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Wine must adapt its branding for China or face failure

Published:  07 August, 2014

Wine firms that do not adapt their brands for the Chinese market - such as by having a Chinese brand name - face "immediate disadvantage" and possible failure.

China wine brandWine brands must tailor their products to the Chinese marketMany wine brands have ignored Chinese consumers in their haste to get to market, leading to many failures, says the Wine Intelligence report.

That's according to a new report from Wine Intelligence, which states that wine businesses have ignored Chinese consumer needs in their haste to get to market, with many now paying the price.

How to Build a Wine Brand for China 2014 says that lack of trust, availability and information are the three main barriers stopping Chinese consumers from buying imported wines. Branding is "one of the most under-utilised assets in the battle to persuade Chinese consumers that wine is right for them", says the report.

"A brand name that cannot be read or pronounced will leave you at an immediately disadvantage: it is essential to have a Chinese brand name that can help consumers recall or recognise your brand when they are faced with overwhelming variety of choices in a wine aisle. However, a Chinese brand name means more than just a name that consumers can understand. It needs to resonate when referred to on social media, to reassure and excite, and to be immediately recognisable on shelf," the report continues.

Brand owners must make greater efforts to understand how Chinese consumers navigate the wine aisle and what drives their purchasing decisions, says Wine Intelligence.

The report also advocates four critical steps brands should take to adapt to the Chinese market, including how to register a trademark and develop a Mandarin version of your brand name.

Richard Halstead, chief operating officer of Wine Intelligence, said: "Preparing your brand to be effective in China is one of the biggest marketing challenges of our age, and one which too often is being glossed over in the rush to get goods on shelves. Brand owners need to be brave enough to open their eyes to Chinese consumer needs and then take a ruthless approach to adapting their brand to suit".

The report is available from Wine Intelligence priced £1,500.