Six ways to appeal to customers in China

China’s thirst for luxury brands grows ever stronger

China’s thirst for luxury brands grows ever stronger

The goal of taking pole position in the Chinese market has meant many global brands are making ever larger investments to reach their new consumer. Almost every sector has seen spectacular growth over the years but none more so than the luxury goods market.

Take whisky for instance, which sees an annual import of $140 million into China each year is becoming especially lucrative, thanks to its desirability and scarcity factor. In a country with a burgeoning cohort of middle-class consumers who are increasingly seeking to flaunt their wealth with luxury purchases, sales of whisky are on a steady upward trend.

Securing a foot hold in the Chinese market has become easier

To really take advantage of this tech-savvy and booming consumer class, it is important to make effective use of marketing strategies that will open Chinese wallets. Knowing one’s customer, no matter the language, is still a key function.

The digital marketing jungle in China is one that requires a fine balance of understanding the culture on the ground and larger societal trends. Many Chinese consumers are seeking ways to enjoy authentically British brands, while not having them being too tailored to them. Building a brand that can translate culturally and directly into Chinese is an advantage but it can sometimes estrange buyers. Hollywood has found that using excessive Chinese themes in their films did not always convert into dollars, in fact, it was mostly the opposite.

The allure of securing a firm foothold in China is becoming easier thanks in part to the myriad of social media platforms blending social with ecommerce. To get the low-down, we have compiled a list of ways to catch your target buyer in China.

1. Tap into global festivities

As China becomes increasing globalised, so does its culture. In recent years, April Fools Day (and others) have become used more often by brands to provide humour and playfulness.

Read more how Tencent and Hong Kong Airlines have toyed with April Fools Day.

Innovating brand localisation through playful use of local food choices by Hong Kong Airlines.

Innovating brand localisation through playful use of local food choices by Hong Kong Airlines.

2. Go ‘all in’ on digital

China is now the second largest market in the world for digital advertising spend – that’s second only to the US. What this means for brands is a game-changer in how they interact with their audience.

Read more on China’s exponential growth in ad spend

Adspend in China has seen significant growth and is expected to continue.

Adspend in China has seen significant growth and is expected to continue.

3. Learn from the mistakes of others

Brand after brand have fallen foul of the complexities of the Chinese market. From Leica, D&G, and even the humblest of companies like GAP.

Read more on how GAP’s faux pas cost a fortune.

4. Use Little Red Book

There is a new Little Red Book gaining popularity in China – and no, it’s not written by a famous Chairman. Instead, it is an app which appeals directly to 18-35-year-old women, where they can discover tips, trends, and most importantly, purchase products directly on the site. With its blend of part Instagram and part e-commerce platform has produced a winning combination.

Read more how Little Red Book (小红书) is drawing the attention of Kim Kardashian.

5. Position your brand with Key Opinion Leaders (KOL)

The life of an influencer quite similar to being an entrepreneur, watching costs, understanding market trends, and most importantly, knowing your customer, or in a KOLs case – the followers. With it becoming easier to be an KOL, learn how to recognise the core features of a great influencer.

Read more on the key features of an online influencer.

Collaboration with KOLs and influencers.png

6. Make the most of Chinese ecommerce

The Chinese market is unique in many ways, not least because of the language. That said, the ecommerce environment is quite different. Instead of the mainstays of Amazon, Argos, and a host of other companies there are mobile apps that are dominating the Chinese consumer landscape.

Read more about the two major players in the China market.

The next steps

Taking your brand to the next step need not be a strain. Chat with one of our experts on how your company can make waves in China.

Main contact:

Carol Chan
Founder and MD of Comms8
+44 (0) 20 3289 4349