Foreword from Charles – Edouard Bouée
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
Roland Berger has been doing business in China for more than 25 years. Our numerous assignments during this time have allowed us to closely observe and follow the dynamic development of Chinese consumers, who are becoming a formidable force on the world stage.
Approaching China as a homogenous mass market is a thing of the past. We have witnessed that Chinese consumers are growing increasingly sophisticated and individualistic. Price, once the determining factor in a purchasing decision, is now just one of several factors alongside brand, quality, and personal style. In order to be successful, companies need to tailor their goods to specific target groups segmented not only by demographics such as age and gender but also by consumer habits and values. In an increasingly nuanced market, effective communication with consumers is even more important, but is easier said than done.
Following our Consumer Report 2009, we have intensified our cooperation this year with CIC, China’s leading “Internet Word of Mouth” (IWOM) research firm, to bring you timely trends and insights to help you successfully tackle the Chinese consumer landscape. The Internet is one channel that can’t be ignored within China’s vast and growing community of Internet users and e-commerce is taking off in China. Proportionally, Chinese consumers rely on the Internet in making purchase decisions much more than their counterparts in the West. Online information and interaction hubs such as blogs, microblogs and BBS are treasure mines of information on consumer preferences and trends as well as channels for companies to reach out to and build rapport with consumers.
Our market knowledge paired with CIC’s first-hand research demonstrates vividly the power of the Internet on Chinese consumer behavior and how it can build up or, conversely, damage brands. Through a deep look into the online habits and preferences of Chinese consumers, we offer insights on how to actively participate and capitalize on valuable opportunities in the online realm.
We have also analyzed the Chinese consumer population with our unique Roland Berger branding tool, the RB profiler, and developed clusters defined by consumers’ values and personalities. We offer you an in-depth look at what makes each type of consumer tick so that you can tailor your messages, define your road-to-market strategy and take actions to drive the most impact.
The race to keep up with developments of the Chinese consumer is a complex one. We hope that this report and its insights will assist you in seeing both the big picture and the way forward in addressing China’s consumers effectively.
On that note, I wish you an inspiring read.