Excitement was the prevailing feeling at Alibaba’s Gateway 17 conference. The big numbers, learning about the opportunities in China, hearing the success stories and talking to the attendees all contributed to a feeling of exuberance in Detroit last week. Yet after going back to the day-to-day reality of running a business, many are asking: now what? While entering China is exciting, it’s also hard work with many serious considerations and choices to take into account. To assist, China Skinny has three next steps to start to see if China is right for your brand.
Learning about China’s middle class and an overview of Chinese consumers’ shopping habits is only the beginning of understanding China. Find out more about Chinese consumers, your specific product category and niches in China, regional differences, trends, routes to market and marketing tactics in China.
China Skinny’s blog is a great way to read more about various topics in China and our newsletter provides a weekly update on what’s going on. What’s hot one day in China, may be in the dumps the next – remember China’s moves fast and constantly learning about China is mandatory.
Once you’ve armed yourself with ongoing China knowledge, take a deeper dive with the help of experts to further explore your product category and options.
Find out the size of the prize for your brand, further explore options and platforms for entry which can vary greatly in cost, learn how to get consumers interested in your brand or how to leverage the current awareness that you may have. Professional research by experts such as China Skinny will help you avoid mistakes, focus on the right opportunities and save time and money in the long run.
If you are even thinking about China get in touch with an experienced China law firm. Many brands run into problems for simply failing to protect their IP. China is a first to file county and getting started on IP protection is a must do. Also, start looking for a reputable distributor partner. Due diligence is a must.
Take the next steps with an open-minded and flexible strategy. Changes that have taken place over decades in Western markets, can happen in less than 12-months in China. Understand that China can shift suddenly and your brand should be able to keep pace. Invest in trips to China for hands-on learning, but don’t be wowed by the bright lights or tall promises from distributors – it takes a long time to really understand China. Be prepared to constantly learn and adjust while leaving your Western-formed assumptions behind. China is a land of opportunities, but they won’t be realised without many lessons along the way.
Get in touch today with our Shanghai or North American office to talk about your specific needs.