Brands have always loved the concept of expanding their businesses in the Greater China area. China’s big market always seems to be a promise to a lot of brands. These brands are often encouraged by their rise in Hong Kong. However, these brands must understand that there are strong cultural differences that makeup Greater China. Greater China consists of China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Even a Hong Kong brand will have difficulty entering the China market without enough knowledge about the cultural differences.
Hong Kong, despite falling under Greater China, employs very different business strategies. It falls under different legal, economic, and culturally constraints. These changes make it different for even a Hong Kong brand to penetrate into the market. Hong Kong can be considered westernized as opposed to Mainland China. This is the reason why a Hong Kong brand may be more appreciated by the Western culture as opposed to China’s more traditional cultural approach.
Entering the China Market Using Digital
As we all know, the Internet in Hong Kong is non-standard so its citizens can easily access various social media networking sites. 57% of Hong Kong consumers engage heavily with Facebook with 48% of them purchasing from the popular networking site.
China, with its regulated internet, may be harder to reach through traditional media. This is where the challenge often lies. China has quite a different take on what it means to be digital. Brands and businesses can find China’s market solely through WeChat for instance. With close to a billion users, WeChat is where most of the target market can be found. China’s stringent internet usage can actually be an advantage for any Hong Kong brand that aims to target the market.
The reason? With digital, entering the China market is easier because the brand can focus on one social media. Entering the digital market using WeChat is a smart strategy because, with one campaign, you can target China’s growing market. Entering the China market using digital is wise because 65% of its consumers also purchase through WeChat.
One can also find a greater study about the China market via WeChat. WeChat can also provide consumer behavior insights of the China market even though the data may not be absolute.
For those outside of the China market and unfamiliar, WeChat is a messaging app that has quickly blossomed into a place where people can sell their products. With an estimated 25% increase in users every year, many online brands are taking advantage of WeChat to gain more consumers. Big companies such Amazon and H&M have reached out to consumers via WeChat, including luxury brand Dior, and was met with astounding success.
WeChat also gives a chance for brands to reach out to followers through gimmicks such as discounts, coupons, and sales in the hopes of gaining loyalty or at least pique interest.
WeChat drastically changed the buying habits of China. Nowadays, the best way to shop is via app as most consumers spend 70 minutes on it. China’s market, through WeChat, is now able to have an integrated payment system and is used for everything: booking taxis, ordering takeout, settle electric bills and pay the cashier. With China’s daily behaviors tied closely to the app, brands now that this is the best way to enter the market.
For brands in Hong Kong, understanding the psychological attachment to WeChat is important to know. The reason for this is because the only way to get to them is to understand their behavior for this will ultimately lead to success.
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