What does the Chinese consumer of tomorrow want?

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

What does the Chinese consumer of tomorrow want?
Chinese digital magazine, Jing Daily, and RTG Intuition, which belongs to RTG Consulting Group, identify emerging trends that specifically appeal to Gen-Y and Gen-Z Chinese consumers.

Jing Daily​, a China and luxury-focused media publication, and RTG Intuition, the consumer research and trend forecasting arm of RTG Consulting Group​, held a half-day workshop to learn insights from  Chinese consumers. Following this exploratory workshop, key insights were compiled into a comprehensive whitepaper, named "The Future Chinese Consumer".

Drawing on expertise to provide insights on consumer research and trend forecasting, strategy consulting and marketing communications, RTG Consulting Group explored the wants and needs of Chinese consumers in its recent research workshop, conducted with renowned Chinese publication, Jing Daily.

The ‘awakened generation’

Attendees were on an invitation-only basis at New York’s Asia Society. The research insights and discussions focused on four key societal touchpoints: arts and culture, travel and leisure, the environment, and selfhood.

Emphasising how we should “forget everything we know”​ about Chinese consumers in 2018, the white paper reveals that “before you can begin to grasp the complexities of Weibo influencers, Taobao shops and Alipay games, ground yourself first: get to know China’s ‘Awakened Generation’.”

Societal touchpoints

1. Art and culture

When it comes to art and culture, the nation is tipped as heading towards "a confident, modern and worldly China".​ Today, the country is highlighting global and prevalent current popular trends including streetwear fashion, the promotion of K-pop stars and hip-hop.

These influencers combine “uniquely Chinese characteristics”​ with the contemporary ‘Made in China’ message. In China, the co-winner of the followed Rap of China reality show, Gai, uses traditional Chinese poetry in his rap lyrics.

In addition, the film Monkey King: Hero is Back, and international fashion house Prada’s renovation of the Rong Zhai mansion are both examples of how today’s Chinese consumers' preferences in the modern age are built on a sophisticated combination of the past, the present and the future.

2. Travel and leisure

China’s travellers are described as “free”​ and “independent”.​ The post-90s generation like digital channels and are pleasure-seekers. They look for cultural authenticity, local experiences, along with live and creative technological experiences that answer these interests and wants.

3. The environment

Investment is the leading buzzword amongst Gen-Y and Gen-Z Chinese consumers, who are prioritising their health and their future. In the aftermath of a nation that has experienced “the scandals around food and pollution…[leaving] a deep impression on China's rising generation of consumers”​, a focus on well-being is fundamental, and is having an undeniable impact on consumer choices.

A social conscience is present, with consumers opting for sustainable and ethical items, along with organic food and personal trainers, for example.

4. Selfhood

Today’s younger generations in China are asking more questions about themselves and their lives, and are exploring ways to express their individuality.

“Regardless of official restrictions, the connectivity and relative freedom of self-expression facilitated by social media have given rise to a generation of Chinese questioning traditional definitions of selfhood,”​ the researchers revealed in a recent press release.

Is the landscape supportive of this progression?

The opportunities for China, along with both emerging and established brands to appeal to Gen-Y and Gen-Z Chinese consumers are there. It is now up to developers and marketers to capture these.

"While China's development may have slowed compared to decades past, nobody has told its emerging power consumers,”​ Angelito Tan Jr., CEO of RTG Consulting Group, emphasised.

“If used properly, these insights into Gen-Y and Gen-Z behaviours, values, and aspirations can be very valuable for senior executives overseeing the domestic and outbound Chinese market.”

To view the full report, visit https://jingdaily.com/downloads/future-chinese-consumer/

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