One of the benefits of globalization is that many 20th century cultural stereotypes have been abandoned. The modern business leader will typically have a sophisticated understanding of their target market. They certainly need it to gain the attention of an increasingly sophisticated global audience. When clients come to Wolfestone for website translations, marketing translations or technical translations, we offer a full service consultancy that helps them to genuinely localize the product to their target market. Step number one – know your audience.
With an affluent middle class numbering almost 200 million, China is rightly seen as a potential goldmine for British exporters. This particular consumer group is communicative and well informed. Urban Chinese consumers know what they want and have the money to buy it. Italian luxury goods giant Prada has seen a massive sales increase in China, with recent figures showing year on year growth of 38%. China now accounts for 20% of Prada’s global sales, and Deputy Chairman Carlo Mazzi has stated that he expects revenue in the country to triple over the next two years. The luxury goods market in general is thriving, and the China International Clothing trade fair (appropriately known as “CHIC”) has attracted almost 400 confirmed exhibitors for the four day event at the end of March.
Moving away from fashion towards industrial exports, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are hosting a total of six international trade fairs on this weekend alone. From February 23rd – 25th these thriving cities will offer an ideal showcase to hundreds of suppliers of process instrumentation, automation and control systems, IC application technologies, precision engineering tools, wastewater treatment products and renewable energy sources.
What do British exporters need to know about their target audience to tap into these lucrative markets? At Wolfestone we believe in doing our homework, preparing as thoroughly as possible and targeting new business from a position of knowledge and authority. Research by McKinsey Management Consulting confirms our view of the modern Chinese consumer.
The Chinese urban middle class has become eager to sample new products. Previously unfamiliar items are now being tried with enthusiasm. Emotional considerations are playing an increasingly important role in buying decisions, particularly among more affluent consumers. Consumers also value branded products, perceiving them to be more reliable and of higher quality. This doesn’t always lead to brand loyalty, however. The average Chinese consumer chooses three to five brands in any given category. They expect us to impress them and compete for their custom, and why shouldn’t they?
It’s also significant that China’s online retail market has rapidly become the second largest in the world after the USA. Clothing has the biggest share of online spending: 64 per cent of internet shoppers purchased clothes online in 2011, twice as many as in 2010. Chinese consumers are relishing the convenience, wide choice and competitive pricing of internet shopping.
What does this mean for the British exporter?
The sophisticated Chinese consumer is spending more and more money online, and trade research demonstrates that they will be six times more likely to spend via websites or other internet advertising that have been localized into their own language
This consumer group values branded goods but brand loyalty needs to be earned and retained. Put simply, you have to convey your message effectively. Whatever the key selling points of your brand might be in English, you can’t afford to let them get lost in translation. Sub-standard translations that misrepresent your brand will cost you any chance of success in this lucrative market.
To maximise your chances of successfully exporting to China, you need genuine localization, expert translation from qualified native speakers and a message that your clients will understand and warmly embrace. Wolfestone offers not only native speaker Chinese translators but also native resident translators with current experience of living, working, buying and selling in the thriving urban centres that our clients seek to target.
What do you need to do to tap into this market?
You need to get to know your audience and just as importantly you need to make sure they get to know you.
You can try to do it alone or you can choose a partner who understands your aspirations and the aspirations of your target consumers.
That’s why clients come to Wolfestone.
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