It’s unlikely that 2020 is going to be a year that any of us will forget in a hurry. Even the brightest of forecasters wouldn’t have seen it coming.
China was the first in with the effects of the coronavirus, but also the first out. It has surfaced as one of the bright spots in a largely gloomy economic outlook, with consumption back on a growth trajectory. Next year China’s retail market is expected to expand in double figures. Although geopolitical challenges still loom, China’s standout growth and subsequent opportunities have attracted many brands to prioritise China further, accelerating competition from both foreign brands and a new breed of domestic players. As a result, it’s more important than ever for brands to have their strategy optimised to navigate the new normal in China.
The China we knew 12-months ago is unlike anything we will see again. Many of the trends which we saw in 2019 have accelerated as a result of Covid, and other trends have surfaced. The increasing pace of digital engagement across the consumer and business spectrums have created both opportunities and challenges. Similarly, have consumers’ changing preferences and behaviour. Further diversity of touch points allow us to reach more fragmented demographics to connect in a more meaningful way, particularly for brands who are agile and up-to-speed with the changing market and trends.
Every year at about this time, China Skinny publishes the trends which we believe will have the biggest impact on China in the year ahead. As this year was like no other, we thought we’d do something a little different for our 2021 trend forecasts, and collaborate with some of the brightest minds on China. We’ve asked ten senior leaders from Coke, Colgate, NFL, Austrade, Mondelez, Hays, Tourism New Zealand, Denby, Zespri and Alibaba to hear their thoughts on what lies ahead. These brands demonstrate some of the best practice for foreign businesses in China, along with the most common platform they use. Their wisdom did not disappoint. You can see them here in our 2021 China Trends white paper and in Chinese here.
A big thanks to the superstars who contributed – they are among the busiest execs in China, yet still found time to share their views so that our Skinny community can all be a little better prepared for the opportunities and challenges in China next year. We hope you find them as valuable as we have.
This will be our last Skinny newsletter for 2020. Our office will remain open through the Western holidays, and we are still available to have a chat about your China strategy, branding, new product development, research, marketing audits, opportunity analysis and risk management – so do get in touch to learn how we can help. Wishing you Happy Holidays and a great start to 2021.
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