Gaining and growing market share in China as a relatively unknown wine brand takes a little work. Nonetheless, imported wines now make up nearly 40% of all still wines sold in the country with French and Australian wines proving particularly popular, whilse Scotch and Cognac have the head start for spirits. The key for producers and brands seeking to expand their presence in China is to truly connect with consumers and build a reputation for quality and consistency. Here are four ways to build a successful wine brand in China.
1. Create Experiences & Educate
Wine tastings have become extremely popular in China, providing a way for wine brands to reach out to new consumers and for people to learn more about wine. According to the China Wine Market there are now some 48 million wine enthusiasts in the country who regularly drink wine. Participating in trade fairs and tastings and events aimed at consumers is a great way to raise brand awareness and build trust.
2. Recruit Experts
Another angle is to use experts to boost the authority and credibility of your brand and product. Wine is often viewed in China as a marker of sophistication and good taste. For Chinese consumers it is important that the wine they buy has a good reputation and is of quality. One way to reassure Chinese consumers is to work with sommeliers and other wine experts to create online content or host wine tastings.
3. Online Presence
Young Chinese consumers in particular love to do research online about the wines they are planning to buy. 69% of young wine consumers look for information online about a brand which means that it pays to invest in an attractive website with interesting and accurate information about your winery and products.
4. Use Storytelling
As well as doing online research, Chinese consumers appreciate the story behind the wine especially when the winery or brand has a connection to a historic castle or ancient chateau. Creating a branding strategy around the sophisticated French or laid back Australian lifestyle can appeal to consumers who drink wine because of its sophisticated connotations.
Using some or all of these elements in your branding strategy can help you build a strong presence in China and convince Chinese consumers of the quality of your products.
Many Chinese wine and spirits drinkers are unfamiliar with the many brands and producing regions. They therefore rely strongly on credible awards and reviews, especially if they are visible on the bottle. Therefore award stickers like CWSA Medals are a huge boost to consumer confidence and sales.