There is not a product or service in the world that can be sold universally without at least some localization. Our clients who would like to expand their business into China always ask us “How much should the company localize marketing and support services”?
With the first dual-screen always-on smartphone Yotaphone we started the localization with choosing the right name. With over 50000 characters in the Chinese language there are an almost unlimited number of potential variants of product names. Our linguistic team worked on the keyword generation, the focus group to check the perception of the name in chinese with the target audience, checking the legal name availability. The proposed variant sounded similar to the brand name 优特手机 [Yōu-tè Shǒu-jī] and also had the similar meaning with 优 in the meaning of “special”, 特 – meaning “unusual”, “手机” meaning smartphone.
The second phase was the product localization. We’ve checked the legal regulations in the smartphone industry, applied for necessary certificates, localized the product features and functions, developed integrations with useful applications – reading, translating, social media relevant for Chinese consumers.
We advised our Client to start a pilot test program prior to the product launch and agreed with local distributors to sale the test samples. By testing sales in a controlled environment, we could ‘test and learn’ without adversely affecting business-as-usual resource. But even for a test we should develop and perform product trainings and develop and produce promotion materials in Chinese language. Lessons learned from the pilot sales helped us to adjust sales and marketing strategies before the product launch.
We’ve studied the best practice before launching marketing activities. In China the internet is mobile. We integrated digital approach to reach the end-consumers: ia product page at Baidu Baike (local Wikipedia) helped us to improve the search results, product related accounts in the key social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo helped to build interaction with the brand. 24/7 call center provided the best customer experience. In digital China in order to capture attention of mass audience it is important to be online. China has the biggest e-commerce market in the world. For our online sales strategy we chose the most popular platforms such as Tmall.cn, JD.com and ujipin.com to attract the right customer.
China is probably the most competitive market in the world. Make a plan before entering China market: do market research, define and analyze the competitors, consider cultural, language and legal difference, do not underestimate time, human and financial recourses. In case you are searching for a reliable partner, we will be glad to join your project to connect your business to China and accelerate in the Chinese market.