Localising products for different geographic markets
The differences between individual cities and provinces can be stark, impacting on everything from disposable income levels to spending habits and consumer preferences and behaviour.
These fundamental differences require careful nuancing by marketers. A skincare or cosmetics brand, for example, will need to offer different products for shoppers in the dry north of China, compared to the more tropical south.
One important element often overlooked by marketers is the link between lower tier cities and tourism.
Tanner points to a study by Tourism Australia which found 69 per cent of Chinese consumers who had visited Australia had a very favourable impression of Australian products, compared with 27 per cent of the population overall.
With a growing number of tourists from the lower-tier cities, strong links are being created which can be carefully leveraged by savvy marketers.
When it comes to localising a consumer product strong knowledge of the target market - right down to a city level understanding - is critical.
As more and more businesses look to win new customers in the emerging lower-tier cities, localising a business approach and engaging with potential growth markets beyond China’s tier-one regions - with careful assessment of consumer preferences lifestyles, climate and travel habits - will open new China market growth opportunities.
Nick Henderson is director of the China Practice at Asialink Business, Australia’s National Centre for Asia Capability.