Soaring consumer confidence and subsequent willingness to spend, coupled with lower costs for imports into China are worthy reasons for foreign brands to rejoice, yet they should be taken in balance with the increasing presence of shrewd domestic competitors. The same McKinsey confidence survey also highlighted the perceived difference between local and foreign brands has become less pronounced across many categories – something long-time Skinny readers will have noticed over the past few years.
Another area where domestic brands are performing well is understanding different contexts of use and making their wares relevant to them. The importance of this is emphasised in recent research into the soft drink category from Publicis, which highlights the potential of honing in on consumption occasions, refreshment contexts and consumption state-of-mind, such as ‘studying’, ‘out with friends’ or even the heat of summer or depths of winter.
Using these ‘moments’ to position a product from being a generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ to one that makes a consumer feel that the product is tailored to their personal needs can be powerful, particularly in the ever-more crowded Chinese market.