Most China marketers appreciate that the country is akin to Europe in its diversity, yet many still employ a fairly homogenous strategy for marketing across China. Even adapting marketing to different city tiers will usually miss an opportunity to be meaningful and relevant to consumers.
Shanghai’s GDP is similar to Thailand’s and its population is greater than Australia’s. Most brands selling in either of those countries would localise, whereas Shanghai often gets the same generic treatment as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and the other eight megacities with a GDP greater than a trillion RMB.
The size of the China prize has seen her cities become the most contested markets on the planet. As a result the average consumer in Shanghai is bombarded by more than three times the advertising of their British equivalent. With such clutter, brands that miss key functional and emotional cues are unlikely to win and maintain any mindshare.