New Report: Unlocking Brands’ and Retailers’ Potential during China’s "Golden Week's" Chaos

19 Sep 2012|Added Value

New Report from WPP The Store, Added Value and other WPP companies uncovers shoppers’ strategies, their three-part buying process and recommends best practices

CHINA’s retail stores will soon experience a chaotic frenzy of activities with Golden Week shoppers seeking the best deals as the inexorable rise of the middle classes drives sales of a multitude of consumer goods.

Commencing September 30, 2012, the Golden Week is China’s key sales period. High-ticket home electronics, appliances and digital devices are top of the shopping list for China’s new homeowners and the digitally-connected younger consumers during the upcoming Golden Week.

A new Report, “The Chinese Golden Weeks In Fast Growth Cities”, produced by WPP The Store, Added Value and a team of WPP companies, reveals a new understanding towards consumer attitudes and behavior during the Golden Week in China’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 Cities.

The Report recommends specific strategic, marketing and media best practices required for brands and retailers to get on — and stay on — a shopper’s consideration list. It identifies a more rounded consumer appreciation and their strong desires for brands. And together with a rise in expenditure for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), it complements the primary focus on electronics over this key shopping period in China.

On the surface, while the Golden Week appears to be filled with a frenzy of activities, the report uncovers three specific consumer shopper strategies and a three-part shopping process that shapes how consumers research, negotiate and purchase.

Key insights revealed in the report include:

  • Most consumers adopt one of three strategies—convenience, guanxi (“relationship building”) or smart—depending on their available time and determination to gain the best possible deal.
  • Consumers go through a three-step Golden Week shopping process, first starting with a perception of needs, second preparing themselves to source for the best deal and lastly, negotiating and purchasing the products.
  • Negotiating for the best deal drives shoppers, but the conversation does not begin until the shoppers trust that the retailers are offering genuine quality merchandise and reliable delivery and installation.
  •  Given the heightened promotion during the Golden Week, differentiation is the greatest challenge facing brands and often, brands require a communication plan that begins long before the holidays and subsequently echoed creatively in stores.

Original research undertaken specifically for the Report includes ethnographic research from Added Value and Holiday Shopping quantitative findings from Millward Brown. The study was informed by BrandZ™, the world’s largest source of brand equity knowledge,  together with gathered insights from WPP sister companies CNRS-TGI, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Kantar Worldpanel, Millward Brown, Mindshare and OgilvyAction.

David Roth, CEO EMEA/Asia of The Store, WPP’s global retail practice, said,   “Success in China will demand retailers and brand owners to fully understand the shoppers’ strategies during the Golden Week period and thereby, adjusting their marketing plans accordingly. If you do not succeed in China’s 2nd and 3rd tier cities over the Golden Week period, you will find it impossible to succeed in China. The battle ground is becoming more intense as China becomes increasingly competitive, yet the prize for those who succeed is immense.”

“Getting the Golden Week period right is of paramount importance. The identification of three types of consumer strategies and the three-step Golden Week process are keys to unlocking brands and retailers’ potential,” said Markus Dunke, Senior Researcher at Added Value China.

With text, data charts coupled with photojournalistic images, the Report describes what and how people buy, documents the experience of three different types of shoppers, and distils related best practices.

The complete Report is available free of charge from
A flipbook version of the report can be accessed from
A free iPad magazine from iTunes (search app store for ‘Golden Weeks”)

WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings of $77.1 billion and revenues of $16.1 billion.  Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising; media investment management; consumer insight; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs over 162,000 people (including associates) in 3,000 offices in 110 countries.  WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the second year running.

For more informationplease contact: Kate Wolters | | + 27 72 111 8782 or Jessie Tsui |

Images courtesy of WPP and photographer: Cecilie Østergren” The Chinese Golden Weeks In Fast Growth Cities Study.

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