Go for Chinese – but in USA/Canada

This article from Jing Daily was written for the fashion market but is highly relevant to luxury travel:

While many brands focus their efforts on reaching mainland Chinese consumers, the five million-plus Chinese residents based in the U.S. make for a massive — and overlooked — market opportunity. Despite growing up in China, Chinese consumers tend to develop new consumption and social media habits after they move to the U.S., so brands cannot market to them in the same way they would a China-based consumer.

Recently, two fashion influencers — Ruomeng Ding and Scarlett Hao — and the founder of the restaurant review blog Chihuo, Amy Duan, sat down with the CEO and co-founder of the marketing agency Kollective Influence, Charlie Gu, to share what they see as some of the key differences between mainland Chinese consumers and Chinese ex-pats.

Gu: Are young Chinese consumers in the U.S. different than their mainland Chinese counterparts, and if so, how?

Ding: In my experience, Chinese consumers in the U.S. tend to have higher expectations for their standard of living and are much more willing to try out niche products. They love to use their weekend time to find new restaurants and explore new stores. They want to stay on top of the newest trends here.

Hao: I agree that local Chinese consumers may be more open to trying new brands, but that doesn’t mean they will buy everything. If anything, they are more selective and critical. Consumers in China have a limited number of channels for learning about brands and products, whereas here, they’re able to do a lot more research. They’re also more likely [in the U.S.] to be able to visit an offline store and touch and experience the product. Because they have this wealth of information, they spend more time analyzing products before making a purchase.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Chinese consumers living in the U.S. will research your product on both Western and Chinese channels, so your branding and voice must stay the same across channels. If you position yourself as one type of brand on Instagram and another on Weibo, then consumers will begin to doubt your brand.

Duan: In my experience, the two consumer groups definitely have differences. For example, the same content often garners different reactions in China versus here in the U.S. Just because it does well there, doesn’t mean it will do well here.

While many brands focus their efforts on reaching mainland Chinese consumers, the five million-plus Chinese residents based in the U.S. make for a massive — and overlooked — market opportunity. Despite growing up in China, Chinese consumers tend to develop new consumption and social media habits after they move to the U.S., so brands cannot market to them in the same way they would a China-based consumer.

Recently, two fashion influencers — Ruomeng Ding and Scarlett Hao — and the founder of the restaurant review blog Chihuo, Amy Duan, sat down with the CEO and co-founder of the marketing agency Kollective Influence, Charlie Gu, to share what they see as some of the key differences between mainland Chinese consumers and Chinese ex-pats.

Gu: Are young Chinese consumers in the U.S. different than their mainland Chinese counterparts, and if so, how?

Ding: In my experience, Chinese consumers in the U.S. tend to have higher expectations for their standard of living and are much more willing to try out niche products. They love to use their weekend time to find new restaurants and explore new stores. They want to stay on top of the newest trends here.

Hao: I agree that local Chinese consumers may be more open to trying new brands, but that doesn’t mean they will buy everything. If anything, they are more selective and critical. Consumers in China have a limited number of channels for learning about brands and products, whereas here, they’re able to do a lot more research. They’re also more likely [in the U.S.] to be able to visit an offline store and touch and experience the product. Because they have this wealth of information, they spend more time analyzing products before making a purchase.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Chinese consumers living in the U.S. will research your product on both Western and Chinese channels, so your branding and voice must stay the same across channels. If you position yourself as one type of brand on Instagram and another on Weibo, then consumers will begin to doubt your brand.

Duan: In my experience, the two consumer groups definitely have differences. For example, the same content often garners different reactions in China versus here in the U.S. Just because it does well there, doesn’t mean it will do well here.

Launched in 2009, Jing Daily is the leading digital publication on luxury consumer trends in China. www.jingdaily.com

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