520 Festival : Celebrating Love in China

520 Festival in China

The 20th of May in China, couples send to each other by message : “520”, pronounced “wu er ling” whose sound is similar to “Wo ai ni” 我爱你, a way to celebrate love, equivalent to Valentine’s Day in western countries. 520 has become a love-themed holiday and it is the best time for brands to promote their products and services as well.

How brands celebrate love differently ?

Here are 3 campaigns that give off a message built around a storytelling rather than a product :

Love Yourself & Girl Empowerment

“You not only have to know where to fight,

But also to know the moment when to have a break,

And to enjoy the wonderful things of life” – He Sui

This year, Victoria’s Secret, the famous American lingerie brand, launched a campaign focused on women aspirations and self-esteem called “Be oneself” (做自己) in the format of an intimate interview.

For this second episode of “Be oneself” series, the Chinese female model He Sui answered several questions about her woman’s journey, dreams and difficulties, to which she sincerely replied that embracing inner self and enjoying the wonderful things in daily life are very important to build her own woman identity.

Pictures from Victoria’s Secret’s Wechat official account

The interview is interspersed with photos of He Sui dressed in the prettiest Victoria’s Secret’s outfits that female customers can find by clicking on the mini program at the end of the campaign.

Picture from Victoria’s Secret’s Wechat official account

Celebrate all forms of love : Couple Love, Sister Love, Best Friend Love

Love is not expressed just for boyfriend / girlfriend, is it ? In life, we face all forms of love : love of partners, love of family, love of friends…

This is precisely what The Kooples wanted to show with matching outfits, not similar but complementary outfits and fashionable.

Pictures from The Kooples’ Wechat official account

The limited collection is not only trendy, but so is the campaign’s format. On Wechat, the campaign gives to the user a feeling of being a photographer shooting friends in an urban setting while the pieces of clothes are flashing up on the screen.

Pictures from The Kooples’ Wechat official account

Love is Love

Blued, the Chinese gay social network, interviewed 6 young men by asking them what was the gift they gave to their first love.

The diary-like advertising adopts a soft and poetic tone and offers a discount to the clothes collection by clicking on the mini program. 

Pictures from Blued’s Wechat official account

Creative campaigns on Wechat will convince customers for being relatable and consequently generate sales throughout the Chinese super mobile app.

5 components to run a great campaign that will resonate to the Chinese audience :

  • Having a strong message
  • Personalisation of the campaigns’ ideas according to Chinese culture and Gen Z evolving vision
  • Using KOL, idol’s or model’s face
  • Showing off beautiful graphic design and creativity
  • Purchase facility with links embedded to Wechat store

Pet economy is rising in China

Pet economy is rising in China

The pet economy is expected to reach RMB 472.3 billion ($66.8 billion) in China by 2023, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Chinese Millennials under 30 years old accounted for 45% of total pet owners in China in 2019 and they devote part of their budget to the well-being of their pets including food, welfare, accessories and clothes, toys, insurance…

Dog and cat owners are the leaders on the market but niche pets is also growing such as birds, hamsters, reptiles or rabbits owners.

Pet economy has led to a new lifestyle. For example, some pet owners in big cities ask local friends or even paid pet sitters for temporary care, while others turn to “pet hotels”, a place where you can leave your pets for a determined time. There is also a rise of animal coffee shops in order to make customers relieve themselves from stress accumulated by the pressure of work.

Trends in Pets sector :

Consumers are seeking personalised offers

When they buy pet products, consumers are paying attention to pet food according to the animal’s race and allergies, the online rating and other customers’ feed-backs for toys and accessories and the notoriety of the brand’s products they purchased whether it is a Chinese brand or a foreign brand.

E-commerce platforms

53.2% consumers prefer to shop online rather than buying in physical specialized pet shops. Here is a selection of dog food on epet.com including Chinese brands such as Nature Bridge (比瑞吉) and foreign brands like Royal Canin :

Dog food on epet.com

Cooperation with KOC

“What is the best food brand for dogs ?”, “The best cat litter ?”, “My rabbit looks thinner, why ?” 

Much more than KOL (Key Opinion Leaders with a large audience), KOC (Key Opinion Consumers) have a smaller audience and can drive some recommendations and answer followers’ questions based on their own experience.   

KOC with pets are booming on Chinese social media

Technology solutions

Nowadays, pet owners are more concerned about the well-being of their pets. For instance, Alipay launched a pet insurance service featuring nose print recognition technology, a substitution of using a microchip implant. 

Alipay allows pet owners to buy insurance by using facial recognition

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

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Chinese consumers are the growth engine of the world

Chinese consumers are the growth engine of the world, they are confident, ready to spend. Since March 2020, all restrictions implemented in China have kept most of China virus free which make them optimistic.

And among Chinese consumers, the most powerful group is female. Chinese women are empowered to decide on their lives. Chinese female consumers account for 3/4 purchases in China.

It is a huge opportunity for western brands if they are able to adapt to the current consumer environment.

Prior to Covid-19, China was already part of the most advanced countries in terms of digitalization, with half of the Worldwide e-commerce in China. Companies already engaged in digital transformations were able to accelerate momentum, and successfull cater for increased demand for online shopping and other digital services.

Aside for on-line shopping, Chinese consumers have embraced new digital activities that do not require in-person interactions, leading to at in at-home occasions. This is what we call the stay-home economy. We can mention the huge increase of e-learning, in-home wellness and fitness, e-gaming activities.

Chinese consumers have become more health and quality conscious as a result of Covid-19.They are trying to improve their health and ability to fight against virus. In particular, female from 20s to 40s are now able to push for consumption upgrade taking into account quality, health and safety, premium brands. You can read more about female consumers with article from Natalie Meyer(https://www.chinaskinny.com/blog/chinese-female-consumers/)

The safety of the family group and personal health have become among top concerns of chinese consumers, and this has impacted the consumer behavior. One third of consumers have switched to new brands during the pandemic, driven by factors such as availability, discounts, and promotions, as well as perceptions of safety.

Trust is even more vital as consumers navigate an uncertain environment with majority of consumers turning to brands that they trust. In this sense, brand story and purpose are critical to build trust. And building e-reputation is a must for any western company entering China market which is the reason Why WeChat is a must for your business

Chinese consumers are the growth engine of the world. For brands to be successful in China market, it means that they need to adapt to the change of behaviors of consumers and change of the consumer environment which has shifted:

  • Accelerate on-line and omnichannel strategy: On-line must be seen as must do. It is important to maximize the efficiency of each channel, and to consider the interaction of different channels (on line or offline), social commerce and traditional e-commerce. Social Selling with WeChat in China is growing fact. All social commerce is growing currently at 40% rate and should be part of the omnichannel strategy.
  • Innovate product offer and services to answer to shift of consumers behavior and expectations, in particular regarding health and safety criteria.
  • Be agile and reactive regarding market approach to face fast changing environment
  • Review brand story to make sure that the purpose of the brand is well clarified. Purpose of the brand has also become a main criteria for young consumers to choose a brand

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

For more information about Digital marketing and business in China, subscribe to our newsletter : https://www.subscribepage.com/chinabusinessletter

Mistakes to avoid to enter successfully China market

Enter China market

There are the most common mistakes to avoid to enter successfully China market for western SME

Not adapting to Chinese culture or to the Chinese digital environment

You cannot just copy your western strategy or digital marketing strategy to China. It would be a failure, and would cost you a lot of money.

You cannot make mistake about China cultural codes.

Also there is a need for localization of your brand but it is important to have right level of localization. Localization is more than just translation. You need think about key visuals, brand designs, key messages….localization is about finding the parts that need to be changed to make Chinese consumers more receptive to the brand, rather than change everything. When localizing your brand, you need change how consumers relate to it.

The China digital landscape is also different, and you must use the Chinese social media to develop awareness of your brand. Chinese people. You cannot use google or facebook, and it is useless to do digital marketing using your western website.

Misunderstanding of Chinese consumers in terms of behaviours or expectations

The Chinese consumers are different, have different tastes and requirements. Before selling your products, you need to check about the Chinese market, the local offer, Chinese consumers preferences. It really depends also on consumers groups (Chinese provinces, ages,…).

Chinese society, consumer mindsets are always evolving, and brands should adapt to new context and market trends post Covid-19:

  • After Covid 19, the main values for Chinese consumers have become safety, be healthy, well-being in home. In the past, be successful and be wealthy were at the top priorities
  • Milleniums and Gen Z are looking for environmental friendly products, It was already a trend which has accelerated post Covid. They expect that the brands that they buy from to have an ethical stance both environmentally, socially and health
  • Growing environmental concerns push consumers willingness to buy eco-friendly products in China, boosted by on-line shopping platforms and government push

When marketing products, brands need to make sure that they address the largest concerns that consumers have for each one.

Without a proper approach, brands can waste a lot of money and time to succeed in their China business development.

Underestimating the complexity of Chinese market

Brands need to understand what they are able to offer, and how it can fit into the Chinese lifestyle. Competition is fierce with local brands.

Chinese demands are not homogeneous across the country. China market is quite complex and is the size of a continent. China is a very large country with long distance between provinces. Culture from North China is very different from Guandong province for instance. Customers expectations is quite different in Tier 1 cities versus low tier cities. Many international brands are ignoring the fast growth of low tier cities which is a mistake. But to reach low tier cities consumers, you may need to have a specific offer.

The complexity comes also from the digital environment as there are so many digital apps to reach consumers depending on your target. The brands need to choose communication points that will appeal specifically their target audience.

 Also a digital strategy must be omnichannel in China as you need to reach consumer with about 10 touch points versus 3 in western world , which requires more investment. However branding must remains consistent over all touchpoints which requires proper planning and execution.

Not having strong brand or not properly build up the brand in China

Brand power dominates in China.

A brand will not be successful in China if not successful in home country.

Branding is everything in China. Chinese consumers are more likely to investigate a brand before purchase:

  • Many consumers have been cheated with counterfeit products, fake reputable brands and domestic brands that are expensive but of poor quality; accordingly, they become paranoid and cautious towards unbranded products.
  • Additionally, Chinese people buy brands not only for the functions they have but also to reflect their social status and improve how other people perceive about them. Chinese consumers are willing to pay more if the brand can bring them prestige and respect among their social circle.
  • Brand positioning should be first focus for a new brand in China

It is important to tell your brand story to the Chinese audience after defining your brand identity and position in China.

Misunderstanding of the right use of WeChat

WeChat is the main social media in China for life and for business, and any brand doing business in China must have an official WeChat account.WeChat is at the heart of the digital marketing strategy.

But you should not think of your WeChat account as the channel to attract new customers. WeChat is the place to nurture your subscribers to convert them in customers or retain them. WeChat is critical part of your funnel. But you need to invest other marketing resources into other social media or off line events /shops… to get followers to be converted into WeChat. In particular, you need invest on Weibo or XiaoHongShu or other medias.

For more tips about right use of WeChat, check our linkedin page https://bit.ly/2YrESJ4

Not having the right partner in China

Lots of western companies have failed in China. In many cases it is also due to wrong partners as agents for sales or in a JV structure because there is no common vision, or because the interest of local partner is different. Checking the back-ground of a partner in China is a must, and you need local people to do it.

In terms of digital marketing, you need to have also a digital marketing specialized in China market, professional in terms of Chinese social media and marketing, to understand the local culture and customer needs.

Misunderstanding of the business culture

Giving face is a critical element of the Chinese business culture.

Giving face is all about preserving a good image for your company and team, your partners. It is vital when conducting business in China

Also you need to take into account Chinese calendar and holidays which is different from West (Chinese New year, Mid-automn festival…)

Going directly to e-commerce platform for SME

You must build up your e-reputation first. China social media users are far more active than in other countries and Chinese people are doing everything in their life with their mobile.

Also social media has a larger impact on the buying decisions of Chinese consumers than on those of any other country. If a Chinese consumer sees a product being discussed positively on a social media site, especially by a friend or acquaintance, they are far more likely to actually purchase the product than his or her counterpart in other countries. Peer recommendations have huge influence in Chinese culture, as formal institutions are less likely to be trusted. As your targeted audience is active on social media, you have to be present on social media.

After developing your brand awareness and e-reputation, manage your followers and subscribers community, you can then start selling on e-commerce platforms if you can get the right turnover to get meaningful ROI.

Not securing the IP

Before expanding your business in China, you need to obtain the necessary rights to ensure that you maintain a competitive advantage in the market.

Since China uses a first to file system for patents and trademark protection applications, it is then highly recommended to obtain IP protection for your business in China as soon as possible

Not taken into account China speed 7 times faster than in West

There is about a factor of 5 to 7 between China and western speed. You need to run your business in China at China speed, and have very quick decision process.

In China, there is always something new, new regulations, new competitors….The trend tomorrow is dead next month. You need to review your marketing strategy every year.

Of course, there are some other mistakes to avoid doing to enter successfully China market, and you can contact us to know more for your digital marketing strategy. https://bit/ly33oADAg

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

For more information about Digital marketing and business in China, subscribe to our newsletter : https://www.subscribepage.com/chinabusinessletter

Chinese consumers have become the world’s first 1 billion people digital social network

Chinese consumers are connected 24 hours 7 days via smartphones, both to businesses and to each other. Their behavior is digital first. Most everything in consumer China begins with smartphones.

The result is Chinese consumers are increasingly acting like a 1 billion person, interconnected network and it is really powerful. Chinese people are spending several hours per day on WeChat to chat with friends or collegues, to order food, to pay bills to government, to answers to their customers…

For exemple:

  • Reviews, experiences and word of mouth spread broadly. WeChat has just digitalized word of mouth. A company’s brand and image are now far more determined by what connected Chinese consumers say than by what the company says. If you have a service in China, or a shop or a restaurant in Europe, Chinese consumers are talking about it on line.
  • Widely shared content, such as short videos, long videos, live streaming:content,is mostly happening within the social media applications
  • Good or bad events about a company can go viral within hours
  • About one third of retail in China is now done via e-commerce, which means money moving within the social media applications. It is huge. Add up all the e-commerce of France, Germany,Japan, UK and the USA combined, and China is still bigger.

So what happens when this type of money flows within the social apps.

Some amazing things can happen.

For exemple:

  • Connected Chinese consumers can be powerful marketing agents for smart companies. Digital marketing initiatives by companies like Dior and Burberry are designed to get consumers to talk about their experiences or respond to challenges. And this user created content and commentary spreads in the social apps.
  • Connected Chinese consumers can be powerful sales agents for companies, as shown recently by the huge rise of group buying e-commerce site Pinduoduod. It is sometimes called social commerce but it is really just about getting consumers to convince other consumers to buy. And it happens in social media.

If you can activate the social media apps as a business, it can resultin a lot of money moving quickly.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

For more information about Digital marketing and business in China, subscribe to our newsletter : https://www.subscribepage.com/chinabusinessletter