The post-90s generation has become hot property for marketers all over the world, and China – home to 250 million millennials – is no exception. But marketers need to understand China if they want to get its millennials.
They are focused on the present, and crave experience over achievement. They are pushing the boundaries on what defines success. Like millennials elsewhere, they want to leave their mark by pursuing their passions, but they're held back by a regimented society. China's new generation remains conflicted. Western-style individualism has not taken root, and culture remains key.
Here are five ways for marketers to achieve this objective in China:
First, master happiness. For example, Coca-Cola positions itself as a new generation happiness maker during Chinese New Year.
Second, fuel the butterfly effect. For example, before the Beijing 2008 Olympics, QQ, Tencent's instant messaging service, "spread the pride" by developing a emoticon to heart China. Tens of millions of netizens contributed to an epic display of collective patriotism.
Third, live large now. For example, Samsung's Galaxy note pad makes an explicit link between "dreaming today" and "succeeding tomorrow."
Fourth, orchestrate togetherness. The new world has disrupted conventional order but China is still a Confucian society. McDonald pushed Internet surfers "out of chat rooms" and into McCafés to "forge real friendships".
Fifth, applaud unconventional genius. The conformist path to success is narrow. Avant-garde talents are often ignored. For example, The young protagonist of a Nike basketball campaign dares society to "Give me the ball" so "I can show my stuff."
In conclusion, China's new generation, the most worldly and liberated in the country's history. It wants to "celebrate the moment" and "live in the now" , and they are new minds in an old world.