Spotlight on Chinese consumers in 2020—domestic brands break-through in the pandemic era

Published Jul 27, 2020

Toluna, KuRunData

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Toluna is the parent company of KuRunData, leading provider of real-time consumer insights in China.

All eyes are on the APAC market and monthly, we will share insights we’ve gathered from Chinese consumers.  

In 2020, the global economy has been put through the major test by the coronavirus pandemic. China was the first country hit by the pandemic, but it was also one of the first countries to effectively control the spread of the virus and head towards economic recovery.

While the pandemic had been affecting countries around the world, causing decreases in production, Chinese companies found themselves in an advantageous position as the local pandemic improved. As companies resumed their businesses, they also increased production to fill the widening gap between supply and demand.

To understand consumer sentiment towards domestic brands and products, KuRunData surveyed 1,346 (35% male and 65% female) consumers across China. In addition to overall brand perceptions, the study also explored brand preferences within specific product categories. The data was collected through KuRunData’s platform.

We asked about overall purchase of domestic and foreign brands, here’s what we found:

Before the pandemic, about 50% of consumers chose to buy or tended to buy domestic brands.

 

Spotlight on Chinese consumers in 2020_01

After the pandemic, 69% of consumers said they were more willing to buy domestic brands.

Spotlight on Chinese consumers in 2020_02

We asked about specific categories and purchase preference, here’s what we found:

In terms of product categories, Chinese consumers would clearly prefer to buy mobile phones, home appliances, clothing, footwear and fresh food by domestic brands than foreign brands. Yet consumers would more likely consider foreign brands when they shop for mother and baby products, beauty care products, and motor vehicles.

Spotlight on Chinese consumers in 2020_03

Cost effectiveness: the leading reason Chinese consumers choose local brands

For Chinese products, being “Cost effective” is still the major attribute of the brand image and the percentage of those who consider local brands to be ‘Decent, reflecting my social status’ is relatively low. However, 51% of respondents consider Chinese brands being ‘Innovative and using new technology’ is a sign of positive changes in overall perception towards local brands.

As a foreign brand marketing in China, it’s important to take note of domestic brands, and the inroads that they’ve made as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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