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Posted by Jerry Gelsomino | Topic: Research

Reflection

9 Sep
2012

It's been several weeks since I've launched this blog to get your opinions and point of view about news articles and situations involving a quest for status or improvement of current standing in society by Asians.

While the community I am sending the inquiries to is today quite compact, I plan to enlarge the field of commentators by inviting my new cadre of students at university to join. Before I do however, I'd appreciate any comments by you on the content, clarity or appropriateness of my questions? Are you having any technical difficulties with the blog website?

Your opinions are crucial to the success of my studies.

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5 Aug
2012

The shopper in China is changing according to those who follow customer behavior, further demonstrating that China is a dynamic market and continuing to evolve. Labeled 'Consumer 2.0,' they demonstrate that through experience and knowledge gained, the Chinese shopper is becoming more sophisticated.

Reported by Jing Daily.com, Chinese luxury shoppers are beginning to look for unknown brands over high-profile, recognized international labels. According to the trend tracker website, "There‘s a growing trend in China" a trend towards individualization: looking, being, and dressing differently from others. This is led by the second generation of Chinese shopper. They’re just starting out, but they’re larger, stronger and different from their predecessors. And incoming brands need to speak to them.” Other comments like, “China has moved from a country of collectivism to a country of individualism,” and “Today’s young people don’t want to blend in. They want freedom, at least in their appearance,” were included in the article.

In his recent book, What Chinese Want, Tom Doctoroff, North Asia CEO, J. Walter Thompson states that "While at the lower end of the luxury market, people do want that flashy . . . logo, but as you get more wealthy you need to project your power and wealthy in a more understated way." He predicts that luxury products that are more inconspicuous, with smaller, more subdued logos, will be the lasting ones, the brands that win.

Do you see evidence that shoppers here are becoming more thoughtful about the brands they buy, and how easy it is for others to identify their brand of choice?

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16 Jul
2012

A Chinese tour guide first let me in on the cultural legend. Then I saw it in print, quoting a Japanese press article titled, "The three most-wanted, a mirror of the economic situation." An unnamed cultural anthropologist had defined and recorded the materialistic desires of the Chinese consumer, reflecting the nation's increasing affluence and sophisticated wants. In the 1950s, it was a watch, bike and sewing machine; TV set, refrigerator and washing machine in the 1980s; phone, computer and air conditioning in the 1990s. I am told that the purchasing of such modern conveniences even pre-dated electricity in some regions.

Today as the selection of goods are so widely available throughout most of China, it is understandable that there is no longer a single, uniform wish-list. Housing, an automobile, and children's education would find a place on some tallies. Currently, Smartphone ownership in China totals 33% of the total population, and growing as the country has demonstrated a passion for going mobile, so the latest mobile phone technology would be high on other lists. And in Tianjin province, 85% of primary school students who received gifts for International Children's Day, asked their parents to give them brand-name sports shoes.

As our purpose is to follow and analyze materialistic desires as methods to gain or improve status through consumer behavior, we ask you, "If a nationwide survey was done today, what would be the three most sought after items by Chinese people?"

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16 Jul
2012

It's week 2 and there is a new inquiry to look at. You still can go to the blog home page and continue to review past discussions.

Have you seen the online video of the young woman throwing a childish tantrum in a Chinese car dealership, because her fiancé won't agree to buy the car she wants? In the video, she proceeds to climb inside the car she wants and drives back and forth inside the showroom until her fiancé pulls out his credit card and promises to buy the car?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIqvwZyNEmE

This incident was followed by many other YouTube videos asking men and women about what worldly possessions are important to a successful match relationship in China. There is also an interesting opinion on this event in an article titled, Money Honey: The cost of dating in China, from eChinacites.com.

http://www.echinacities.com/expat-corner/money-honey-the-cost-of-dating-in-china.html

For this week's discussion, what is your opinion? Is this a bit of sensationalism by a media outlet looking to spotlight the worst of Chinese consumer behavior, or are there a significant number of Chinese available singles seeking materialistic rewards from their partners rather than love?

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