Numerous international brands have come unstuck in the past couple of years with their messaging in China because they are failing to do their homework – and then they do it over again, says a leading creative.

Greg Sutcliffe, Creative Partner, GPB Shanghai, explains brands must adapt their thinking to offer Chinese consumers locally focused, authentic brand purpose while still staying true to their own heritage. 


  • In the democracy of the marketplace, consumerism plays an enhanced role for many Chinese consumers, who think carefully about the brands they buy and endorse.
  • A clear and structured strategy towards adapting one’s purpose for Chinese culture is only half the story in a market that moves incredibly fast. 
  • Brands can reap huge dividends if they can keep abreast of, and tap into, swift and often subtle moves in culture 

Key quote

“We should approach each interaction with our communities as a learning opportunity. And we should be willing to develop and modify what we’ve learnt to help improve our cultural strategy as we progress.”

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Sourced from WARC