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Engage your Chinese Consumers Better

China Covid – a Perspective

corona virus medical team

Hello again and warm greetings from Shunyi for Tuesday, November 16th. A shorter piece today linking back to an older article, circa Feb 2020 from our colleagues at “Taste Collective.” It is essentially a brief, as in half a dozen questions, survey to various actors involved in marketing to Chinese in some form or other.

The article itself is interesting as it reflects the thoughts and ideas, not just of China based marketing people but also international thinking and of course US media reaction at the time. While China was grappling with the the initial onset of the virus the west, which was largely unaffected at the time seemingly ignoring the WHO warning was more engaged in speculating how this would impact on China. China’s production capacity, her export ability and possible disruptions to their supply Chains.

A few more weeks from that time, foreign media would be leading with “horror” stories of Chinese people suffering draconian, inhumane conditions under lock downs, regular testing and segregation. Infected citizens had the doors to their apartments welded shut, massive swaths of China no go areas deserted streets and cities, starvation, wholesale closing of factories. Sanctimonious commentators speculated on how much longer the Communist regime would last in China. Was this the beginning of the end?

The suffering and misery of poor souls in Wuhan, the epicentre, became representative for every province, every city in China. For those of us living here, it was more akin to a Hollywood disaster movie than reality. But not unexpected. Several months later when the US and Europe belatedly confronted Covid – and failed – the rhetoric had changed. What were once draconian, barbaric, oppressive, dystopian practices were now hailed as the democratic, socially aware and responsible response to the now pandemic.

To quote from one of the survey participants Olivia Plodnick whose view and situation from Shanghai back in 2020 mirrored our own here in Shunyi, north east Beijing:

It’s vital to remember that the media tends to portray the most dramatic and rare scenes of current life in China.

Olivia Plotnick

Although it is retrospective and close to 2 years old, the feelings, sentiments and suggestions expressed by most of the participants are worthy reading, even today. As we have stated many times, to succeed in China you can not afford not to relate everything you do, from product development, package design and of course, marketing directly to your Chinese customer.

Of course, that is all common sense, as is UX or User Experience – the difference is, here in China, when marketing to Chinese, they are not buzzwords. To read the rest of Taste Sensation’s mini report and the incite offered by real people, really in business here in China and maybe learn: What Does the Coronavirus Mean for Brands in China?

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