2013 Outlook: Premium Brands In China

Published on Author Christine Feng

Jing Daily recently published an article regarding the relationship between premium brands, both international and regional, and WeChat. WeChat, known as Wei Xin in Chinese, is the no.1 rated smart phone chatting app in China. Having been a convenient chatting and voice messaging app designed by Tencent, WeChat is constantly exceeding its performance for the past two years. A recent study shows that WeChat has 0.3 billion users, which is nearly 25% of Chinese population [the estimated US population is 315 million as of Jan 2015]. WeChat’s target users are those who either have a Tecent online chatting account and/or those who own a smartphone. In addition, WeChat is not only popular in mainland China, but also has extended its user base in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.

WeChat’s functionality includes: free instant messaging, 60 second voice messaging, social network blogging called “Social”, and Subscribe, which allows users to subscribe to grass root bloggers, travel channels, finance magazines, and pop stars. Recently, premium brands in China see this opportunity and have quickly created official accounts to reach to their targeted users. Nowadays, users can go on WeChat on their smart phones to search a variety of brands, ranging from high-end fashion designer brand Prada, to local restaurant chain Haidilao. Companies see this opportunity and use WeChat as an alternative type of marketing platform to increase brand visibility, enhance brand voice, and make sure their promotions are received by their potential customers. Another feature that’s quite important to consider regarding WeChat’s marketing value is the interaction between online and offline brand activities. For example, a customer can sign in her WeChat account on the phone and swipe phone at Starbucks’ counter for a “buy-one-get-one-free” promotion. But at this time, customers do have to pay at the counter in order to get coffee. Thus, in terms of future outlook, one feature that’s being considered is the function of TenPay, which is a similar software as Paypal, so that by just swipe your smart phone, you can get the coffee promotion, instead of having to deal with cash on the spot. Source: Jing Daily

One Response to 2013 Outlook: Premium Brands In China

  1. I’ve not tended to think of smart phone apps as “premium brands”. I may talk about vehicle telematics systems. Continental (a German company with its telematics headquarters outside Chicago and a big co-development team in Shanghai) developed what to my knowledge is the leading such system, used by Chevy in China and now migrating to the US. It presumes that car owners have a smart phone … lots of interesting aspects, but in the background is that purchasers in China are high-income individuals and so 95+% have a smart phone, which is not (yet?) true for the US. Instead (again using GM as an example) we have OnStar. But in China OnStar and the similar subscriptions services of BMW, Toyota et al have flopped…