Part 3: Top Tips to Improve Brand Efficiency in China

03 Feb 2016|Added Value China

Understanding how the positioning could translate into local culture will provide brands with a strong platform for success. Tapping into the evolving cultural landscape to inspire locally relevant expressions of the core brand positioning is a key part of the process. Semiotics will create codes to help push the thinking further and these can be used to validate the qualitative research. First, discover what is culturally relevant and second, use these findings to help create better visual stimuli for consumers (i.e. in Focus Group Discussions), and thus push their thinking much further. Ultimately not starting from scratch but using cultural codes to stimulate discussions and validate the overall findings.

1) Defining your brand’s cultural positioning: cultural context analysis of the brand values and local perceptions

  • Determine right brand strategy and channel in which to play
  • Four critical factors for success: brand positioning, target, insight, channel
  • Understand the role you want your brand to play in the world. What can you do that is both meaningful to people and distinctive not just in your category but in the world beyond?
  • Think culture first and brand second -, be absolutely clear on the positioning you want to occupy and how it fits with the changing times
  • Use semiotics to ‘decode’ your category, understand positioning and identify cluttered or white spaces. By understanding the cultural tensions at play and how communication is changing we can identify a distinctive space for your brand

2) Decoding of local communications to understand how local brands connect with local audiences

  • Land your brand in the right way by uncovering key cultural and consumer insights
  • Carry out a semiotic audit to map your category based on its communications and see where your brand space plays out
  • Develop a category understanding on all consumer touch points through detailed analysis of pack, logos, retails spaces, products, digital and so on
  • Perform a one-on-one review of you versus your main competitor
  • Design a cultural branding program including cultural landscape analysis, semiotics, culture-shaping community, character work, and brand consultancy
  • Localize your brand’s positioning and helping you understand the cultural nuances at play

3) Define potential platforms for communication and test these with consumers to identify the most appropriate for the brand

  • Select the right target (consumer segmentation) and combine this with a 360 holistic approach to marketing
  • Refine marketing strategy and modify concepts according to both cultural and consumer insight
  • Develop a blueprint that can be used across all forms of communications
  • Design specific briefs that feed into future marketing plans

Written by Panos Dimitropoulos, Account Director of Cultural Insight, and Sam Woollard, Client Development Director, with support from the Added Value China team, Kantar Retail and the China-Britain Business Council.

Image source: Thinkstock

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