Chameleon effect of the hottest international bran

  • Detail

Chameleon effect of international brands

China's national pride is growing day by day. There is no doubt that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will contribute to this passion. Indeed, in recent months, the world has felt the rising patriotic enthusiasm of the Chinese people. Some brand analysts therefore infer that Chinese consumers will increasingly pursue local brands out of patriotism

now businesses begin to ask themselves how much weight this statement has - is it a threat or an opportunity? Before and after the Olympic Games, will national pride affect consumers' brand preferences? Will consumers increasingly choose local brands with high measurement accuracy over foreign brands in the long term? In order to deepen enterprises' understanding of the way Chinese consumers choose their brands and how enterprises affect their choices, the Boston Consulting Company's Asian consumer insight think tank conducted a large-scale research activity in 13 cities. The survey shows that the consumption pattern of consumers is far more complex than expected

brand preference factors of Chinese consumers are very complex

consumption choice: rationalism? Or nationalism

although Chinese consumers often claim to prefer local brands (undoubtedly, patriotism is one of the reasons), nationalism plays a much smaller role than expected in the actual purchase process. In fact, the reasons for Chinese consumers' preference for brands are very complex

one of the reasons for the complexity of brand selection in China is that consumers often do not understand which are foreign brands and which are local brands

another reason is that consumers' preferences for foreign or local brands often depend on the demographic structure and product category characteristics, not just patriotism. In the actual purchase process, consumers sometimes make actions that are exactly opposite to their expressed preferences, which makes the situation more complicated

in the end, Chinese consumers' choice of brands seems to be more out of rationalism than nationalism. Like most consumers in the world, Chinese consumers value high quality and low price as well as the benefits of products and services, usually including unique Chinese look and feel. These characteristics can go beyond brand preferences based solely on patriotism

this insight impressed marketers, that is, they should do basic homework well

for most Chinese consumers, national pride alone is not enough to promote their preference for a brand - at least when they really want to open their wallets and pay. Therefore, enterprises need to focus on the specific benefits pursued by consumers (whether functional, technical or emotional) and market the brand accordingly

basic beliefs and influencing factors of brand

most Chinese consumers will have some initial bias when considering whether to buy foreign or local brand products, such as graphene is promoted to the "king of new materials" without weighing. Many people verbally claim that buying local brands is the right choice. In addition, Chinese consumers often believe that local manufacturers understand the local market demand better and offer lower prices

Chinese consumers also made assumptions about foreign brands in the survey. They say foreign brands are more expensive and attractive to those who pursue higher status. They also said that foreign brands are generally of better quality and more reliable

in a word, consumers say that in addition to consumer electronics and luxury goods, they prefer local brands rather than foreign brands. However, although these attitudes seem to be full of firm beliefs, the survey shows that Chinese consumers' brand choices are more different and subtle than they claim. To a large extent, their brand preferences depend on the population structure, product category demand and consumption upgrading tendency

demographic factors. Income, age and residence play an important role in determining whether Chinese consumers prefer foreign brands or local brands. Wealthy consumers are usually influenced by more western culture and are more optimistic about their financial prospects, so they are more willing to buy consumer goods and are more likely to pursue foreign brands

young consumers in the three major cities (Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou) also prefer foreign brands. Younger consumers, especially the first generation who grew up under the family planning policy, are used to buying higher priced products and are willing to try new things. Consumers in the most developed cities are more familiar with the products of companies such as sharp, Siemens, Sony and whirlpool

category demand. Although Chinese consumers clearly prefer local brands, research shows that the preferences they express vary greatly depending on the product category. Therefore, businesses must grasp the essence through superficial phenomena to determine whether these preferences are based on national pride or the perceived performance of a specific product category. For example, in terms of food, most Chinese consumers say they prefer local brands, but this is more related to taste and habits than nationalist reactions

however, there are exceptions in many categories, so we need to analyze these findings in depth. For example, Chinese consumers prefer foreign brands in sub categories that are considered to have exotic flavors, such as chocolate. Due to the recent high exposure of counterfeit products in China's baby product market, Chinese consumers also prefer foreign baby food brands, and people generally believe that foreign brands are safer

Chinese consumers claim to prefer foreign brands in categories that are particularly important, such as product design, durability or reliability. For many Chinese consumers, clothes of foreign brands usually represent good materials; In skin care, foreign brands represent effectiveness and health; On household appliances, it represents durability and safety. Well known brands can convince consumers that their products are worthy of the name - even at higher prices

consumption upgrading and brand preference. Another important finding is the relationship between brand preference and consumption upgrading tendency. In a certain category, consumers who plan to upgrade their consumption are more likely to prefer foreign brands than those who do not plan to upgrade their consumption

many western enterprises have achieved success in taking advantage of the consumption upgrading trend with their mature marketing skills and global brands under the banner of excellent performance. In fact, Chinese consumers who upgrade their consumption trust the brand reputation more than their counterparts in the United States and Western Europe. In our survey, half of the Chinese consumers who upgraded their consumption said they were willing to buy products because of brand reputation, while only 33% of the consumers in the United States and 20% in Western Europe did so

the trend of consumption upgrading is not only good news for foreign brands. In all categories except consumer electronics, more than half of consumers who are upgrading their consumption do not care about the source of the brand, or they prefer local brands. In fact, many Chinese consumers who want to upgrade their consumption in a special category say they are likely to buy local brands in this category, especially food and beverage, health care products and household products. These consumers believe that local brands are no longer new things and can provide the quality they pursue when upgrading their consumption. This fact shows that local brands should not give up consumers who upgrade their consumption to foreign competitors

consumers don't always do what they say.

in terms of sales, facts speak louder than words - and the difference between preferences and purchases makes Chinese consumers' attitude towards brands more confusing. According to our findings, consumers do not always spend money on the brands they claim to spend. For example, when we asked them about their preference for foreign or local brands in skin care, 39% of consumers said they liked local brands, but when we asked them what skin care products they had recently purchased, we found that 85% of consumers who claimed to like local brands actually bought foreign brands

what causes the difference between claimed preferences and purchase behavior? Some of the reasons include the chameleon effect, population structure and category factors mentioned above. However, mature brand development, distribution and point of sale strategies are usually powerful weapons to overcome the initial prejudice of Chinese consumers who are famous for trying to consume. These factors can become the focus of marketers to re guide consumers to buy foreign brands or local brands

influence purchase decisions

we use the framework shown in Figure 2 to help our customers understand the complex relationship between Chinese consumers and brands. This framework shows how the initial bias is changed by demographic and category factors, and is further influenced by chameleon brand marketing and other strategies to guide purchase decisions

chameleon and hermit crab. In the category market dominated by local brands due to consumers' assumptions about taste or price, foreign companies hoping to occupy a larger market share can benefit from the chameleon brand approach (assuming that their products can provide the benefits expected by consumers). A similar strategy is the hermit crab method: foreign companies "borrow" Chinese brands (just like hermit crabs borrow the shells of other creatures), such as producing and marketing the brands by purchasing licenses. In this way, enterprises can enter the low-end market or a category market, in which consumers will pay more attention to local brands and their understanding of their needs. Then through further research and development, marketing and distribution investment, enterprises can launch new products under the banner of this "local" brand. However, it is worth noting that this strategy may not be successful in all categories

listing, pricing and promotion. Because most foreign brands have been in China for only 10 to 20 years, brand loyalty is relatively weak. When it is difficult for consumers to find foreign brands, especially in small cities, they will quickly turn to local brands. However, consumers who regularly buy local brands can also be persuaded to turn to foreign brands, especially in skin care and other categories. Foreign brands in these categories can establish a strong sales network, arrange store displays with visual impact, provide sales support and free trials. Chinese consumers are not always sure which brand to buy before buying, so effective display, promotion and point of sale tools are very key sales levers

pricing and product promotion are also effective ways to persuade customers to change brand loyalty. For example, Chinese consumers think foreign brands are more expensive - usually they are right. However, some foreign enterprises have used low-cost innovative means to achieve low prices, which has changed this view

companies can also use trial displays and provide promotional gifts to attract new customers. These activities can overcome the prejudice of unverified foreign or local brands, and can bring the additional benefit of encouraging new customers to try other products in their brand portfolio

extended reading deals with the brand consumption mode of Chinese consumers

focusing on basic skills but greatly exaggerating the source of products

Chinese consumers are very patriotic, but the reasons behind their brand choices far exceed the influence of countries. Chinese consumers value the low price, high quality and specific benefits of products and services - package

Copyright © 2011 JIN SHI