With the largest population in the world, which is estimated to reach over 1.4 billion in 2019, China is the largest consumer market in the world (in both population and purchasing power). China is the world’s second-largest economy in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) and is named the 2nd largest economy in the world. With China’s thriving economy, it’s no surprise that brands and advertisers can find opportunity and growth there. But China’s influence is more than just metrics, as the country has an affluent population with increased purchasing power that is also accustomed to a higher standard of living. The combination of an empowered, complex consumer leads to high growth potential for advertisers.
German Luxury Car Brands Dominate and Look to Extend Their Lead
Unsurprisingly, the automotive industry plays a key role in Germany’s brand elite. There are five leading global car brands in the German Top 50, a feat which is unmatched in any other national WPP ranking for Western economies. LIKE an arrogant sports dynasty, Germany’s luxury car brands, combined, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagon account for a staggering 22% of the total €263 billion brand value. have long dominated the competition.
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As German brands expand their American footprint, they have continued to innovate. Germany is the only European market to be led by a technology brand. With a brand value of $48.9 billion, SAP is the undisputed leader in Germany, alone accounting for 16% of the value of the entire German top 50.
Given the strength of Germany’s reputation as a leader in the sector in finance, the relatively small influence of financial services brands is apparent, there are only a handful of banking and insurance businesses in the top 50, including Deutsche Bank and Allianz.
Green Goods and Quality Products
It’s no surprise that with a more environmentally conscious mindset, Chinese consumers are going green. According to Statista, “804.5 million Chinese people are somewhat willing to pay higher prices for environmental-friendly products. There are mostly willing to pay premiums for green products, and over six million are fully willing to pay these premiums.” Meaning that brands that align to this same consciousness, have a competitive advantage over those without a cause. The typical Chinese consumer looks for more than just an online deal and a high-quality product.
Chinese shoppers need a good reason to listen to your brand. Be smart, savvy, and stand out from the crowd to catch their attention with engaging content and visually appealing creativity. Venturing into the Chinese market will require a sharp, digital strategy, but capturing the attention and loyalty of these consumers can pay off in big ways for your brand.
A strong relationship between your brand and your influencers is essential to successful influencer marketing campaigns.
German Brands Partner with NetEase Koala to Expand Presence in China
By 2017, NetEase Kaola, China’s leading cross-border e-commerce platform, finalized contracts with three leading German brands, Hape, Ricosta, and Euro comfort, to expand their e-commerce presence in China. German brands are choosing NetEase Kaola as their Chinese e-commerce platform solution.
Chinese consumers recognize the high quality of German products and we are confident the demand will be strong. In fact, NetEase Koala provides international brands with a convenient and comprehensive e-commerce solution in China, including cross-border logistics and warehousing, online operations, and after-sales services, enabling international businesses to reach a wider range of Chinese consumers.
Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty
The average Chinese consumer is receptive to discount retailers as well as big brand names across different verticals. This means that these consumers have a higher standard of brand loyalty, where they can often be found prioritizing brand names over price. In fact, one of the most important, interesting characteristics of Chinese consumers is their ability to quickly compare high-end brands. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are always willing to sacrifice brand quality
With the rise of disposal revenue and increased online shopping, Chinese consumers are becoming savvy shoppers, comparing prices and quality to scale. In fact, more than 90% of Chinese consumers shop online. Online retailers are profiting from their ability to give consumers access to an unprecedented variety of products while simultaneously making it easier than ever to find what they are looking for.
As online shopping continues to grow, Chinese consumers are making smarter decisions and expecting a large variety of products that they can compare to others with ease. While the price is not the top factor in this market, consumers value the number of choices available to compare online.
The Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO) Trend
The increasing popularity of e-commerce among Chinese consumers is likely related to the growing number of e-commerce platforms and apps, convenience, accessibility, and extremely user-friendly digital payment options. Internet usage uncovers the next most important Chinese market trend, the ROPO(Research Online, Purchase Offline) trend.
For brands, this means that marketers need to ensure a full omnichannel strategy. It is vital that international brands are online while Chinese consumers are discovering and researching products, so they are familiar before they purchase in-stores. However, it is important to remember that even though research online and purchase offline is real, brands need to be present when consumers do, in fact, decide to purchase online. Whether consumers purchase online at a retailer, social platforms, or in a brick-and-mortar store, the brand needs to be present throughout the entire consumer purchase cycle.
If your brand is running a TV commercial through broadcast, marketers need to make sure they are promoting through Chinese social platforms, present on Baidu when consumers look for the brand and ultimately have sponsored listing and banners on the Chinese Website. This ensures that a brand is present throughout the entire consumer journey; from awareness all the way down to conversion.
Building and nurturing your brand’s relationships with Chinese influencers or KOLs
Building a Strong Influencer Relationship requires an in-depth understanding of Kol’s needs and also your brand’s campaign objectives. There are many ways international brands can work with influencers, such as paid versus unpaid sponsorships, through PR events or product launches.
consumers usually trust influencers more than they do brand themselves. The marketing machine beneath the surface has also long since been massive. Influencer agencies are typically the size of massive international conglomerates, with some having as many as 30,000 influencers under contract. Luxury brand marketing pros and followers have very publicly vied for the brand engagement of a-list KOLs and their coveted reach: Papi Jiang and Angelababy.
Naming Strategy in China: Case of German Brand Brita
Brita, the German-owned brand is one of the leading companies in portable household water filtration. Currently, Brita distributes products to more than 60 countries and now wants a piece of the Chinese market to increase their sales but to also increase their brand recognition and continue to be the leader in this area. Then, they decided to enter the Chinese market promoting their clean water filters. However, looking at their current strategies they acknowledged that in order to succeed they had to change by adapting to the new market. And a naming strategy had to be undertaken.
Brita focused their designs and naming conventions around middle-aged, upper-class women. This target audience was always in mind during the naming process, design, and promotion. Brita’s product trying to gain global recognition is a water filtration system known in many countries as “Brita”. As a German-owned brand, it is one of the leading companies in portable household water filtration.
For any international brand to be successful in China, they have to show that they are listening and they have to create a fluid strategy that allows you to be able to retain certain brand elements. As well as also enhancing the product/services in other areas to fit with your new market. All combined it can, of course, position your company in a very favorable place.
Your Next Brand Awareness Campaign Should be Mini-Video
As marketers, all we’ve been hearing about is the mini-video, how powerful it is, how engaging it is, and also how difficult it is to do right. The reason it’s rumored to be difficult is that brand awareness, and the impact of mini-videos is easy to measure. In the Chinese market, video is evolving fast.
We’re seeing video everywhere in the Chinese market, from marketers to publishers alike. In the Chinese market, online video views are growing fast. Digital video viewers will reach 45.1 million in 2021. For brands looking to be seen, not running video campaigns will become a deficit as they miss out on the opportunity to reach over half of the population. If you’re looking for branding, you’re looking for people to remember you, and the simple fact that people remember Mini-videos as multiple pictures is why they’re so effective. The bottom line is that if you use a video, they’re more likely to remember your brand.
Video has the same effectiveness for those who are goal oriented, but for the discoverers, it’s much more effective 23% more effective to be exact.”
Cross border e-commerce: how to effectively enter the Chinese market
By 2020, the Chinese market is expected to be larger than the USA, Japan, the UK, Germany, and France combined. It’s clear that China is a very profitable market to be selling it, and it offers lots of opportunities to European retailers. Chinese purchasing behavior is becoming increasingly international, with 40% of consumers now shopping on foreign sites. 74% of the population uses a smartphone and are shopping more and more on mobile. So much so that today it represents more than 50% of e-commerce sales.
In Europe, a lot of countries favor marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, but in China, Alibaba and JD.com take the top spots. Alibaba represents 80% of e-commerce in China with its online e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall (Taobao Mall). Intended for C2C, Taobao allows customers to buy and sell goods and services between themselves. The Tmall marketplace is reserved for B2C commerce and now counts for more than 70,000 domestic and international online retailers.
If you want to embark on the Asian continent, your success will depend on your ability to adapt. So choose a flexible strategy to adapt to everyday life and soak up the buying behavior of Chinese shoppers to best meet their expectations.
Selling your Germans products to marketplaces like Tmall Global or JD Worldwide is a good compromise for a first experience in the Chinese market.
Marketing Through Social Media is a Must For Every German Brand
Marketing through Chinese social media is one of the most versatile and cost-effective strategies that German businesses can use to reach their target audience and boost sales over time. That’s why 97% of marketers are using Chinese social media to reach their audiences.
In terms of social media, there is no Facebook, nor Twitter, or Youtube, as they are all banned in China. WeChat is the main application in China to use for community management and generate supplementary sales. Marketers are ready to finally understand what the Chinese mega app WeChat is all about.
There’s a good chance that you’re already focused on improving your search engine optimization on Baidu. Successful German brands tend to have a healthy social media presence, so a strong social media presence may act as a signal to search engines that your brand is valuable, credible, and trustworthy. Though the ranking factors are always changing, it’s a safe bet that active social media channels will end up helping you in the end.
marketing through social media is that it helps you improve visibility, and thus increase recognition for your brand. Your business social media profiles present new opportunities to share your content and really present your brand’s voice and personality.