China 2016: INSIGHTS | AUTHENTICITY
by Jules Young
WORLD-CLASS INNOVATION WITH CULTURAL INSIGHTS
Why is it that Chinese brands have gained share over multinational brands for the third consecutive year? According to Kantar Worldpanel’s recent “Asian Brand Power” report, one of the key reasons is their ability to deliver world-class innovation with a local twist. Chinese brands recognize that consumers want to move with the times whilst honoring traditions.
Yunnan Baiyao’s premium toothpaste, for example, won 6.3 million new consumers in its first year, using ingredients from traditional Chinese medicine as its “reason to believe”. Similarly, Six Walnuts created a new category of liquid nutritional supplements based on the dietetic powers of the “king of nuts”, and have seen sales double for five years in a row. They cleverly used restaurants as their initial launch pad before expanding distribution to convenience stores. Endorsement by Chen Luyu, often described as “China’s Oprah”, further helped them increase their penetration by 8.7 million households last year.
Other brands can learn from these successes by ensuring cultural insights are part of the innovation process as well as the subsequent launch plan. Reflecting national culture, pride and values in an authentic way will play a critical part in the success of your brand in China.