A: Depends on many factors. The biggest are how popular your brand is with Chinese consumers, channel exclusivity, platform support and the nature of your product.
Specialty brands with leadership positions have a high chance of success. They often “own” a niche and have few competitors. For example, we have a client in outdoor safety, a global top five. Enthusiasts in China love them. Their reputation is gold.
Brands like this can often launch on a dime and have a healthy P&L after a short ramp up. By contrast, brands with low awareness need to focus on activation. To gain traction, they may need to try many techniques and invest in a range of activities both in and out of China.
Bottom line? Stronger brands have an easier time while the rest may find it costly or time consuming. Where you fall in the spectrum of awareness, positioning, price, structure and platform support determines expenses.
To “do it right” you need to invest a minimum of 25% of sales during the period. Our average client looks like this: 55-70% Y1, 40-55% Y2, 25-40% Y3 (all-in cost excludes inventory purchase).