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Revealing the key to unlocking brands’ & retailers’ potential during Golden Week

19 September, 2012


New Report from 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 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.

For more information/interviews, please contact:

China : Andrea Ang, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Tel: +86 21 5109 7070

UK : David Roth, WPP
Tel: +44 776 8041 216

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')

Pictures used in this report are available for publishing with attribution. High resolution files can be downloaded from  

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.

Added Value
Added Value provides consultancy on brand development and marketing insight for iconic brands, both big and small, around the world.  
Kelvin Ma
Managing Director,
Oracle Added Value

BrandZ™ is the world’s largest and most reliable customer-focused source of brand equity knowledge and insight, proprietary to WPP.
Peter Walshe
Global BrandZ™ Director

CNRS-TGI China, a part of the Global TGI network, is the largest single-source study that measures consumer product and brand consumption, attitudes and media usage across 60 markets with 100,000 interviews conducted annually, representing over 120 million Chinese consumers nationwide.  
Shen Ying
General Manager of CTR Media & Consumption Behavior

Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Hill+Knowlton Strategies is the first and one of the largest international communications agencies to enter China in 1984.  
Ivy Soonthornsima
Managing Director, Shanghai, China

Kantar Worldpanel
Kantar Worldpanel uses continuous consumer panels for applying tailored research solutions and advanced analytics to bring unrivalled sharpness and clarity of insight.  
Rachel Lee
Business Group Director

Millward Brown
Millward Brown is one of the world’s leading research agencies and is expert in effective advertising, marketing communications, media and brand equity research.  
Adrian Gonzalez
Head of Greater China & Chief
Operating Officer, Africa & Asia Pacific

Mindshare is a global media and marketing services network with billings in excess of $27.8billion. The network consists of 114 offices in 82 countries throughout the North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, each dedicated to forging competitive marketing advantage for businesses and their brands.  
Linda Lin
Vice President of Mindshare China

OgilvyAction is China’s biggest activation agency. Committed to understanding not just insights regarding brands and the consumers, but also, importantly, the core insights regarding the shopper and the retailer.  
Tan Diep
Managing Director

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