China Marketing Weekly: What Innate Advantages Western Brands Have In China
This week we’ll talk about foreign brands in China; their innate advantages when entering China’s market, how the travel industry misses Chinese tourists and what Burberry did to boost their sales on Chinese Valentine’s Day.
Also: contrary to Western belief, the Chinese don’t miss Google and Facebook. Although an already-censored survey on Weibo claims they’d prefer Google over Baidu if it were to re-enter China, local platforms are doing more than fine.
On The Blog
Does a massive budget promise successful marketing campaigns in China? Not exactly. Foreign companies enter China’s market with some undeniable advantages - budget not always being one. However, inability to adapt to fast-changing trends or consumer expectation are often the reason for their failure. - Read more (in English)
Burberry promotes their new bag collection via “couple quiz.” It’s based on a WeChat mini-program and part of their “Chinese Valentine’s Day” campaign (Qixi 七夕 is celebrated on Aug 17 this year). Once completed, the users are presented with access to shop Burberry’s latest collection. Also, for the first time, the brand released two bags exclusive to the Chinese market. - Read more (English)
Double points for Burberry here: first, for the format of their chosen promotion, clearly keeping up with China; second, catering to the Chinese consumers’ interest in exclusive and limited sales and products.
International tourism industry misses Chinese tourists because of lack of understanding. First off, Chinese tourists prefer mobile over desktop platforms when booking, opposite the global trend. Second, Chinese users prefer local platforms as they offer familiar payments systems. What else are Western companies missing? They lack Chinese-language content and marketing channels and over-utilize websites and marketing unavailable to Chinese consumers. - Read more (English)
Taobao’s in-app gaming platform keeps users from leaving the app. They have their own in-game currencies and prizes that can be exchanged for various coupons to numerous stores. With 16 games under their belt, Taobao encourages users to interact with one another and create a closed loop to boost transactions. - Read More (Chinese)
Alipay launches “Daily must-haves” section on their main page. It promotes products in over 10 categories such as daily use, food and clothing. The products come from Taobao stores. The main goal of the feature is group shopping, or “social e-commerce.” Users can invite their friends to buy products, or join existing list of users who are interested in buying the product to lower the price up to 50 percent. - Read More (Chinese)
Today’s Headlines rolls out a clone of the previously blocked Neihan Duanzi app. Pipixia is similar to 9gag and allows users to post memes, funny video, pictures, etc. While they claim it’s a different app, users can sync their account with the old Neihan Duanzi - an app which boasted 20 million active monthly users in 2017 before its government shutdown for “vulgar content”. Moreover, Pipixia is also linked to Today’s Headlines and Douyin, which allowed it to build a user base in limited time. - Read More (Chinese)
Douyin becomes another platform to rollout “trending topics” feature. Users can now browse videos ranked by popular keywords listed in the top left corner in the app. It’s probably a medium to create more in-app advertising space inspired by examples from other social platforms in China. - Read more (in Chinese)
Younger Chinese generations grow up without Facebook, Google and Instagram. Studies have shown that even with a VPN, Chinese Millennials don’t feel an urge to use Western platforms. The local internet ecosystem has grown so strong that the youth feel they have everything they need and are proud of that. This image is completely different for those who’ve lived abroad - especially for students returning to China. - Read more (English)
WeChat promotes organic Moments ads by rolling out promo buses in London (video here). Ads published as organic posts from personal accounts have long been a way to promote businesses on WeChat. Often spammy and shady, they were considered a grey zone of online business and a haven for counterfeit products. WeChat now aims at creating order by promoting We-Business for small merchants. - Read more (Chinese)
Tweet of The Week
It’s an answer to the common question: “Why don’t Chinese people subscribe to our newsletter?”. So, how do you deal with this? WeChat service accounts with push notifications is one possible answer.