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Marketing and Branding Strategies in China

China Market Study Service
Hotline: 86-755-82143422,

Marketing and branding strategies play an important role in business success. The rapid growth of China’s domestic economy is creating new opportunities for foreign investors across different industry sectors. Whether targeting consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) markets, it is essential to spend time developing a marketing and branding strategy best suited to the local environment.

Marketing Strategies in China--Market Research
It is crucially important to carry out thorough market research before investing significant time and resources to entering the China market. General information concerning China is increasingly easy to find, and a huge amount of market information can be accessed through desk research. Local statistical bureaus, government websites, local industry associations, third party sector reports and reports by consultancies and research agencies are also useful sources for reports and economic data.

Marketing Strategies in China--Marketing Communications
As in any market, it is crucial that the customer is central when devising your China marketing communications strategy. Whether targeting local Chinese customers or businesses, it is important to ensure that marketing messages are translated into Chinese and communicated through Chinese language channels. It is worth investing time in having marketing materials such as flyers, product brochures, technical data sheets etc. translated into Chinese. Companies operating in B2B markets also need to try and communicate their experience to customers and partners. It is important to prepare comprehensive case studies, reference projects and client testimonials to build confidence with potential customers in China. Many new-to-market companies will be reliant on local distributors/agents to drive sales, so it is often important to provide them with as much marketing literature as possible to help motivate them and drive sales.

Marketing Strategies in China--Digital Marketing
With over half a billion Chinese citizens now online, digital communications are an increasingly important element of the marketing mix. As well a setting-up a local Chinese language website, it is also worth considering establishing a presence on Chinese language social networking sites such as Weibo. Advertising on relevant industry websites and online promotional videos are other useful tools by which foreign investors can increase their brand visibility with limited investment.

Branding Strategies in China--Brand Localisation
Many foreign companies have failed in China by assuming that products and services will automatically have the same appeal in China as in their home market. It is critically important, particularly in consumer markets, that companies take time to fully understand the needs and preferences of local Chinese customers, which are often informed by China’s unique cultural heritage. Although not relevant for all products, it may be important to explore whether the product or brand could be localised to resonate better with a Chinese audience. This could range from using local Chinese flavors in a food product to adapting the colors and images used in a specific marketing campaign.

Branding Strategies in China--Brand Naming
Names are imbued with deep significance in China and the importance of your Chinese brand name cannot be understated. The product name is the first thing potential customers see and, if carefully chosen, it helps cultivate the image you want associated with your product. A direct, phonetic translation of your company name into Chinese may sound clumsy and the meaning will not relate to the product, so many foreign companies consult specialists to help choose a new Chinese name that has positive metaphorical connotations, thereby creating an emotional connection with the customer. It is also worth considering how the chosen brand name translates when spoken in each of China’s seven main regional dialect groups.

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