CIC is proud once again to be a part of Roland Berger China’s Chinese Consumer Report. Just like last year, this year’s report provides an in depth view of the Chinese consumer, with a particular focus on how the Internet both a part of and impacting the consumer landscape.
Click here to view this year’s paper EN version
and CN version
& last year’s paper
Why does it make sense for a leading management consultancy like Roland Berger work CIC, the leading China social media research and consulting firm? Because social media is changing not only changing communications, it is changing business.
From Founder of CIC, Sam Flemming's intro:
There is much hype in the West about how the Internet, and in particular, Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM), has the potential to transform the relationship between brands and consumers. In China, where there are more people online, more people talking online, more places to talk and those who are talking are more engaged than any other market, this hyped potential is in fact a reality and has been for some time now. Chinese consumers use native social media channels like Xcar BBS (bulletin board service) community, Sina microblog and social networking site Kaixin to share opinions and experiences about brands by the millions. On automobile BBS sites alone, over 13 million consumer comments are published every month by 500,000 consumers. More than just talk, consumers are even organizing themselves for group purchasing discounts and online/offline protests against poor customer service. Many such phenomena impacting the brand/consumer relationship that are just beginning to happen in the West have been happening in China for years.
IWOM’s transformation of the relationship between brands and consumers means that it has relevance across the entire organization, including advertising, PR, marketing, sales, human resources, and customer service. The fact that it impacts so many areas of the organization means that it should not be “siloed” in any one of them. We already see IWOM putting pressure on such traditional functions as customer service and PR, where the scale and pressure of IWOM is making it difficult for brands to develop an effective strategy or even structure to respond. While we think it absolutely essential that brands use firms like CIC to listen to IWOM, we also believe that listening is not enough. Brands need to fully understand the implications that this listening has on their organizations. We believe that the Roland Berger – CIC partnership can help businesses not only listen to the buzz, but ultimately leverage the buzz for unique competitive advantage that enables them to thrive in this increasingly complex environment.
Highlight of this report:
There are many angles of analysis in the report, but our favorite one is the “Value for Money” or “Price Performance Ratio” (性价比) tracking within the automotive industry. This is a key, and perhaps unique, primary factor in purchase decision in China. If you read Chinese social media, you will often find these terms in product comparison discussion. From our analysis below, we can see that there was a noticeable increase from Q4 2008, which is about the time that the financial crisis was perceived by consumers to be hitting China.
Figure C.1.8. Quarterly Buzz Volume Trends on “Value for Money” term in Automotive Industry (2008-2009)
"Finally, value for money is another important component of brand. While price in itself is not the foremost factor, customers still want to get the most out of their purchase. This is evident in auto purchases, as value is the second criterion after brand attractiveness. On the web, it is even more evident that people care heavily about value for money, as many bloggers and forum users evaluate and compare products based on their performance vs. the price. In the automobile industry, mentions of “value for money” increased 60% from 2008 to 2009."
Hope you like the report.
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