What are Indian Brands doing wrong in China?

There are quite a few Indian companies present in China, but most of them are not very famous in the eyes of Chinese consumers. Why and how can these brands increase brand awareness and reliability in the large Chinese market?

In this article, we will analyze the most common mistakes when entering the Chinese Market, that Indian brands make and what their strategies should be to succeed in this market.

Indian brands common mistakes in the Chinese market

Indian brands tend to make common mistakes such as:

  • They are not using the Chinese digital world in the right way,
  • They do not localize their marketing strategies for the Chinese market
  • They use email marketing,
  • They do not want to invest, but rather tend to forge partnerships with Chinese entrepreneurs to avoid costs.

The Chinese digital world is the best place where increase visibility in China

China has both the largest Internet population and the largest number of mobile Internet users in the world. Therefore, any company wishing to promote their products and brand in China absolutely must be present online.

The number of people accessing the internet via mobile devices (phones, pads, etc.) in China has reached 817 million. This method of Internet consumption has changed the behavior of Chinese consumers to favor convenience and efficiency.

However, the Chinese consumer is much more demanding and demands more product and company information than buyers anywhere else in the world, due to several scam sites in China.

Plus, with daily phone usage at such an incredibly high rate, a culture of instant reviews on the internet has been fostered. Chinese consumers appreciate the responses of brands to their comments, criticisms, and questions on social media. The Chinese digital world represents a significant opportunity for brands to increase brand awareness and improve their perception of consumers with little investment.

What a company should focus on, for a successful marketing strategy, is its industry and the target consumer group, then from this, choose the most suitable Chinese social media and e-commerce platforms.

Since social media like TikTok, Wechat, Weibo are banned in India, we can help you create and manage your accounts directly from China.

Localization is the key to conquer the Chinese market

Localization is the key to a company’s success in China. When entering the Chinese market it is important to fully grasp the unique dynamics of the localization process.

The Chinese market is very attractive to many companies looking to go global, but while this huge market presents huge business opportunities, entering China poses a unique set of localization challenges. These challenges can only be overcome through a careful strategic plan.

By implementing a good localization strategy, your business will be in a better position to meet customer needs effectively, avoiding the probable pitfalls of cross-cultural marketing.

Localization implies knowledge of the language, habits, preferences, taboos, and cultural and social norms of the target market, as well as knowledge of the tools to promote your brand and know how to manage them. This can be incredibly important in guiding your marketing strategy and informing you about what exactly not to include in your campaigns.

Email marketing doesn’t work in China

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that includes any activity that uses electronic mail to convey promotional actions aimed at establishing direct and personalized contact with existing or potential customers.

It is a technique that is gaining increasing approval and, as reported by the Direct Marketing Association, represents a sales method that can boast an optimal ROI compared to the others. Quality mail marketing can also guarantee response rates (click-through) higher than any other direct marketing tool.

Email marketing is a good tool to promote your brand, however, this is not the case in China. This in fact doesn’t work at all.

Indian brands tend to use email marketing and it is often considered spam, why?

In China, statistics reveal that about 5% of Chinese open their e-mails. The Chinese do not use email addresses to register on various platforms or for services because they have their mobile numbers closely linked to their identity.

For example, even on Chinese business cards, it is difficult to find email addresses, but there is the phone number, the QR code, and the WeChat ID. This clearly shows the little use of email in China and therefore the futility of doing email marketing in this country. Unlike emails, what can be deduced is that social media, especially WeChat, on the other hand, are functional for the Chinese. So, a good marketing strategy on these social networks is the only option.

In addition, Indian companies that send emails are often seen as spam because getting straight to the Chinese will never work if you don’t have a reputation in this market. Reputation is the key to success in China. Chinese people tend not to trust brands they don’t know, so a deep understanding of your brand and your products is essential to making it trustworthy and enabling them to purchase your products.

To sum it up, an Indian brand shouldn’t forget that even if they manage to establish a solid reputation, Chinese consumers will never know someone emailed them.

The solution to email marketing is Wechat!

WeChat, owned by the giant Tencent, is today a social network that now has almost 1.2 billion users. It offers many services: in fact, it is a bit of a messaging app, a bit of a social network, a bit of e-commerce, and a bit of a platform for electronic payments. It has been at the top of the App ranking in China for years.

In fact, Chinese users use it every day for a very long time, as it potentially accompanies every step of the typical day. For example, the use of the WeChat Wallet, an electronic wallet linked to the WeChat Pay account that allows you to pay for products and services without leaving the WeChat app, is impressive. It is used to buy products, pay bills, book airline tickets, and split the bill with friends at restaurants.

In short, WeChat is a more complex and highly structured tool, more than any Western App. It must therefore represent the starting point for any company to get in touch with a friend, partner, or Chinese customer.

WeChat marketing is analogous in its functions to email

Although no one opens emails in China, around 1.2 billion people use WeChat regularly, and 61% of WeChat users open it at least 10 times a day. So, this is the right tool to target your market with promotional content.

WeChat offers great opportunities to regularly target your audience through newsletters. You should know that 8 out of 10 users use WeChat to read newsletters.

The Chinese like to search for information on their own, but they also really like it when the right content reaches them on WeChat. According to them, only a respected and safe company can use WeChat to reach the crowd with a product. Therefore, they give due consideration to the information that comes to them through this social network.

WeChat is definitely the best social network to create brand awareness and reliability among Chinese consumers. Obviously, other social networks such as Weibo, Douyin, Xiaohongshu are also great places to promote your brand and increase your visibility in the Chinese market.

Indian brands are not investing leading to poor leadership in the Chinese market

As we said before, Indian brands don’t want to invest money and enter the Chinese market on their own. While they tend to collaborate with Chinese entrepreneurs to avoid big losses. However, this obviously cannot lead these companies to be recognized in the Chinese market, but rather to continually find themselves in the second position.

Indian companies operating in China are present in multiple sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, and financial services. The main products imported from China are diamonds, mechanical and electrical products, yarns and textiles, and ferrous minerals.

But most of these companies have partnerships with Chinese owners. In fact, they do not tend to develop their own commercial and marketing strategy, but rather rely on a local partner.

Indian brands such as Paytm, Ola, BigBasket, Zomato, Dream11, Byju’s, and others rely heavily on billions of dollars from Chinese venture capitalists like Tencent and Alibaba.

For example, Paytm is owned by the Indian company One97 Communications Ltd. And it has received massive funding from Fintech firm Ant Financials which is a part of China’s Alibaba group. Since the main investor is Alibaba, it is often confused with being a Chinese company.

GMA offers you a localized marketing strategy for the Chinese market

gma agency

GMA offers you a completely localized strategy for the Chinese market, helping you to promote your brand and products and increase brand awareness among Chinese consumers.

If you want to know more about how to localize your strategy for the Chinese market, contact us and you will not regret it!

We offer services for the Chinese market like:

  • Advertising
  • Baidu SEO&SEM
  • PR
  • Social Media
  • KOL Marketing
  • E-commerce and Cross-border e-commerce
  • Lead generation
  • Distribution

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