While European luxury goods have found a boon in the Asian market, Trendwatching.com thinks that France and Italy might be shoved aside as Asian brands continue to grow. While this may sound unlikely – wasn’t “Made in China” a stigma a little while ago? – their brief on “localizasian” lays out some good points.
They suggest that while some European brands still scramble to make their products relevant to Asian sensibilities, Asians know full well how to market to their fellow Asians. A good example of this is the Chinese brewery Tsingtao, which recently enlarged its beer bottle to several pints for Chengdu consumers, who like to drink the beer in small glasses while sharing Sichuan food. Little details like this are what the Stella Artoises of the world have failed to pick up on.
Asian consumers are also becoming more and more particular as time goes by. Asian brands intuitively know they have to “get it just right” to satisfy their market, Trendwatching says, and this of course feeds Asian consumers’ “natural affinity” for those brands that pay attention to their needs and their regional preferences.
Last year, the International Monetary Fund found that while Asia’s trade with outside economies has doubled since 2000, it’s Asia-to-Asia trade has tripled. Eslite, the upscale bookstore chain from Taiwan, opened a 24-hour store in Hong Kong in August 2012, to better adapt to the locals’ “night owl” tendencies.
But what is the take-away for foreign brands still interested in earning market share? Reshaping products to better fit local needs in China is huge to growing market share. Estée Lauder’s Made for China cosmetics line catered to the needs of fair complexions and found success. No matter where a brand is situated, no matter if they have an Asian location or not, Trendwatching suggests they will need to adopt the idea of “localizasian” to thrive today.
According to a 2012 Ernst & Young report, Asia accounted for 14 percent of global consumer spending. That number is expected to rise to 25 percent by 2020, and 40 percent by 2030.
photo credit: shanghai tang