Guochao (国潮) : the integration of traditional Chinese culture and style in brands’ marketing

Guochao

Have you ever heard of the term “Guochao” (国潮) ?

In Chinese, “guo” (国) means “country” and “chao” (潮) means “tide”. With growing levels of national pride, Chinese youth is now looking for unique ways to identify themselves with their Chinese roots in a world greatly influenced by Western aesthetics.

Chinese gen-Z people have become one of the largest spending groups in China and many local brands play the nostalgia’s and culture’s card to attract them.

Visual and aesthetics matter a lot

Chinese millenials consumers are more nationalistic and brimming with cultural confidence in comparison with older generations. When it comes to shopping, they show interest in the product’s packaging and the experience delivered.

They are mostly the generation most able to obtain the latest trends, especially for new limited collections : it makes them want to collect something rare, precious and cool.

Catkin Summer Palace collection (BB cushion and lipsticks set)

[Photos from Catkin’s website]

Catkin (卡婷) is a Chinese cosmetics brand that offers products of good quality and luxury packaging with a competitive price.

The best sellers of Catkin are the Summer Palace collection products. The outcome ? The Summer Palace collection, especially the lipsticks, launched in 2019, went viral and was quickly sold out on Tmall within 24 hours ! 

On Catkin’s Wechat official account, customers can purchase online either through Wechat store or Tmall store. There is also a VIP space where people can test new products.

Purchasing on Catkin’s Wechat store 

[Photos from Catkin’s Wechat official account]

These products have been so successful that the brand’s awareness crossed overseas. Catkin discovered that foreigners in Asia or in other countries requested to purchase the collection as well. Indeed, Catkin has over 10 distributors in foreign countries such as Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia or Thailand and offers free shipping in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Russia.

Emotion and experience are tied together

The Guochao trend not only reflects the sudden rise of domestic brands, but also the resurgence of Chinese cultural elements and traditional style. Fashion brands like Li Ning (李宁) or Randomevent (随机事件) are putting forward cultural elements and traditional lifestyle to create more fashionable yet modern styles that young Chinese can be identified to.

Campaign for Randomevent Market 

[Photos from Randomevent]

For example, Randomevent launched in April “Randomevent Market”, a range of clothes and accessories putting forward the daily life of merchants at market in Hangzhou. The motto written over all pieces of clothes is 称心如意, a Chinese expression for “everything one could wish”. 

Randomevent opened a pop-up store in Hangzhou Kerry centre with a market look alike welcoming atmosphere. Customers can walk from the fruits department to the seafood corner where the new clothes are displayed.

Pop-up store in Hangzhou Kerry Centre

[Photos from Randomevent]

By celebrating authentic and local atmosphere with fashion, streetwear and comfortable clothes, the brand won Chinese millennials’ hearts and aimed accurately at its phygital strategy, online and on site.

Shopping online through Wechat 

[Photos from Randomevent’s Wechat official account]

Nowadays, Chinese gen-Z are looking for a new meaningful connection with brands, so it is important for new international brands entering China to embrace these values of Chinese pride. International brands need to establish strong communication with their target consumers and make a clear value proposition to them.

We can propose customized digital marketing services according to your ambition to create your Chinese story and expand your brand

Gen Z is new China engine for consumption growth

Gen Z represent the next engine of domestic consumption growth.

Gen Z make up  about 15 percent of China’s population and is first digital native generation.

Brands seeking to tap into China’s evolving consumption growth story must  pay attention to the factors shaping opinion and behavior among Gen Z:

  • China’s Gen Z are most likely to buy products spontaneously
  • Desire for ‘unique’ products and services, customized products
  • China’s Gen Z are relatively more loyal to brands, which requires to leverage customer relationship management on social apps such as WeChat

To reach Gen Z, brands should focus on economic,environmental,social in their narratives. They need to act as supportive pillr to their consumers, promoting values that they want to be associated with. Read more in this article (https://jingdaily.com/short-videoplatfroms-gen-z-consumer-behaviors-china/)

Omnichannel shopping is on the  rise. In response to this demand for an omnichannel consumer experience, several brands that were initially successful  as online-only stores have expanded offline

Gen Z gravitate towards individual merchants on ecommerce platforms due to greater  transparency and more quality assurance.

Word-of-mouth, the online version through social apps, most influential when it comes to purchase decisions.

Also short-videos apps have the world’s young consumers hooked with their easily digestible feeds on Douyin or other apps. China alone is responsible for 86% of TikTok revenues. They are really shaping Gen Z consumer behaviors.

Gen Z is the new growth engine that brands should care about.

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