SHANGHAI: Chinese drinks brands need new and exciting creative to keep brands fresh for consumers as they take on the dominance of Coke and Sprite in the country, according to research by Publicis Media China in partnership with the Ehrenberg Bass Institute.

Researchers examined the hydration category in three markets (Shanghai, Tianjin, Fuzhou) across thirty entry points, which covered a spectrum of moments including food consumption occasions, refreshment contexts and consumption state-of-mind, such as ‘studying’ or ‘out with friends’.

In an exclusive article for WARC, Chris Maier, Managing Director of Analytics, Research & Insight at Publicis Media Greater China, argues that brands may have opportunities to target their marketing ‘moments’ at different times across the day.

That’s because consumers’ beverage choices vary depending on meal occasion or the context of the moment. (To read the full research, click here: Leveraging category entry points to drive brand influence in China.)

“Future communications and media moments (could) center on lighter, less formal food consumption occasions – despite Coke's clear dominance – or on specific meal and dining occasions, where the brand’s existing footprint is less clear,” Maier writes.

“Alternatively, no brands have pole position for ‘taking a break at work’,” he adds, which points to opportunities for brands to take ownership of this space.

“This is an example of a ‘free’ CEP (consumer entry point), which are strategic open fields for brands to develop. As categories become more competitive, these white spaces are valuable mental real estate.”

Mengniu and Yili top the list of preferred brands at breakfast time, whilst Coke, Pepsi and Sprite dominate when eating out. Surprisingly, no water brands emerged as favourites with Chinese consumers in hot weather, with locals preferring Coke and Sprite.

Sourced from WARC