Friday, 11 May 2012

China - challenges and opportunities

Some more challenges and opportunities that are coming up in China regarding people and their social changes. This articles also includes a section what all these gives to marketing people and how some brands are using this opportunities to create their own benefits.

Consumer power
Over the past decade a significant shift in personal values has been tracked. Chinese population is moving away from traditional people-oriented values toward more power-oriented values.

Drilling down even deeper, the most significant trend is seen in China's consumer segmentations, with a rise in the 'Achiever' type, which is characterised by a focus on ambition, wealth, status and power. This means that personal value related to the traditionalist and Survivor mind-sets decline in importance and we see an increased desire to display personal achievement through ownership of luxury and status products.
Eight years ago, only 9% of TV units bought in China were modern sets, such as flat screen, projection, plasma, and LCD or LED models. That had leapt to 99% by 2011. Likewise, units sold of multi-door and side-by-side refrigerators have jumped from 5% to 40%.

China’s new gender economy
China’s population gender imbalance is pushing men towards more traditional roles, but is giving women greater leverage.
When the country introduced its one-child policy in 1978, parents-to-be took measures to protect their future and ensure that their heir-apparent would be a son. Right now across China, only a handful of provinces and regions can boast a normal sex ration at birth (103-107 males for every 100 females). Nationally, the country’s sex ration at birth is estimated to be 120 males for every 100 females and in provinces that allow a couple to have a second child, if the first is a girl, the second child creates an even more striking tilt (143 males to 100 females).

What does give for marketing?
Once reserved for wealthy parents, home ownership before marriage has rapidly become a mainstream expectation – so much so that first-time home owners in China tend to be younger than their peers in developed countries.
A car purchase decision, for example, takes into account many requirements – it must be big enough for his family to ride with him, appeal to a young woman looking for ‘cool capital’, and represent a good salary combined with practical decision-making skills in order to satisfy his girlfriend’s parents.
Therefore, the accumulation of man’s status, stability and wealth is critical to constructing a viable and competitive package with which bachelors can woo potential brides.
Women, on the other hand, report a decidedly different experience. Electing to marry later, if at all, has allowed women to accelerate their education, income and mobility. Despite the gender imbalance, 48.2% of students enrolled in graduate programmes were female.
In some cases, families have been able to bargain their new way into new territory before agreeing to allow their daughters to marry.

How brands are using this gender switch
Brands are reaching out to help mothers renegotiate the terms of raising a family. TV commercials for brands such as Pizza Hut and KFC show women ordering food to take home to their families – allowing them to focus on work and beauty routines.
New products have found a place in the market by making housework easier and less time-consuming. Self-cleaning products and pre-cooked meals are just a click away – catering to busy women who are keen to minimise the labour involved in maintaining a household.

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