Brands in China: Moving away from the Westernisation
Western brands had a decisive edge in China for many years: the aura of desirable western values. Western sneakers and athletic looks promised a dynamic and individualist style, western home appliances stood for a luxurious living standard and western cars represented technological advantage.
Today, mobile phones by Huawei and Byton electric cars have become trendsetters and top-notch goods. The Chinese are proud of their country’s success and return to their own cultural identity. This has a massive impact on their consumption behaviour and their choice of brands: while Starbucks and KFC have established themselves in the market, Chinese fast food restaurants have conquered another sector – Chinese food culture.
Global campaigns, unrolled without a thorough pre-analysis of the market, are doomed to fail because they do not take into account the style and identity of Chinese consumers. Fashion and body care brands that try to connect to traditional Chinese codes of sensuousness and images, on the other hand, are more popular.
In the meantime, the coexistence of western and local styles has become normal for Chinese consumers. They are very picky when it comes to adopting trends. Thanks to their new confidence, they stick to the motto: you do not have to prove yourself to others or justify to them which consumption style you find best for yourself.
This has repercussions for western businesses that want to break into the Chinese market and be on track for success. Without knowing the cultural background of Chinese consumers, their brands will miss the target. With specialised teams in Beijing and Shanghai, concept m supports western brands that intend to expand to China. We offer the insights they need – about specific target group opinions, product perceptions, or brand triggers – and help them find their perfect brand strategy.