6 Tips for Building Your Brand in China
If you’re considering the possibility of breaking into the Chinese market, there is certainly plenty of opportunity to be had. In fact, many brands have successfully done so already, including Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Apple and Samsung. What is their secret? How were they able to effectively assimilate their products and services to suit the unique needs and preferences of the Chinese consumer? Here are six specific strategies these success stories have in common that you can emulate with your own business.
Get to know the market.
It is highly likely that the Chinese market is markedly different from the Western customers you currently serve. Before you can even think about penetrating this market, you must understand these key differences and be willing to adapt your products, services and messaging to make them relevant to the Chinese consumer.
Identify your niche.
Not only is it important to recognize the key differences in the audience you are going to be targeting, but it’s equally critical to understand exactly what sets your brand apart. What do you have to offer that will be of value to your new market? Why is your product or service better than others that are already present in this demographic? Identify these things and then hone your marketing strategy accordingly.
Expand your horizons.
Many businesses trying to enter the Chinese market make the mistake of doing so with tunnel vision through which they focus only on the larger cities when developing and implementing their marketing plans. When you do this, you miss out on ample opportunity elsewhere, such as in the many “lower-tier” cities throughout China. Just keep in mind, however, that your marketing approach may need to be adapted depending on the city you are targeting.
The reality is, China is a remarkably unique and therefore challenging market to break into, especially if you don’t have any experience doing so. Getting assistance from individuals and teams who are either from the areas you’re trying to reach or at least have experience marketing to the Chinese consumer can really make a difference in how well your strategy works.
The Chinese market is not stagnant. To the contrary, it changes frequently. Only those brands that take the necessary steps to stay on top of these changes will continue to thrive. Understand that the painstaking efforts you’re putting into developing your Chinese marketing strategy today may need to be scrapped entirely a year from now. Be willing and ever-prepared to adapt as needed.
While it’s certainly important that you do your homework and due diligence well in advance of attempting to enter the Chinese market, it’s also essential that you don’t wait too long once you’ve got your strategy mapped out. This marketplace is extremely dynamic and many other brands are already clamouring to get their foot in the door. The sooner you establish your brand and begin to make traction, the more likely you’ll be to realize continued success.