2016 – Looking Ahead

2016 – Looking Ahead

15 December, 2015 - Uncategorised

The year is quickly coming to an end and the 2016 Year of the Monkey is just around the corner. Here’s a preview of what’s in store for 2016:

Tourism Shake-Up:

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2015 has seen the China luxury sector turn on its head, from economic slowdown to stock market crash and recent security threats. All of which has affected Chinese consumer spending. Domestic consumption is down, Hong Kong has lost its luxury shine and China’s number one tourism destination France is now a security concern for nervous Chinese tourists. Yet desire and demand and money is still there and is shifting to non-traditional destinations. 2016 is going to see a big shift in outbound Chinese tourism. USA, South Korea, South America and even the UK are expected to see the biggest gains next year. Time to get ready!

UK Set for Massive Growth:

British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping to Chequers

Long held back by an outdated visa system the UK’s outbound China tourism figures were growing at a rate of 9% compared the 20% average across the rest of Europe. It looks like the stars now have finally aligned for the UK. As part of the UK governments China charm offensive a whole string of changes are coming our way following President Xi’s state visit back in October. With lessons learnt for the US, the new visa system could see an automatic 57% increase in tourism numbers (as was seen in the US) and new China direct flights to Manchester are going to see increased passenger capabilities to the UK next summer. The key now is to ensure brands aren’t just ready for the influx of more Chinese tourists, students and business people, but that they are ready to retain these consumers and make them brand loyal. Especially outside of London.

Smaller Brands Take Centre Stage:

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The Chinese consumer has come a long way in a short space of time. The days of prominent logo placement are a thing of the past and declining big brand sales figures from fashion powerhouses like Louis Vuitton and Prada are testament to Chinese shifting tastes. Majority of Chinese consumers are now seek individuality over high price points and the biggest growth is being seen in smaller independent brands. Brands like Boy London, Acne Studios and Aspinal of London are growing in popularity. Successful Chinese consumer engagement need not be determined by multi-million dollar China based ad campaigns, but rather more subtle and cost effective social content marketing.

Stop Ignoring Chinese Analytics:

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Social platforms such as WeChat completely changed the Chinese consumer marketing game in 2015. Gone are the days of marketing strategies developed based on cultural assumptions of what Chinese do or don’t like. As the Chinese consumer becomes more fragmented, sustainable success is conditional on a brand truly understanding different consumer demographics. Not just who Chinese consumers are generally, there is no such thing as the “average Chinese consumer”. Marketing analytic platforms from Tencent, Sina and Alibaba now don’t just allow brands to analyse consumer data first hand, but they allow for accurate geo-targeting of campaigns on a par with any Western programmatic platform. Language remains the biggest barrier however, but ask yourself this question. If you’re using big data for your domestic consumer, why not your Chinese consumer? Big data doesn’t get any bigger in China.

Early Golden Week:

Men wheel shopping trolleys in a Duty Free store at the Fraport airport in Frankfurt

The biggest tip for 2016 is make sure brands prepare for Golden Week early. Golden Week still falls on the fixed October 1st date (1st-7th being public holidays), but Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon festival) next year falls very close on September 15th (15th – 17th being public holidays). This means there are only 11 work days between the two holidays, which will result in many Chinese tourists taking the 11 days off work to combine the two public holidays for a massive 23 day break. Brands needs to prepare well head in the summer on how best they are going to engage Chinese consumers over a longer period of time. Time specific day deals and events aren’t the answer anymore. Pre-departure engagement, geo-targeting and longer online to offline campaigns are.

 For more information regarding Wei Consultings actitivies and what we can do for you, please feel free to contact Head of Marketing & Business, Steven Bywater. E-mail: s.bywater@wei-ukconsulting.com or give us a call on +44 (0)20 7434 7353.