosing to spend on luxury goods.” 

With recent exposure to Western media, the Chinese consumer is now much more aware of global fashion trends. According to a 2011 study by Bain & Company, as stated in The New York Times, mainland China is ranked the sixth in the world for spending on luxury goods. It’s a USD$ 17.7 billion market where Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci remain the most desired luxury brands.

Localize your Content and Products for Chinese Audience

For Overseas Designers: China’s fashion industry now is becoming more and more attractive to international designers. David Beckham was unveiled as China’s first-ever global football ambassador, and his wife Victoria Beckham will make a series of high-profile appearances in China in an attempt to crack its market with her fashion line. Luxury fashion label Marc Jacobs is also said to be going after China with plans to add six stores a year to its existing 25 in Mainland China and 5 stores to its stores in Hong Kong.

 “I think Chinese consumers can learn very fast. Three or four years ago, they may have been merely chasing logos. Now they seek more than that. The chase now is more about the lifestyle, social status, and how the brand can fit them. It’s not just about a logo anymore,” said Stalla-Bourdillon, Marc Jacob’s chief executive, to the South China Morning Post. 

Companies such as H&M, Zara, Topshop, and Karen Millen are opening stores at an alarming rate, as China continues to become the fastest-growing market with store numbers.

Your Online Reputation is Important in China, here is Why!

Dolce&Gabbana Social Media Campaign

Famous house Dolce&Gabbana recently became the latest international brand to offend China’s netizens with a social media campaign. The ironically named D&G Loves China campaign aimed to promote the brand’s first fashion show in Beijing with models posing among locals and tourists in Beijing tourist spots, such as historic hutongs, Tiananmen Square, and The Great Wall.

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Dolce & Gabbana needs to clean up the mess it made in China, or get left out of the country’s luxury boom.

Over the past several days, the Italian fashion line has been trying to manage a crisis caused by an ad campaign that critics called “disrespectful and racist.” It’s also reeling from offensive comments allegedly sent from co-founder Stefano Gabbana’s personal Instagram account. The Italian designer has denied writing the messages.
Fallout from the controversy has been swift and harsh. Celebrities called for a boycott. Chinese e-commerce sites pulled D&G products from their virtual shelves. The brand canceled a major fashion show in Shanghai that the ads, which featured an Asian model struggling to eat Italian food with chopsticks, were designed to promote
 

The campaign was met with backlash from Chinese consumers who accused Dolce & Gabbana of stereotyping China and presenting a backward view of old “undeveloped” areas rather than images of the new modern China.


Expert of branding said Dolce&Gabbana’s campaign presented a romanticized Western view of China, which was out of step with how China’s young millennials see themselves.

Millennials are born in high developing modern cities with infrastructures sometimes faster-moving than in the West. “If you compare the metro systems in Shanghai or Shenzhen with London, New York or Paris, China’s is not only more modern, it is also cleaner, faster and on time. That’s why Chinese millennials find it so frustrating to see China painted only with a prism of the past.”

Take advantage of Clichés

“China is a diverse and sophisticated market but too often brands approach the market with their ideas about dragons and hutongs and they play to clichés,” said an expert. 

  1. Swiss Watch are the best
  2. German Cars are the best
  3. and french Cosmetics are the best

However, experts say if the brand wishes to minimize the damage they will need to launch new targeted communications for the Chinese market after a small dip in sales.

What Miss Brands in China?

Dolce & Gabbana is not the first foreign brand to fail in reaching China’s big-spending millennials. 

Victoria’s Secret was branded “racist” after dressing runway models in dragon-themed outfits in a bid to win over Chinese consumers, and Burberry was seen to have cheapened its brand by adding a Chinese character to its iconic scarves, which many consumers said made the products look fake or counterfeit.

“Chinese consumers are hyper-sensitive about anything that puts China and Chinese people in a bad light,” said Tanner. 

Work on your Brand Message Online 

The Chinese are the quarter of the consumers of goods and services in the world, so not to miss the biggest market it’s important to understand Chinese consumers shopping phycology and know how to adapt the brand.

Not only the meaning but also the sound, “tonality” and even the appearance of the Chinese characters can affect the reputation of the brand significantly. Brand RALPH LAUREN, for example, has entered the Chinese market only with its “original,” world-famous mark. Based on the legendary image, Chinese consumers have created their version of this mark literally translated from the Chinese as “a horse with three legs.” Obviously, such associations for the brand holders are undesirable.

A brand needs to maintain a message in a more local way which is true for any market in the world.

 

Social Media marketing in China: A New Approach

“With social media engagement in China amongst the highest in the world – particularly with the big-spending millennials – these things tend to spread far and wide, and very quickly. 

There’s a lot of brands that still feel like they can push global ideals onto China. But China’s social media resources and platforms live in their own bubble and there is not the same digital environment as in the West.   

Many foreign brands have been taking a new approach to China over the past few years and are investing in insights to understand how the Chinese consumer differs and what tools can help to push their buttons.

In China you have to know:

  • WeChat: Content Marketing + Promotion on ads and Group
  • Weibo: native Ads and KOL are really useful

Awareness in China: Target and retarget your potential Clients 

After working on your online Reputation, Brand message, Social Media Channels, and Brand Message, Brands need to invest big in their awareness 

  1. Via Ads : Native ads is useful to perform well  (Native Ads)
  2. KOL : Key Opinion leader offer usually a large audience 
  3. Media: work with Chinese eMedia is a good way to boost awareness 
  4. Display: all strategy of Display can allow a large number of People targetted, via video (youku) or Search (Baidu) or News App 

E-Commerce: the New Best way to Sell in China 

You want to sell in China, forget about the massive number of Shops… and bet on your online store. Tmall is the best shopping Mall, JD is the Chinese Amazon, and Taobao is the best source of small resellers, and WeChat shops can offer you a good relay. 

We are a Cost-Effective Agency Focus on Small Medium Brands that want to enter the Chinese Market. 

Contact us and know our solution and pricing. 

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4 Comments

    1. Hello Miki,
      Can do one social Media, WeChat Weibo for example and try to focus on one community then enlarge.
      😉
      There are always ways… need to try something.

  1. The designer duo behind luxury Italian brand Dolce & Gabbana have issuedthe biggest mistake ever you can do in China

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