The answer, according to Jay Li of the Jay Li-Ning Company and Jeremy Kay of Ziba Design, is complicated. The youth generation is overwhelmingly optimistic, calling themselves the “Sunshine Generation,” and this affects their consumer habits. This also is the first generation of the one-child policy, which is part of what sets the current youth apart from their parents. These consumers seek authenticity from brands, and they’re not willing to simply accept a Western brand on the basis of its reputation abroad. The youth in China are overwhelmed by choices, and they crave innovation, which makes China the perfect place for brands to explore.
Here are three key insights about young Chinese consumers shared in today’s Convention session:
- China is not a single place. Consumers in China vary according to where they live. The three major hubs are around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Chinese consumers make choices based on their sense of appropriateness. What is appropriate for one consumer in one province may not be appropriate for another in a difference province or city.
- The concept of local brands is very important to them. Global brands are not global brands in China. This is not a copy culture willing to accept anything from the West. These consumers are seeking uniquely Chinese experiences, even if you’re a global brand. So consider how to make your global brand a distinctly Chinese experience for consumers.
- Shopping is ingrained in the culture and a form of entertainment. The hunt is as important as the purchase. This means that customer experiences are just as important as the products themselves.
How would you localize your brand in China?