Our friends at Thoughtful China released their 50th episode (Congrats Thoughtful Media!). This was an overview of the 5 most influential trends changing the China marketing landscape and is very informative for anyone curious about the ever-changing and complex marketing environment in China.

Top 5 Synopsis:

  1. Digital Evolution: Digital is not taking the same path as in Western markets. Considering that the average netizen is much younger than the global average (under 35 years old), the internet serves as self expression but primarily as entertainment. Marketers need to consider making changes to their media mix to fit this need.
  2. Social Media: It is important to understand the uses and shift of platforms- Renren & KaiXin Vs. Weibo, how Weixin fit in and what the next hot spot will be. Social media needs to engage by both entertaining and also providing meaningful interaction. Social media listening is the most precious resource a brand has.
  3. Slowing Growth: Growth in China is slowing, but that is only shifting the way brands need to communicate. Opportunities are still there but now more emphasis in brand value and nontangibles.
  4. Increasing Competition: Local brands are competing in a real way both domestically and abroad by building brands that resonate with consumers. Key market to watch for this: Automobile. Chinese Auto brands are changing the value equation similar to the way Japanese electronics did.
  5. Expansion of Luxury: Chinese are still doing the majority of luxury purchasing abroad. They are ready to spend and no longer looking for the best deal. A general notion that the highest price equals the best quality is prevalent, encouraging consumers to seek the most expensive and exclusive options. Therefore brand experience is pivotal. Positive examples of luxury brand engagement in China are the Johnny Walker House and Cartier’s “Art of Cartier” events.