Survival Strategies for Brands in China: A SXSWi Session

Key points from SXSWi presentation by Emily Chong, frog Dir of Marketing, Asia.

Key Understandings for China:
1. China is not a nascent market.
2. There is no such thing as “The Chinese Consumer.” With cities like Beijing at 30 million population, China is really a collective of mini countries. Treat each city like its own country. Look at tiering cities for your approach.
3. Commercialization is how china innovates. Fire-adjust idea
3.You must move fast. It takes China 19 days to copy a new iPhone.

Popular Consumer Segments:
1. The Value consumer is large. They use lots of online tools and meet-ups to find deals.
2. China’s elderly population has more disposable income than ever before.
3. The children of the 3 decade policy of 1 child China are known as “Little Emperors.” They are okay with Shanzha (knock-offs) but for other people.

Consumer Behaviors:
1. 64% of consumers prefer foreign products because of the quality.
2. Because of lack of trust for institutions, Chinese feel a moral obligation to share experiences. Social media is very popular but the communities and tools are fragmented. Consumers evolve from tools like QQ when they are young to graduating to others.
3. Important to remember the culture of emphasis on the collective, not the individual. “What will others say when they see me with this new product.”
4. China has the largest online and mobile population. eCommerce is next. Tmall.com is a growing popular ecomm network. Because of trust issues and Shanzha, Chinese prefer to see the product first hand. However, seeing is believing because of lack of trust. Example: Forever 21 had a false start. Had to close their original stores. They then reopened online first to test things like where orders are originating. They the successfully opened new stores.

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