In order to penetrate the European market, Chinese companies need to adjust their approaches to communication and bring them in line with Western culture, thus helping to overcome the differences between the two markets
Rather than making radical changes to the communication methods and the very nature of a brand, the best path to follow is to adapt its strengths to suit the target market and thus develop a communication strategy that reflects the habits of the new potential consumers.
The expansion process: the arrival of new categories of goods in the European market
Until now, the market penetration strategies for the products that are most likely to be exported from China to Europe have revolved solely around prices. This approach was taken for two main reasons. Firstly, exports largely involved semi-finished products or consumables. Secondly, when it came to other types of goods, the economies of scale resulting from huge production capacity made it possible to keep prices low.
In the competitive environment that is currently taking shape, solid headway is being made by Chinese brands from a range of spheres, including fashion and furniture. They are keen to build on the success that they have achieved in their home country by expanding beyond the boundaries of the domestic market.
Comparing drivers: boosting Brand Awareness through communication
As Chinese brands expand into the West, it has quickly become clear that consumers in Europe – and Italy in particular – do not make their purchasing choices based on price alone. Furthermore, in specific fields such as fashion and designer goods, communication plays a crucial role and has a bigger impact than the simple cost of the product or service on offer.
Therefore, businesses that want to shift the competitive focus from affordability towards the quality of their range and convey other values associated with their Brands must draw up their communication strategies with great care. This is something that far too few Chinese companies do at present.
When European companies want to enter the Chinese market, they must plan Brand Awareness initiatives encompassing a range of social media channels (such as WeChat and Weibo) or establish appropriate positioning on Baidu. Similarly, Chinese businesses must put in place a social media strategy that is in keeping with approaches to communication in Western online and offline channels.
Changing models with support from FiloBlu
The key to an effective omnichannel strategy is identifying potential consumers and their tastes, as well as the touchpoints that can bring you into contact with them. FiloBlu specializes in online business development and harnessing Brand Equity on a global scale for Brands and Retailers.
When drawing up a communication plan, we start with analysis of the target personas. It is an approach that enables all companies to boost their Brand Awareness effectively and efficiently, as consumers are accompanied in the different stages of the funnel, all of the way through to the final purchase.
However, a strategy for establishing a presence on social media is not enough by itself. For Chinese companies in particular, it is necessary to change models so that their brand values can be successfully conveyed. This will engage users, arouse their interest and encourage them to start looking for products both online and offline.