China Marketing Weekly: Overnight Marketing Phenomenon Of Luckin Coffee
This week we talk about American brand’s conflict with TMall, spicy Snickers and Luckin Coffee overnight boom in China. Don’t forget to check “NMG’s Insights” part, where we share our own China marketing experience with you.
MavSocial has added WeChat to their social management platform. They showed us a demo and it looks like it has good potential for brands that are already using multiple platforms and want to manage their WeChat in the same place. The content management tool is pretty slick. It's still missing some features, but they are developing it quickly. They're looking for more testers. If anybody would like to try it, please email us back.
For the past two weeks, Chinese cities turned blue (not red this time, surprise!). It’s thanks to Luckin Coffee and their very blue cups and ads that screamed at people from every single corner. Offices, residential areas, WeChat Moments were monopolized by the company’s ads and posts. Chinese news report “an overnight phenomenon”, mostly because of the free coffee they offered to “develop a drinking coffee habit in China”. But at the same time, we’re all very curious if they manage to survive. Read more on our blog.
Chilli-infused Snickers bars receive a hot welcome in China. Last year, the company teamed up with Alibaba to take advantage of its user base. Relying on Chinese people's love to spicy food and customer surveys, they managed to make sales worth of 9 mln RMB in just a few months. It was a smart move considering the company started losing its market share in 2016 to premium chocolate brands.
For Alibaba, it’s a great opportunity to promote its news service - “Tmall Innovation Center” (TMIC). Its main goal is to help brands create localized products for China’s market. - Read more (English)
- Chinese consumers’ taste has been changing. They now often incline towards premium brands, especially when it comes to Western labels. Yet, don’t forget about product localization, especially when it comes to food.
- In China, you need to innovate and push your creativity to the greatest extent. Consumers here get bored easily and expect getting swept off their feet. Innovative marketing campaigns, non-obvious channels, customization - that’s what you’re looking for.
Chinese Consumers Trends
Chinese invest more in household appliances in order to improve their daily life quality. Sunning’s e-commerce platform, Yigou, followed Taobao’s example and rolled out their own shopping festival on April 18. The main slogan was encouraging Chinese to let household appliances do their housework for them, while they enjoy their family life. The hashtag #新电器生活主义# (‘new appliances lifestyle’), shared by Weibo KOLs, became trending really fast, as Chinese care more and more about convenience and technicalization in their daily life. - Read more (Chinese)
China is becoming a contactless society. Following the AI boom, more and more companies provide service that does not require talking to even one person. Space-sharing offices, manless stores, gyms and one-person karaoke booths. They all target young single people with secure income, and it seems to pay off. Young consumers seem to be more interested in their mobile phones than socializing. They feel more attached to the Travelling Frog buddy than real people. - Read more (English)
Right Treat wants to bring a plant-based replacement for meat to China. The Hong Kong-based vege store just launched its “omnipork” made from soy, pea, mushroom and rice proteins. It’s supposed to taste and feel just like real pork. The company’s owner wants to chase the changing lifestyle trends in China. Health awareness is growing and even the government issued a guideline to eat less meat. However, it might be difficult as Chinese cuisine is based on meat and hectolitres of grease, and people are known for eating “anything that has legs but is not a table”, online meat-eating video challenges and adding meat to vegetarian dishes (because it just tastes better!). Lately, a high school in Chongqing even rewarded its high-scoring students with 2.5 kilograms of pork. - Read more (English)
U.S. clothing brand punished for refusing to sign an exclusive contract with Alibaba. In case you wonder why we often talk about China’s brand wars, here’s the reason. The company’s ads vanished from prominent spots on Tmall and its products lost their top position in top search results. It’s because the company not only refused to sign the deal, but also engaged in a big sale promotion on JD.com, which is Alibaba’s biggest competitor. - Read more (English)
Alibaba opens its first TMall International offline store. It’s just a testing phase but cities like Hangzhou, Shanghai, Ningbo and Shenzhen already lined up to invite the retailer to their own area. The store’s management is, of course, based on Alibaba’s enormous user data. They sell imported goods like beauty care, baby products, toys, health products, red wine etc. - Read more (Chinese)
It will affect mostly daigou, overseas agents who buy foreign products and ship them to China. Instead, it creates more opportunities for foreign brands and at the same time reduces the danger of purchasing counterfeit products.
Chinese brands struggle to go global just as Western companies when they enter China market. There are many cultural pitfalls companies may fall into. A huge issue is also misunderstanding of Western social media. Chinese marketers often have no idea how to manage Facebook or Instagram accounts, just like Westerners are clueless when it comes to WeChat or Weibo. However, Chinese companies going global have a secure marketing budget, so usually they simply hire a foreign agency or drag local people on board. - Read more (English)
Baidu signs a deal with Pear Video (梨视频), adding up to their enormous database. Pear Video is a platform similar to Today’s Headlines (今日头条), focused on news and short videos. Baidu clearly invest a lot of money in the news industry lately, especially in development of news platforms. The deal with Pear Video will surely enhance Baidu information flow and strengthen its position even more. The important part is that Baidu has introduced an ad option for the news platforms as well.