The choice of purchasing a foreign brand in China is key, it comes with a higher price tag but is a byword for quality and greater levels of trust. The Chinese consumers are second to none in this category. China’s economy has grown enormously in the past 3 decades. This can be attributable to many factors. The rapid industrialization that has occurred in China has contributed to the state’s economic improvements. As a result of this there has been tremendous increase in the average household income, urban living trends and better education facilities. Chinese consumers are getting wealthier fast. More and more Chinese citizens are entering into the middle class category. So the Chinese consumers are not scared of high prices with their higher disposable incomes. When it comes to quality and value the local Chinese brands have shown much improvement in their products and are on par with international brands. Still the affluent Chinese prefer international brands. This calls for a discussion, why do the Chinese have such propensity for international brands?
1: Status conscious:
Yes! Chinese consumers are incredibly brand conscious. The growth of the Chinese luxury sales market has been enormous making it second only to United States. The Chinese regard the international brands as a symbol of prestige. China, which started as an impoverished country, underwent economic stability only in the past 2 decades. Before that, majority of its population consisted of the peasant class, they were ambitious and hardworking and had the potential to create a fortune. There is a brand for almost every product. You can even buy a branded needle in the Chinese international market. Yes, there are lots of low end brands in China which usually sell substandard products but international brands of China are impeccable.
2: Pricing oriented:
Chinese consumers go abroad to purchase international brands because of the remarkable difference in price. In China the rates are higher due to applied taxes and distribution fees. Chinese consumers are also very sophisticated and mature in their purchases. They know the markets well. The best thing about Chinese markets is the diversity in the prices. China based international brands have very high-quality products at very luxurious rates but at the same time they have similar products for middle-class ranged consumers. They know how to increase their sales and revenue. It is the secret behind their high market share and consumers love it because not everyone can afford to spend hundreds of bucks on a pair of shoes.
Chinese not only shop for themselves but also for others, be it relatives, friends or colleagues. This is also a part of their status conscious attitude, they choose international brands for gifts too. Most of the shopping that Chinese do abroad is for gifts. In China, the gifting of international branded products highlights ones wealth, personal success and modernity. The branding of all types of products has also made it easier for people to get branded gifts. Almost every brand in China also provides a special gift packing service with its brand name because they know people are going to use their product as a gift.
Chinese people choose brands based on what they hear from other people. They are easily influenced by the recommendations and opinions of the people they trust. So when a few go for international brands, the majority follows. They are strongly satisfied by a known brand. Obviously no one wants to risk their hard earned money on anonymous brands. The power of “word of mouth” is very high in China therefore customer support departments for Chinese brands are very vigilant. They just can’t afford to dissatisfy their customers. It can cost them a serious market share. This is especially so in the interconnected digital age.
5: Quality & Innovation:
Most of the prevalent international brands have their origin in the West. Chinese see the Western brands as a symbol of quality and elegance. And this is true not only in China but worldwide. Costumers definitely want quality in exchange for their money. The Chinese are innovative people. They are not adopting foreign culture when they demand international brands, rather incorporating these elements into Chinese culture. They like to add foreign features to their own culture. The Chinese remain distinctly Chinese despite the addition of brands from all over the world. There are some seriously different and astonishing products in Chinese markets. Just search “Chinese innovative products” on the internet and you will be amazed. They have even a brand for jackets with cooling fans built in. If you are unable to find your desired product them make sure to visit a China based online store and you will not be disappointed.
Read also: Why Chinese buy Famous Brands