The term ‘Guochao’, also known as ‘China Chic’ or ‘National Trend’, describes the growing consumer preference for Chinese brands, artwork, and culture. It refers to modern consumer goods that feature the infusion of Chinese traditional cultural elements as a key selling point.
According to a survey of Chinese consumers, 75% appreciate products with Guochao design elements. These designs incorporate traditional Chinese elements like cranes, landscape paintings, and phoenixes. In Guochao marketing, brands use a wide variety of vibrant colours, including gold, red, brown, purple, and white.
Guochao Marketing is not a new concept. It has been around for over a hundred years, but has only recently come into the spotlight with the rise of social media platforms.
Likewise, the buzz around Guochao Marketing is largely due to a number of factors, of which include China’s economic rebound, the associated outpouring of national pride, as well as ongoing uncertainties to do with its contentious state of foreign relations.
Successful Guochao Marketing adaptation grabs awareness in its own unique way, and it has become increasingly necessary to incorporate Chinese cultural elements to generate relevant consumer appeal. China is surpassing the West as the largest market for luxury goods in the world, and as a result, multinational brands are becoming more ‘China-savvy’. Foreign brands are able to completely encapsulate contemporary Chinese trends and steer clear of cultural mistakes by working with local creators and incorporating local elements within their designs. Here are some examples of brands that prominently feature Chinese elements within their marketing:
The 2021 New Year’s collection from Burberry includes a plaid component. To celebrate the good fortune of the Year of the Ox and add a touch of individual creativity to the daily outfit, the Burberry monogram is inspired by the zodiac and is associated with the earth, power, and serenity.
Tapping Chinese illustrators has proven to be a successful marketing strategy for international brands such as Fendi. Created by artist Oscar Wang, the Fendidi Panda has become the brand’s standard-bearer in the local market thanks to its playful incorporation of the popular animation aesthetic.
The Fendidi Panda also features in other examples of the brand’s use of China Chic for marketing, including its Lunar New Year campaign.
Integrating Chinese elements into marketing can go beyond product design to include actual products, as demonstrated by Maybelline with the mahjong set it featured in its new year campaign. A runaway hit among influencers and consumers alike, its campaign results include 260 posts that come up in a search for “Maybelline Mahjong” on major Chinese social media platform, Xiaohongshu.
Though the set was originally distributed as part of a product seeding tactic for influencers, comments on posts also included enquiries for purchasing the mahjong set itself.
Guochao marketing requires brands to delve deep into China’s history and traditions, the way L’Oreal has done with the campaign for its Youth Code serum. By featuring a mobile gaming character, L’Oreal generated appeal to its target local market by referencing traditions through their showcase of Diaochan — one of the four ancient beauties of China.
All brands need to embrace and fully participate in the Guochao marketing trend, which is absolutely inevitable in China. Brands are becoming more adept at navigating China’s marketing landscape, paying closer attention to local employees, and learning about the actual lives of their consumers. The enormous success of some of the campaigns further demonstrates the significance of Guochao as a trend. It’s neither past its prime nor in its nascent beginnings. As a trend, Guochao finds itself presently in momentum, especially since its craze continues to endure and remains a crucial tenet of continental marketing. As a result, given China’s significance to the luxury market, brands will continue to comprehend the trend and adapt it through integrated, long-term strategies.
Guochao Marketing is a good solution for brands that want to increase their online presence in China, as a way to stay ahead of the competition. If you are among these brands, know that we can help you to kickstart your Guochao Marketing plan and strategy. Get in touch with us today!
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