Among these trends, two significant forces have captured the attention of both domestic and international brands: the so called “guochao” [国潮] movement, which translates as “national wave” or “China fashion” and co-branding. This article explores the fascinating interplay between cultural pride, digital prowess, and the rise of collaborations in China that is sparking a retail revolution!
The younger generation of Chinese consumers seeks individuality and self-expression through their purchasing decisions. They desire unique and personalised products that align with their identity and values.
Guochao, meaning "national wave" or "Chinese fashion", has gained immense popularity among Chinese consumers. It represents a cultural movement celebrating Chinese heritage and homegrown brands, challenging the dominance of international labels. Guochao embodies a sense of national pride and nostalgia while incorporating contemporary aesthetics and trends.
Co-branding has become a key strategy within the guochao movement, where domestic brands collaborate with influential designers, celebrities, or international labels. Such partnerships leverage the strengths of each brand, combining Chinese elements with global design expertise, resulting in unique products that appeal to a wider audience.
To learn more on how the guochao trend was harnessed to capture tech-savvy and proud Chinese Gen Z’s attention, check out our in depth case study “Chinese tradition meets modern trends” of our award-winning work for 2022 Douyin E-commerce Food Industry Conference.
Co-branding partnerships often generate positive associations and goodwill for both brands involved. Collaborating with reputable Chinese brands or cultural icons helps international companies build trust and authenticity among Chinese consumers.
OnePlus, a sub-brand of Chinese electronics manufacturer OPPO, on-boarded the hugely popular video game Genshin as a strong co-branding partner for this year's marketing of its latest gaming-focused smartphone.
When the OnePlus Ace 2 was released this year, it quickly gained popularity among consumers seeking a mobile phone with an exceptional gaming experience. To create a buzz and engage with gaming fans, OnePlus partnered with Genshin Experience Lab to hold a simultaneous 10-cities pop-up event.
To learn more about the case, click here.
The confluence of Chinese consumer behavior, guochao, and co-branding is an electrifying journey like no other. It's a captivating fusion of cultural pride, digital marvels, and creative collaborations that shape the retail landscape in China, a market, where traditions meet innovation, and consumers reign supreme!