Tom Doctoroff

China’s affluent class is growing fast, but matching the newly found wealth with traditional roots offers them major challenges, writes marketing veteran Tom Doctoroff at AdAge. He offers marketers five tips to deal with those growing challenges.

Tom Doctoroff:

With incomes rising and lifestyle choices expanding, the motivations of China’s emerging affluent class—primarily consumers in their 30s and 40s—are evolving rapidly. Compared to 10 years ago, they are driven by the challenges of balancing multi-dimensional roles, rather than merely achieving basic professional success.

What does that mean? For one, China’s upper middle class invests in “experiences” to provide a broad worldview. From sharpening expertise in health and wellness to exploring different cultures and cultivating a broad range of personal hobbies, projecting a multi-faceted identity defines success. Wide horizons are a weapon on the battlefield of life.

There’s a tension there: “I want to do more and be more but I struggle to balance it all.” This anxiety is a modern-day manifestation of the ancient Confucian “doctrine of the mean”—or zhong yong—which espouses maintaining balance and harmony.

Both men and women have trouble achieving harmony between competing roles, interests and identities. Speaking in generalities, men want to be providers for the extended family, professional role models and masters of taste and manner. Women hope to be protective mothers, accomplished professionals and “new generation individualists.”

Marketers that offer brands and experiences that resolve this conflict of the heart will earn loyalty. Here are five ways to do this.

Five tips at AdAge.

Tom Doctoroff is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

Are you looking for more branding experts at the China Speakers Bureau? Do check out this list.


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