The line between opportunity and threat in China is very thin. Made in Italy has always been a symbol of quality and reliability, and in part thanks to WeChat. Let’s find out how to diversify and promote an Italian brand in the Chinese market, through the Wechat platform.
Made in Italy in China
Talking of made in Italy, we refer to what many call the “country of origin effect” or rather the effect of the country of origin. Made in Italy has always been considered a distinctive brand, such as to convince a consumer to purchase an Italian product at the expense of another. In China, the issue is slightly more complex.
Famous Made in Italy brands in Cina
The “Business Strategies Third Countries Observatory” carried out a study on the perception of Made in Italy on a sample of 2,000 citizens residing in Beijing, Shanghai, Canton, and Hong Kong.
The results are drastic; in fact, very few people recognize the origin of Italian brands. The best-known brand from the Chinese upper class is Ferrari with 18% of the sample indicating it as the first known brand or product. In second place is pasta (10%), then the first brand in the fashion sector: Gucci, with 9%. Then Barolo, Fiat, and wine, both with 5%, Armani with 4%.
Made in Italy Furniture in Cina
The Italian sectors appreciated in China are basically 4: Furniture, Automobile, Clothing and Food.
As for the furniture sector, Poliform (with 3% notoriety) leads the ranking dedicated to furniture (another pillar of Made in Italy), ahead of Armani Casa, Turri and Natuzzi (at 1%).
A careful division of Chinese society must be made, to discover that in recent years the middle class has increased dramatically, now counting almost 700 million people and the same is true for the upper class which nowadays covers 9% of the Chinese population.
The perception of an Italian brand for a Chinese is distorted and often melted among the various Western brands without a real identity. Only the most cultured Chinese looking for sophisticated products can easily distinguish the origin of a Western brand.
Social media are helping a lot with this information phenomenon, aimed at making known the history, quality, and origin of the brand. In fact, in recent years there has been a positive increase in relation to Italian brands by millennials. It is no coincidence that Gucci and Ferrari’s profiles are among the most followed on Chinese social platforms.
Export Made in Italy in China
According to Massimiliano Tremiterra, director of the Italian trade agency (Ita) office in Guangzhou, “China is one of the great world economies that has continued to grow in recent years despite the pandemic; therefore, China is considered a market of primary importance for a country like Italy, strongly export-oriented “.
In 2020, Italy ranks 10th globally in terms of imports and 8th place in terms of exports. The value of exports from 2012 to 2020 was always higher than that of imports. Exports proved to be an important driving force for the Italian economy.
As reported by “Italy in Data”, the value of Italian exports, imports, trade balance (export – import) and trade (export + import) is analyzed. The data, from 2009 to 2020, are expressed in billions of euros.
It will be clear to us that since 2009, both Italian imports and exports have grown steadily, with the sole exception of 2020, the year in which there was a decline in international trade due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Copycat in China
Recently, we have come across Chinese furniture factories on many occasions. The study of this segment is very interesting and, occasionally, unfair. In fact, after talking with some of their admin, they explained to us the process that led to the production of the products that they then sold at a much more competitive price. It all starts with the copy of the products in the catalogs they managed to obtain through the participation of sectorial fairs, including the well-known furniture fair. Then the production, promotion and distribution of the product take place, obviously in China.
Initially, the factors that pushed the Chinese to buy made in Italy products were mainly two:
Quality and brand awareness.
The quality in recent years has begun to be “high” even for products made in China. The important aspect that Italian brands must leverage is marketing and brand value, which leads the potential Chinese customer to pay an over-price instead of the low-price Chinese copy.
Wechat and communication in China
Today we have effective tools to make a brand known to the Chinese market, much more effective than expensive fairs and promotions in paper magazines. The answer is Wechat
Wechat is the best-known and most used social media in China. According to statista, the platform has over 1.250 billion active users. A number that increasingly scares western companies like Facebook.
In addition, the Wechat platform offers the possibility to register and verify your trademark to protect the brand from the many Chinese copies.
Long Advisory digital marketing agency in China
Long Advisory supports American and European companies in China through digital marketing. In fact, our experience has led us to believe that today, the best and most convenient approach to make your brand well-known in China is through a digital approach. Furthermore, thanks to our know-how we know how to make your brand known to potential Chinese consumers. With the effective coordination of Long Advisory, your company will see a new rise in the largest market in the world: China.
Interested in expanding your brand in China? Contact us for more info and details at firstname.lastname@example.org
GO BEYOND THE WALL
Matteo e Luigi