For years, China’s economic growth and consumer market have been a magnet for global brands seeking expansion. However, the tide has turned, and domestic brands are now gaining momentum, surpassing their foreign counterparts in sales, revenue, and market share (see Figure 1). My latest report, From Dominance To Decline: Global Brands Are Losing In China, explores the changing dynamics of the Chinese market and offers insights and best practices for global brands to enhance their marketing strategies in this rapidly evolving landscape. It’s important for global brands to face hard truths and rediscover how they can compete in China.

Unveiling Best Practices

The report explores the best practices for global brands to navigate the changing Chinese market successfully. Here are a few highlights:

  1. Boost brand energy. Enhance your brand’s emotional connection with Chinese consumers by focusing on fit and affinity. We provide actionable insights on how leading global brands excel in salience, relevance, and emotional engagement, strengthening your brand’s value creation in China.
  2. Rethink value proposition. Understand the nuanced needs of Chinese consumers across economic, functional, experiential, and symbolic dimensions. By addressing these dimensions, global brands can develop value propositions that resonate with the sophisticated Chinese audience beyond price advantages.
  3. Localize values-driven marketing. Tailor marketing messages to align with Chinese values, emphasizing respect for their country. Our report highlights the importance of cultural sensitivity and avoiding missteps that may be perceived as disrespectful, fostering a connection based on shared values.
  4. Collaborate with local partners. Overcome challenges in China’s rapidly evolving digital ecosystem by partnering with local technology or ecosystem providers. Discover how successful brands leverage these partnerships to stay updated on trends and effectively adapt their marketing strategies to local preferences.

You Have More Options Than Just “Go Big Or Go Home”

At Forrester, we challenge the notion of solely pursuing a large-scale approach in China or completely exiting the market. The report presents alternative strategies for global brands to achieve success in this dynamic market. These strategies include focusing on high-performing brands, leveraging cost-effective channels to sustain business, harnessing growth through local operations, partnering with capable local players, and maintaining customer relationships for future re-entry.

As a global brand seeking success in China, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. Forrester clients can access the full report or schedule an inquiry or guidance session to dive deeper into the insights and best practices.