China is not one-size-fits-all

9 out of 10 Western brands have Chinese consumers pegged as one homogenous group.

So they often take a “one-size-fits-all” approach to market entry when hyper segmentation gets far better results.

Their approach is flawed for a number of reasons, but even as an anthropology student, I fell prey to it as well.

I came to China to do fieldwork on minorities in Yunnan in 1995. Young, full of hope….and DUMB. I knew nothing, but thought I did.

What my younger self and Western brands have in common is the belief that we could survive and thrive anywhere…without a deeper understanding of our environment.

Needless to say, this approach FAILED and I ended up near death with Typhoid Fever.

China is a big and complicated environment with over 450 minorities and dialects…and countless cultural idiosyncrasies, legacy systems and unique traditions that vary widely from place to place.

Decades later, I still consider myself a student of China. Only this time, a humble and open-minded one…an approach that never fails.

#China #InternationalBusiness #ChinaBusiness #Western #Brands #MarketEntry #Segmentation #NeverStopLearning #Anthropology #Student