How to Increase Brand Awareness in China

Building brand awareness is crucial for companies to stand out in China’s competitive market. According to surveys, familiar brands enjoy higher brand attitude and purchase intention among consumers. This article provides effective strategies and steps to increase brand awareness in China.

The Crucial Chinese Market

China is the world’s largest consumer market and its middle class is rapidly expanding. Capturing market shares in China should be top priority for global brands. As Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company stated, “The China market is equivalent to the market opportunity of six to eight Europes.”

What is Brand Awareness?

Brand awareness measures consumers’ ability to recognize and recall a brand. It reflects the popularity and mindshare of a brand and is considered an important early step in the buyer’s journey. According to Bain & Company’s research, brands enjoy consumer preference at 3x rates when brand awareness goes up 10%.

Measuring Brand Awareness in China

Surveys, focus groups, and big data analysis are often used to evaluate brand health metrics including brand familiarity, top-of-mind awareness, brand recall rates and more. As an example, sporting giant Adidas enjoys over 95% brand awareness in China, exceeding key competitor Nike (92%) according to latest surveys.

The Power of Awareness

High brand awareness directly translates into increased consumer consideration and preference. A Google survey found that brands with the best reputations benefit from 3.5x purchase intent compared to brands consumers can’t recall. This effect is more pronounced in China where brand reputation deeply impacts consumer choices according to Boston Consulting Group.

Vital Strategies to Boost Brand Equity in China

Define Target Audience and Needs

“If you’re marketing to everybody, you’re marketing to nobody.” Wise words on target marketing from serial entrepreneur Seth Godin. Define audience demographics, psychographics and purchase drivers through extensive consumer research and data analytics using tools like WeChat surveys, Tmall analytics, etc. Adjust product offerings and messaging accordingly.

Build Emotional Connections

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. Craft compelling brand stories and purpose-driven values that resonate with Chinese consumers on an emotional level. Tug at their heartstrings through creative campaigns on platforms like Weibo, Douyin and Bilibili.

Leverage Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)

Collaborate with influencers, bloggers and live-streamers to benefit from their follower base and boost brand credibility. For example, Viya, China’s top KOL helped sell $1.7 billion worth of products in a single promotional event. Identify and engage relevant KOLs to showcase your products. Offer limited collections or new product launches to spark conversations.

The path to building brand awareness takes relentless pursuit across marketing touchpoints. Continuously monitor campaigns and fine-tune strategies to stay atop-of-mind for target consumers in this dynamic market. Legendary MARKeter Philip Kotler sums it up well, “You market when you design a product. You market when you set a price. You market when you design a store… Everything communicates!”

The key is persistent brand building efforts across quality, trust, service and experience to establish mindshare. Keep strategies nimble to respond to China’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.