With its strong economy and dynamic market for imported alcohols, China attracts beverage makers from all over the world. Succeeding in the country may sound easy, but many companies fail due to their lack of understanding of how China and its people work.
Common Mistakes Alcohol Companies Make When Exporting to China
The Chinese Overkill
Foreign brands try too hard to make their products desperately Chinese. They fixate on a stereotypical image of the old China, incorporating mythical dragons or forcing the predictable red palette in their packaging. Instead of impressing their target consumers, these brands are called out for trying too hard.
When implementing marketing campaigns and strategies, it is best to consider the unique tastes of the Chinese rather than rely on obsolete motifs and cultural clichés. Colors should match the product’s properties and brand image, while the materials used should depend on the product’s nature, trends and consumer preference.
The Road Often Taken
In choosing the target local markets for their products, beverage makers are naturally drawn to popular cities with big populations like Beijing and Shanghai when in fact, there are other up-and-coming markets in China that are worth checking. They fail to consider whether these markets fit their product, brand and goals.
For instance, Shenzhen’s economy and population are growing at a faster pace, giving it the greatest long-term potential. Guangdong and Jiangsu are both populous and in a good economic position compared to the rest of the country. Meanwhile, Dalian’s largely wealthy population makes products generally affordable and accessible.
One Campaign to Rule Them All
China has different types of consumers, with varied preferences and tastes. What the Gen Z want in their alcohol are different from what their parents want in theirs. Companies that target a specific consumer group for their products and create campaigns that cater to this segment are more likely to succeed than those who do not.
For instance, it is important to note that the middle aged Chinese men prefer beers that are low-cost and mass-produced. Meanwhile, the younger drinkers prefer exotic and quirky flavors in their brews. When it comes to wine, female drinkers like sweet, fruity vintages while there is a growing demand for organic and fortified wines among the elderly populations.
The Mystery of the Lost Labels
For Chinese consumers, transparency is key. They do not trust brands that fail to indicate pertinent details in their product packaging. This is especially true for alcohols. Consumers want clear and concise information on ingredients and product origin. This is also another way for them to check if the product is counterfeit or not.
Moreover, China has many healthy-minded shoppers. They read packaging labels carefully to check for the nutrition content of the products they buy. Ingredients are very important in their purchasing decisions. Successful brands in the market understand this demand, incorporating easy-to-read label information in their packaging.
Many companies have shut down their China operations because they failed to consider and work around the common mistakes mentioned. These oversights can easily be avoided if businesses will conduct a thorough market analysis before even entering the world’s largest market.