Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Apple is localizing its message in China

Apple is opening up 5 new stores in China in the five weeks before Chinese New Year (Feb 19th).  In order to make the biggest impact, Apple is trying to localize its’ marketing messages by leveraging the most important holiday in China.  China is such an important market for Apple and they need to make a special effort with their messages to the Chinese consumers.  There are a few ways Apple is tailoring their ads.  For example, there was a video on Apple’s China website posted before the Lunar New Year in which a girl using Apple products to record a song that transports her grandmother back to her youth.  When you watch the video, you can pick up on a lot of local cues in the background of the video like lanterns and antique furniture.  This video is an iteration of the Christmas video that Apple released in the US.  The same themes are present in the video like families, getting together with loved ones and giving gifts but this one has been catered for the Chinese customer.

We all know that Apple ‘wraps’ up a store to cover up construction before the new store is unveiled and the ‘wraps’ of the new stores that recently opened up in China had a local flare to them.  For the store in Hangzhou, Apple hired a famous calligrapher, Wang Dongling, to cover the ‘wrap’ with a poem about the city’s famous lake.  And for the store in Chongqing, a mural was created that wrapped around the store.  They had photographer Navid Baraty take photos of local scenes, and had local-born artist Yangyang Pan paint over them. 

I think Apple needs to find a way to relate to the Chinese consumer and these are a few ways they are trying to do that.  Since they are competing with China’s domestic electronic producers, whose reputations are continuing to strengthen, they need a way to stand out and prove that they are not simply an American brand but a global brand available to everyone.

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