How Brands Can Earn The Trust Of China’s Ultra-Wary Consumers

Chinese consumers have been hit by wave after wave of counterfeits on everything from food staples to luxury items. As a result, trust is hard to come by in China’s retail market.

This week’s episode of Thoughtful China discusses the issues that can tarnish a brand’s image in China, ways to improve reputation among consumers, and what to do when trouble hits. The episode features guests from various PR firms such as Edelman CEO Steven Cao, Ogilvy President Scot Kronick, Burson-Marsteller Managing Director Brian Cronkhite, Ruder Finn Public Relations Managing Director Elan Shou, and marketing firm McCann Worldgroup Managing Director Ellen Hou.

The overall consensus is that Chinese companies have come a long way, and Shou believes that Chinese companies have shown they are ready to put the days of cutting corners behind. “They’ve learned their lesson and understand how reputation is important to the company’s development,” Shou says. Companies now seem to be more aware of corporate social responsibility, which could have been a result of pressure from both consumers and the government.

Ultimately, companies realize that for sustainable development, they can no longer just focus on making quick profits in the short run at the cost of building brand trust with consumers, which makes better long-term business sense.

(Homepage image: Flickr/qiaomeng)

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Marketing & Branding