Recently, a report called ‘China’s Middle Income Consumers’ is published by China-Britain Business Council (http://www.cbbc.org/sectors/micr). Though it is written for UK companies. I believe that it can also be referred by Norweign companies, especially those deal with e-commerce, healthcare, education, leisure and entertainment, and travel and tourism. In fact, these are the sectors where Norwegian companies have stronger competitive advantage.
If you are entering or expanding your busness in China and target China’s middle income consumers, it is better to deveop a market entry or business development strategy as stated in the CBBC report (page 31):
- Undertake some dedicated and specific market research – consumer trends, perceptions, tastes and preferences.
- Understand the competition and their relative strengths.
- Explore entry barriers, regulations, logistics, IP, customs and tax.
- Visit various locations yourself and spend time learning the market.
- Segment this target group into focused sub-segments by location, and also by behavior, attitude and lifestyle
- Focus – target smaller sub-segments, and develop plans on how best to reach them and serve them.
- Explore various channels to market and business models.
- Consider working with partners, distributors and agents.
- Explore China’s e-commerce channels and opportunities
- Consider specific needs of China’s middle income consumers that need you to alter the product/service offering.
- Focus and emphasis product/service differentiators in China – such as quality, novelty, customer services and after-sales.
- Develop a social media plan, have China specific promotions, discounts and loyalty schemes.