From a steady trickle to a burst dam, Chinese national pride is gushing, and brands will need to adapt to stay relevant.
Chinese pride and nationalism have been rising steadily for years, but the pandemic sped up the rate at which the pride was spreading. Consumers across China have long seen western brands and products as signs of wealth and luxury, but as the attitude shifts back towards pride in heritage and things made locally, western brands may be forced to adapt in order to remain relevant.
China’s COVID-19 experience was unique to the rest of the world’s —Not only did they weather the pandemic itself, they also endured an onslaught of pointed fingers as some around the globe sought to assign blame. For many across China, the accusations triggered a fierce protective instinct for their country, and compelled them to support Chinese people, brands and products. Lockdowns and travel restrictions further amplified national pride as domestic travellers were reminded of the stunning beauty and rich history of their country.
- Domestic travel reminded Chinese travellers of the majesty and beauty of the vast country.
- Lockdowns resulted in hyper-localisation and feelings of duty to support local businesses.
- Western brands must now adapt and find their role in Chinese culture, rather than expecting Chinese consumers to make a place for them.