What’s new with the Chinese consumer

What’s new with the Chinese consumer

It’s hard for brand managers to keep pace with the shifting attitudes of Chinese consumers. But some trends can be discerned amid the noise.

Chinese consumers are proving to be an elusive target. Another ten million enter the market each year, and the behavior of the hundreds of millions already there is evolving rapidly.

Since 2005, we have been tracking the behavior of these Chinese consumers. Each year, we have interviewed roughly 5,000 living in cities and towns of all sizes and representing all income groups, ages, and regions. For comparison, we have also conducted parallel online surveys in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

This article offers an update on our earlier findings. This year, for example, we learned that Chinese consumers are increasingly wary of untried products and ever more likely to make purchase decisions at the last minute. Recommendations from family and friends remain very influential. And television advertising is still a prerequisite for entering the market, but its punch is weakening. Meanwhile, print ads are losing ground, while sponsorships and the Internet are becoming more influential. Amid the growing din of Chinese marketing, connecting with consumers continues to be difficult and frustrating (see sidebar, “What marketers worry about in China”).

Source : mckinseyquarterly.com