China is witnessing a cultural revolution driven by a shift in attitudes towards sex and relationships. Consumers born in the 80’s and 90’s are participating in new dating behaviors and romantic relationships now start with the individual. This shift in perception–in addition to increasing the acceptance of alternative lifestyles–has had a profound effect on how companies market to 18 – 30 year olds, the fastest growing consumer demographic in China.
According to the Chinese research firm Enovate, non-traditional tastemakers, especially those from the LGBT community are creating strong shifts in attitudes towards relationships. Members of this community are influencing the media – primarily in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan, but this influence is quickly seeping into the mainland.
Western standards of dating have been traditionally nonexistent in China. This has led to dating circumstances that utilize the internet to overcome relationship adversity.
Women’s empowerment is also giving women a greater voice. Traditional attitudes, gender roles, and stereotypes are beginning to shift.
According to Simon Cao, Brand Manager for Unilever China, “It’s increasingly vital for us at Unilever to understand youth relationship behaviors in order to create better and more relevant products. Chinese youth today rely on many of our products to attract members of the opposite sex and gain confidence after using them.”
Although brands and companies often have to curtail overtly sexual advertising to pass through government regulations, more and more brands are pushing the limits in order to reach this critical youth market.
If your brand or product is aimed at young consumers, China cannot be ignored. Attitudes and consumer habits are changing rapidly in favor of western companies. Export Now can help companies that are trying to tap into this vital market succeed on a global scale.