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Investing in perception and avoiding presumption

Well before a brand new to China actually sets foot on the soil, it needs to have established a perception in the eyes and minds of the Chinese people through positioning online, and via print and social media. What people read or hear has a huge influence on whether the brand or product is accepted in general, and how it is seen and compared to other more established names in the same sector. As in all markets, the bigger the competitor in the eyes of the Chinese, the more effort is required to affect positive perceptions.

The country is littered with examples of those who got it wrong and presumed one thing, without actually taking into account the power of perception in a country where it plays a huge part in general society. The following is an classic example that I’d like to share with you.

Like many growing sectors in China, alcoholic drinks, and in particular wine represents a huge opportunity for any brand, producer or even growing region from across the world. Drinking wine and sharing it with others demonstrates taste, status and of course wealth to the Chinese, but in the majority of cases, those doing the drinking have little or no understanding of wine culture. Of course, this is not a bad thing, but it leads to the inevitable influence of perception, and he who manipulates perception in his favour wins, at least at that point. This is where France and the French made the first bold moves….

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