China is now offering a lot of opportunity for worldwide businesses, but marketing to Chinese consumers isn’t as easy as most businesses think it is. Just showing up with your product in hand isn’t going to be the miracle solution your business is looking for. But if approaching with a well thought out strategy and plan of action, it can certainly present your company with new opportunities for expansion among Chinese market. Elitico Marketing the Chinese Marketing Agency Manager Wing Wu commented on the most common mistakes are “Small but yet impactable” that could lead to serious consequences, sometimes rather embarrassing situation.

1.     Failure to Match Their Product with Their Target Consumer

Companies must understand that the preferences, behaviour trait and purchase processes of Chinese consumers and those of Western consumers are completely different. Adapt into consumers lifestyle by changing brands guideline, branding and product’s packaging is essential success for a foreign company. For instant, Elitico’s client Star Combo (S66) as a ASX listed pharma company in Australia under the influences of Elitico’s strategy to alter their business and products to best fit the Chines market.

2.     Seriously check Your Translations (Don’t trust Google Translate)

Many people think translating from their native language to Chinese is just as easy as with most other languages. However, Chinese language is the most complicated language in the world, simply relying on Google Translate does not make sense. The incorrect and inappropriate translate concepts will confuse the companies’ messages to the end consumers. Pepsi for instance, who has marketed the slogan “Pepsi brings you back to life” upon their entry into China. When Pepsi began marketing to Chinese consumers with its newly translated slogan, they quickly found out their translation had a different meaning. It turns out their translation actually meant “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead.”. Having a proper NATTI translator is to absorb the message then translating into another language more appropriately. Check out Colliers International as a leading RE industries for their Chinese transcript completed by Elitico.

3.     Advertising to Chinese through the Wrong Media Channels

A foreign market is particularly difficult to target if media channels are not used correctly. Research shown that Chinese consumers are spending more than two third of their time on social media such as WeChat and TikTok, for a fast consumable product are going to initiate a marketing and sales campaign, Elitico recommends the best strategy is to implement social influencer to maximise capability of displaying product on social media channels. Any traditional marketing channels include TV, radio and billboards are mostly carry out by big corporation instead. As recorded last year, Internet users in China grew to approximately 731 million people, yet China’s cable TV subscription base, by comparison, has grown to only 313 million as of 2016.

4.     Going Full Native

Elitico is saying that localisation in China is the key to marketing success, however, this can have its own downsides. Chinese consumers tend to like foreign products due to the notion that they are different from those made in China. While companies need to make serious efforts to understand their target market, stay true to their brand’s core values and competencies. Minor localisation changes to your product offerings and brand image should be made for each market your company services, but the underlying message should remain the same both at home and abroad


This article was written by our guest writer Yuanyuan (Reina) Chao

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