The following blog series, “Understanding Chinese Cultural Interests”
analyzes the overall behavior of internet users in China, summarizing findings from the “Fit for china” Digital Showcasing Project.
The topic for this blog post will be Connecting with Chinese Cultural Interests and Aspirational Interests. The discussion continues in the next post where we begin to look into some of the Nostalgic Interests of the Chinese population.
Connecting with the Chinese Cultural Interests
The Chinese culture, which would include taste, relevance, and style of production, is fundamentally different than those of the West. Businesses should concentrate on developing strategies connecting to universal themes (such as escapism and fantasy, universal emotions or global relevance such as environment), or strategies that would encourage self-expression and allow for content creation.
The overall growth in the economy and wealth in China brought popularity to luxury brands and products. Luxury consumers increased from 2% of the global luxury spending to 30% during the years 2000 to 2015, leading to prevalence in global travel and tourism. Outbound Chinese tourists reached 100 million by 2015, 5 years earlier than what the World Tourism had previously predicted. Travel, food, and luxury goods are among the most popular content Chinese social media users create and share.
Due to the recent economic downturn, plus the reaching of a saturation point of luxury brands, the younger generations show more concerns about the genuine quality over the labeling of a luxury brand. The population demonstrates an understanding that quality of life is not simply about material consumption. In fact, the idea of brand awareness in China can at times seem superficial.
These younger segments, instead, show interest in cultural consumption. Unable to participate politically or rebel openly against authority, these groups wants to be able to openly share experiences and expertise to help build important social capital and be recognized for value provided.
Appeal to foreign brands are, as a result, largely brought by this promotion of cultural capital and the representation of quality. However, the perception of ‘heritage’ can vary quite significantly. Although definitely noteworthy, companies should be careful and sufficiently research market demand.