Consumer insight is Key
Chinese consumers can be very different from their Western counterparts in terms of how they perceive a product and what qualities they value. For example, a resent survey done for a skincare brand revealed that Chinese consumers place very limited value on “cruelty free” features, whereas many consumers in the West see this as a key parameter guiding their purchases. Another study we made for a home improvement product unveiled how the Chinese perceive DIY (Do it yourself) as something only poor people will engage in. Contrary to many places in the West, there is no prestige involved with taking on a home improvement project on your own. China has a culture of DIFM (“Do It For Me”).
Understanding what drives the Chinese consumer to purchase is essential for evaluating the product potential in China. The understanding will also guide the choice of the entry approach, any required product adaptations to be made, selection of suitable product portfolio for the Chinese market, etc.
Determining the available sales channels.
If only considering the known sales channels from your home markets, you may loose out on valuable potential sources of income from channels specific to the Chinese market. You may also find that some of your traditionally known sales channels do not even exist in China. The investments required, type of people to be hired, time to break-even, etc. will all depend on which sales channels you are targeting.