ASAP+ Partner with The Drum for their China Breakfast
As the China market is becoming an increasingly hot topic for brands in the UK, The Drum dedicated their February issue to providing a deeper insight into the market. In addition, on Thursday 28th February, ASAP+, in collaboration with Puzzle London, partnered with The Drum for their China breakfast event.
At the heart of the event was a discussion between a panel of specially selected guests. The panel included Alpha Xu (ASAP+ Founder and Chairman), Dan Beasley (Co-Founder, Puzzle London), Carmen Tse (Market Consultant, AMUI Ventures) and Chris Lethbridge (China Market Business Adviser & UK Sector Lead, China-Britain Business Council), all bringing together their expert knowledge across a range of fields.
The panelists began by providing their insights into the growing trends UK brands should be aware of in the China market. Chris suggested that the growth of online to offline is significantly changing the consumer journey, whilst consumers are demanding more personalised content in return for their data. Carmen added to this by suggesting that the rapid advancement of technology in China is the real driver behind the changing consumer journey, particularly in regards to AI. This was also supported by Alpha who stated that developments within the WeChat ecosystem are allowing brands to offer far more utility to Chinese consumers, enabling brands to develop far deeper insights into behaviours, thus having the ability to provide a more personalised experience.
Dan highlighted the dominance of mobile payments in China, and how the demand for this when the Chinese traveller is overseas is ever-increasing. While we are seeing more of an uptake of the likes of WeChat Pay and Alipay in the UK, there is still a long way to go—especially as findings from Nielsen show that 94% of Chinese travellers are willing to spend more when Chinese mobile payments are accepted.
The panel went on to discuss a growing opportunity between the UK and China cross-border eCommerce. With regulatory changes in China providing a more favourable environment to sell in the market, including the clamp-down on daigou shoppers, there has been a rise in the number of brands looking to sell their products into China via a number of channels. Chris made it clear that for brands looking to sell in/to China, obtaining a trademark in the market should be of first priority.
All speakers agreed that with such a rapid pace of change, both digitally and economically, combined with constant regulatory changes, it is essential UK brands have a partner on the ground in China in order to adapt to these changes.
To round up the discussion, each of the panelists gave their key takeaway:
Chris Lethbridge stressed that localisation to the Chinese market is absolutely key, and brands must have a deep understanding of Chinese culture to adapt in the market. This does not only include a brand’s messaging. They must look at every aspect of their offering and adapt as necessary for the China market. Carmen Tse added to this point by highlighting the importance of not looking at China as one homogenous market. There is considerable diversity between different regions in China, yet most brands tend to look at China as one market. Brands should therefore be aware of variables between regions and city tiers when looking to market to the Chinese consumer and adjust their product, messaging, positioning and channels accordingly.
Dan Beasley concluded that brands entering the China market must be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Too often brands expect quick returns from small investment, yet growing a brand from the ground up in the market takes time. Finally, Alpha Xu challenged brands to go deeper with their activities in China if they are to build lasting relationships with Chinese consumers. Simply setting up a WeChat account is not enough if brands want to reap rewards in China.
Visit The Drum's official website for their recap of the event, here.
For more information on marketing to the Chinese consumer and an insight into how UK brands are currently performing when marketing to the Chinese consumer, get in touch to receive a copy of our International Marketing Scorecard—China Edition at email@example.com, or fill out the form below for a direct download.
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