The research on “Branding up in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Market” summarised several major changes taking place in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei market:
1. There are significant and increasing differences within the regional market in respect of consumption level and consumption habits. For example, Beijing citizens have a growing appetite for higher-end products and services that could help enhance the quality of life, such as light luxuries and leisure & entertainment; while people in the Hebei Province tend to spend more money on daily supplies and catering.
2. With further diversification of retail channels, channel operators have attached greater importance to retailers’ competences in brand management. Local department stores and shopping malls are interested in developing long-term strategic partnership with Hong Kong companies and overseas brand operators per se, rather than dealing with some intermediary parties who act only as agents and generally make no commitment to brand investment.
3. Brand communication channels are undergoing sea-changes, with more and more consumers turning to on-line platforms for brand and product information instead of various traditional media. At the same time, the rapid development of underground railway, high-speed railway and intercity railway, coupled with the trend of working population moving to outskirts of the city, have enabled railway network to play a significant role in brand promotion.
4. Both brand awareness and the consumer’s expectations are on the rise. Now that product quality and functions have become homogeneous, consumers have been shifting their attention from brand publicity or brand image to brand experience and brand’s sensational values.
According to the Research Team, for Hong Kong enterprises to tap into Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and establish their brand presence, they should keep abreast of the latest developments in the market and obtain the market intelligences timely. At the same time, they should accommodate themselves to the changing situations by adjusting business mindsets and developing pertinent competences in brand promotion and management.