In spite of the obsession with China’s macro-economic environment, China is still open for business. Scaremongering does nothing to engender confidence in export-ready brands. It is harder to adopt a winners mindset when all around you are postulating risk.
China’s urban population is growing rapidly, household wealth and discretionary spending is taking off, consumption continues to rise, and Chinese consumers remain optimistic. China’s outward-looking consumers provide tremendous opportunities for international brands. To enjoy a share of what continues to be one of the mega consumer spending expansions in history it is important to grab the opportunity with both hands, sooner rather than later.
The pitfalls for newcomers remain – not understanding the market or the culture, fallible segmenting, no brand strategy, and choosing the wrong local partner. Doing your homework in-market prior to market entry continues to be the mantra. In a fast moving consumer market a DIY mentality will not do it and you need to verify everything you have heard, so it is critical to get current in-market advice. China is a super-sized and very complex market that requires careful nurturing to ensure your brand is positioned for long-term gains.
The Chinese consumer is evolving quickly, looking for new experiences and buying more often, in more places, and becoming very brand-savvy. Chinese consumers are driving sales, not only in China, but abroad, so it is imperative for brands to pinpoint their China brand strategy with utmost care to ensure the greatest potential for success.
The sky has not fallen! Over one billion consumers equates to opportunity, but opportunity requires action. Big and small consumer-facing businesses are making it. Identify a niche and go for it.