“China brings opportunities for niche and creative brands:” Marie Tulloch

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China brings opportunities for niche and creative brands,” is how Marie Tulloch of Emerging Communications describes the market many are wishing to join at FUTR.

The FUTR is an annual event which focuses on practical insights and case studies on the evolving industry to meet the needs of the ever-changing consumers.

Speaking at FUTR, Marie Tulloch, inbound marketing manager of Emerging Communications says that Chinese consumers are moving away from mainstream brands to those they can identify with. This created a shake-up for exsisting brands – but paved the way for new sellers to take over.

I often get phone calls from brands, says Marie, who want to expand into China. They usually say that my target audience is Chinese women aged 20-30 years old with a stable income. She says that such a description was suitable a decade ago. However, now it would cause serious barriers when merchants try to justify their investment into the market. China brings opportunities for niche and creative brands with strong brand positioning, story and values.

T3 and T4 – systems used by analysts to classify Chinese cities and analyse consumer behaviour to tune strategies to local conditions – are increasingly becoming interested in international consumer goods. Marie says that they’re spending more each year and even taking loans to treat themselves. The government are also looking to facilitate imports into the country, making China the biggest importer in the world. This all means an unprecedented competition when entering China.

Expanding into China

Sellers can cut through the noise, says Marie, by looking at targeted campaigns and non-mainstream channels. They should also consider that Chinese consumers are still in the midst of scandals concerning safety, consumer protection and the standard of goods, which also makes them sceptical towards new brands. Merchants can turn this disadvantage faced by Chinese shoppers into their triumph. They can gain consumer trust by translating the level of service expected in the west to Chinese shoppers.

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