As China welcomes in 2016, and the Year of the Monkey, brand success will increasingly rely on accurately reading the market and its transitioning priorities, rather than over-focusing on the noise about the Chinese economy. Chinese consumers are still spending. China is still a massive opportunity.
Tapping into trends relevant to your brand, and applying those trends to delight consumers accelerating expectations, will continue to be the name of the game. Greater connectivity is fostering a more relaxed attitude to interacting with strangers to create mutual value and maximise resources. Values and viewpoints are being shared more readily. Smart brands are taking the high road:
- Brands with benefits. Consumers are demanding real action from brands to show they care and stand for something other than making money. The sharing economy created by social media has re-shaped consumer attitudes around brands taking a more active role in social concerns.
- Valuing culture and heritage. Consumers crave authenticity and a sense of identity, desiring memorability rather than sameness. Clever brands are reinventing tradition by embedding it seamlessly to remain relevant for today’s lifestyle.
- Qualified connections. Brands that bring convenience, as well as profits to local service suppliers are much appreciated. By facilitating connections between the two parties brands can offer access to reliable, and complementary, freelance service providers.
- Making content king. Personalised experiences, where consumers are integral to a brand’s expression (often with a social purpose) are growing rapidly, such as signature bottle, and education in a box campaigns. Video has become the most popular, powerful and impactful way to reach, share and communicate.
- Consumer rules (as never before). The O2O environment is creating a wider array of on-demand and customised services, thereby granting more power to the consumer. Brands that are human and seek to put the consumer at the heart of their brand are winning all the way to the bank.