If you have already selling your product or service in China or planning to do so? For start-up, small and medium enterprise (might be less applicable for brand like apple), What is the no. 1 thing you need to tackle?
Given that there are so many counterfeits, bad products, product or services with broken promises or can’t live up with the advertising claims and expectation, people are scared. This is not only limited to manufacturing industry within China, in finance industry, there are news also talking about some Chinese people putting their money in some overseas brokers or investment companies and their money vanish like after a toilet flash.
It becomes a social phenomena – a social and government problem.
Nowadays with Chinese people studying or living abroad and they see newspapers distributed outside Mainland China – they see what is happening. Besides, people from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are mixing more together than in the past, especially the 80s and 90s, with the social media and internet, people shares their stories to each other.
Is trust between two people can be built overnight? I wish that can happen easily, but the truth is, it takes time. It is like marriage – you and the other partner need to meet before dating and before getting married, and you have to maintain that marriage and trust until you die.
In fact, understanding the Chinese market, the industry, the consumers would be the first step. These information are indeed the light – guiding you how to walk in the forest. It might take some time to understand, to sort it out because Chinese market is a totally a different landscape and you also need to understand the language and the culture in order to understand more about Chinese consumers.
Building a good and solid foundation is the second step with steady and consistent improvement. So steadily and consistency would be the key for brand to be successful, no matter it is writing product and advertising claims, message, delivery, operation etc.
Also, don’t forget the legal issue. If you have trademarked your company name elsewhere, you need to do the same in China again. In Hong Kong, I know a pretty good trademark lawyer to get the trademark done.
So what else, after all, actions is more important than words, for implementation, it is better not to purely translate everything from English to Chinese. You need to write it in a way that resonate with Chinese consumers and this is about the language and culture and what your consumers think and talk about. For example, for 80s and 90s teenagers in China, what are the slangs we talk about with each other online and offline like wechat and weibo?
So yeah it is not easy and it is also not quick, it is not a McDonald meal or KFC quick heal. But by patience, learning, motivation, and action, your dream can only progress and become bigger.
Co-founder of Red Digital China
Over the past eight years, Sarah has led and executed successful digital campaigns for a range of international and local companies in China, Hong Kong and internationally, including: Hong Kong Ocean Park, agnes b, Volkswagen, Premium Tax Free – Watches of Switzerland and Damiani. She has worked with property, travel and hospitality, luxury and fashion clients. As a native Chinese speaker fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, Sarah is also a popular Chinese lifestyle, fashion and travel blogger.
During the day, she was working for Red Digital China, during the night, she expands her interest in creating story-telling content, design, drawing etc.