6 strategic tips for China
Six pieces of advice that you must absolutely know in order to successfully sell your products in China
China, as the turntable of the new millennium economy, offers unequalled opportunities to Quebec entrepreneurs. Whether its raw materials, expertise in aeronautics, ICT, environment, construction and energy or for food products or luxury products, the Chinese are consuming more and are looking for imported products of a higher quality.
You know how to think in the long term and want to increase the visibility of your business, so it is time to reflect on whether your offer is relevant in the current Chinese context:
- 1.3 billion Chinese people;
- 800 million cell phones;
- 500 million Internet users;
- 1.2 million millionaires;
- 20% annual growth in the luxury market.
In order to conquer China, here are some “assignments” that you must do to make your exportation profitable:
- Stop thinking of China as an emerging market while multinationals consider it to be the priority market. In 2010, purchases made in China were valued at 1,395 billion dollars compared to 1,935 billion for the United States. This second global economic power has immense needs to satisfy in order to support its growth.
- Conduct your strategy in China with a coherent approach. Exportation to China requires large and long-term investment, thus start with a market study, analyse your competitors, set your objectives and adapt your marketing methods accordingly.
- Identify where to sell in China knowing that this vast country is composed of several non-homogenous markets. Sell in large cities where the international competition is fierce or in medium-sized towns? There is a large difference in terms of purchasing behaviour and methods of distribution. Or sell on the internet? As the Chinese are buying in massive quantities online and as a third of the country’s mail is devoted to purchases made on TaoBao.
- “When in Rome do as the Romans do”. Despite Mandarin Chinese being a difficult language to master, it is possible to study the cultural differences that we have with Chinese people, to understand their values and to RESPECT them. Throw away your prejudices, adapt and do not be imposing in terms of how you do business.
- Brand matters! Opt for a strong brand and strategic position and communicate your added value. The confidence line that you build with your clients propels your brand and the multiplying effect of word-of-mouth in a country where guanxi (networking and connections) is so important.
- Make yourself known using Baidu. In a new market, people do not have the same references as your existing clients. So how do they create a benchmark from which to measure the credibility of your offer? From the information they find on the net. For your SEO to succeed in China, it is better to identify the key words linked to your China strategy than to translate your existing website.
In brief, your winning recipe here may not necessarily be the most successful in China. It is up to you to adapt your ingredients to cook a creative and unforgettable dish!