All Eyes East

All Eyes East

Lessons from the Front Lines of Marketing to China's Youth

Palgrave Macmillan, 2012 more...

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Marketing your products or services in China can be baffling. Westerners and East Asians, including the Chinese, perceive reality differently from each other. This makes it difficult for Westerners to execute a campaign or commercial that hooks Chinese consumers. Messages that appeal to one group of consumption-oriented young Chinese will likely alienate another group. Shanghai-based consultant Mary Bergstrom expertly scrutinizes China’s young people, mapping their likes, dislikes, motivations and aspirations – everything Western firms must know to market to this vast audience. getAbstract recommends Bergstrom’s often surprising advice to those who want to sell in China or learn more about the moneyed youth of the Middle Kingdom.


China Transforming

Within a few years, China will be the world’s second-biggest consumer market. It is already the world’s largest car market and has the most cellphone subscribers of any nation. Some 54% of Chinese adults younger than 30 indicate that they plan to set up their own companies.

In a society that reveres tradition, the consumption-oriented young people of China are actively, knowingly changing what it means to be Chinese. Change on such a vast, national scale has far-reaching implications.

Generations Apart

The Chinese segment their population according to the decade of their birth. Adults born in the 1970s are known as the “post-70s,” a tag paralleled by the “post-80s” and the “post-90s” generations. Since the onset of the post-Mao “race to modernity,” each generation has experienced unique national changes during childhood. Oganizations that want to market to young people in China must understand the singular life experiences of each generation.

The post-80s, born after the enactment of the one-child policy that permitted families to bear only one child, are known as the “Little Emperors.” Their parents and grandparents showered ...

About the Author

Mary Bergstrom heads The Bergstrom Group, a Shanghai-based consultancy that has developed a network of trend spotters and subject matter experts from across China.

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