REDFERN DIGITAL AND CBBC HAVE PARTNERED TO PRESENT A FOUR-PART SERIES ON DIGITAL RETAIL IN CHINA. THE THIRD PART IN THE SERIES EXPLORES HOW TO EMOTIONALLY ENGAGE YOUR BRAND WITH CHINESE CONSUMERS. SIGN UP AT THE LINK BELOW THE ARTICLE TO TAKE PART IN THE LAST IN THIS SERIES ON WEDNESDAY
What are the challenges that UK brands face when entering the China market?
UK brands need to realise that brand competition is going to be fierce in China, which makes getting the right positioning and communication absolutely crucial. Using an omnichannel approach will allow brands to engage with potential customers through a number of touchpoints and platforms. However, this also means that brands must be consistent throughout so that a strong brand impression can be created and reinforced at each interaction with a consumer.
How can UK brands keep up in such a fast-paced market environment?
New trends are constantly being introduced and dying out, so brands need to be flexible and innovative, reacting quickly to a new trend that appeals to the customers before it becomes irrelevant. A brand strategy needs to be reassessed and renewed every year or so in China, as opposed to every five years elsewhere.
When it comes to Chinese consumers, how can brands understand who their target audience is, and what their target audience wants?
To position themselves appropriately, brands need to understand their target audience, so knowing demographics, interests, income level, profession, consumption behaviour, and purchasing behaviour. In order to do this, brands can use a number of methods such as social listing, which is when brands look on social media to see what consumers are saying and how competitors are marketing themselves. Brands can also hold focus groups to receive direct feedback and consumer perception of both the brand and the products. Another method brands can use is A/B testing to see which marketing campaign receives more engagement.
Once brands are familiar with their potential customers, how can they leverage this information to the greatest effect?
After gaining an understanding of their target audience, brands can conduct a brand audit to understand what they are able to offer, how it can fit into the Chinese lifestyle and whether they need to localise. Before beginning their marketing efforts, brands should also look into how their products, services or the brand itself is currently perceived in the China market. Brands should then choose the unique selling points that best appeal to potential customers, which could include country of origin, effects, functions, features, benefits, or any other points of difference that the brand or product has.
How should brands approach localisation and branding for the China e-commerce market?
The reasons for localisation depend on the brand and its category, and can include cultural differences, differences in values and marketing differences. However, localisation is usually about finding the parts that need to be changed, rather than trying to change everything. On the other hand, brand education is more important. This is especially true as Chinese consumers oftentimes investigate brands before purchase, and information on these brands must be readily available in Chinese.
What are some challenges that come with branding and localisation?
Some challenges that brands may face include the fact that the brand might be unknown in the China market, even if it is well known back in the UK. Moreover, there is likely already a number of competitor brands in the same category that have established a digital presence in China, which will make standing out difficult. Another challenge for smaller brands is that local or larger international competitors will likely have larger budgets and are competing on the same platforms for similar target audiences.
What can brands do to encourage brand loyalty and repeat purchases?
Building a community has become important for the Chinese market as it will allow brands to develop a connection with their customers, building up brand loyalty, word of mouth marketing, engaging their emotions and ultimately encouraging repeat purchases.
The full series:
Session 4 – China’s New Normal: Transforming Commerce
Wednesday 2nd December, 2:30-3:30pm (GMT) Register here