The report uncovers many key drivers of consumer trends for the coming years in the Asian markets. A trend specifically relevant for China is the demand for products specially tailored to the local markets.
“Expect an increasing number of ‘Western’ brands to launch new products or even new brands dedicated (if not paying proper respect) to consumers in emerging markets. After all, it’s where the money is right now, and Western brands are still favored over local ones, so the combination of perceived quality with a bit of local tailoring, love or exclusivity makes total sense.”
trendwatching.com is right on cue with this observation which lines up with the increasing number of Western brands entering the Chinese market. As the trend report notes, consumers will appreciate products that are tailored to their needs, wants and desires, either for practical reasons (shape, size, features) or because of the deep-rooted desire for recognition (cultural pride, heritage, lifestyles).
Other thoughts from trendwatching.com:
This MADE FOR CHINA (IF NOT BRIC) phenomenon is just one of the many sub-trends spawned by the macro trend of economic and consumption power shifting towards emerging markets. Just to remind you:
- China’s retail sales, the main gauge of consumer spending, rose 18.7% year on year to USD 183 billion in May 2010, following a 15.2% rise the previous year. (Source: Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, June 2010)
- China’s retail sales may outstrip those of the US by reaching USD 5 trillion in 2016. (Source: Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, September 2010)
- Affluent Chinese consumers prefer foreign brands: 52% of consumers whose annual income exceeds RMB 250,000 (USD 36,765) trust foreign brands more than Chinese ones while just 37% said they prefer the latter. (Source: McKinsey, September 2010)
So who has already jumped on the MADE FOR CHINA band wagon? Check out the following examples:
- Levi’s dENIZEN Jeans brand, targeting Asians/Chinese consumers with slimmer fits.
- Dior‘s very expensive Shanghai Blue Phone, only available in Shanghai stores.
- Hermès’ new Chinese brand, Shang Xia; its luxury stores sell ready-to-wear and decorative arts inspired by Chinese culture.
- Chloé’s limited edition Marcie handbag to celebrate their fifth anniversary in China.
- BMW’s limited edition, orange metallic M3 Tiger to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its M3 model in China, which coincided with the Chinese lunar calendar (the year of the tiger).