John Iihan, founder of the Crazy John’s brand once said “this may seem simple, but you need to give customers what they want, not what you think they want. And if you do this, people will keep coming back.”(Woopidoo quotations n.d) In essence, this describes the goal of consumer behaviour. Consumer behaviour aims to find out what customers want by evaluating their actions. Their actions help marketers to determine how to market their products. (Schiffman Leon Ward Steven O’Cass Aron Bednall David Paladino Angela Kanuk Leslie 2007) Two of these aspects of consumer behaviour that are used in marketing strategies are the concepts of geographic and sociocultural segmentation. Both of these aspects are discussed below in relation to their use in both Australian and Chinese marketing.
Geographic segmentation identifies and divides the market into different geographical units to better satisfy the needs and consumption patterns attributable to consumers of the region. (Schiffman et al. 2007) This is particularly important for multi-national brands whose market reaches consumers both domestically and internationally. China’s geographical landscape is one of extreme variety; from broad plains to expansive deserts to mountain rangers to vast areas of inhospitable terrain. China’s land mass is over 9.8 million squared kilometres with almost two thirds of China’s territories consisting of inhospitable terrain. This has largely contributed to China’s rapid industrialisation being focused on coastal cities (Euromonitor 2008). Australia in comparison is a country located in the southern hemisphere with an approximate population approximately 1% of China. Similarly, however, is the predominance of a number of high density cities located along the coastal fringes of the continent. Australia has the world’s largest resources of minerals including coal, lead, nickel, uranium and zinc, and is ranked second in the world for the likes of bauxite, copper, gold and silver (DFAT 2008). Although only 6.5 per cent of land mass is arable, diverse climatic zones and technical expertise of farmers have resulted in highly sought after agricultural and forestry products. (DFAT 2008) Furthermore, given Australia’s location in the Southern Hemisphere, it stands well suited to supply counter-seasonal produce to markets in the northern hemisphere during their winter months, including the likes of China. The suitability of the Australian climate for fresh fruit, vegetable and meat products are key sectors in which an Australian exporter can exploit. Exploiting Australia’s geographical features and China’s consumer demands for resources, Australian exporters such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have also capitalized on marketing opportunities and aligned themselves with large infrastructure projects such as that of the Beijing Olympics. (Laurence Creative 2009) In addition, Australia’s stable political and regulatory environment provides investors with a high degree of confidence and certainty through all stages of minerals development.
China is currently Asia’s second largest food and beverage market after Japan. Sophistication of the Chinese palate and increasing living standards has increasing demand for a higher quality level of food but also food that is convenient. As such both food and beverage companies will have a great opportunity to enter the Chinese market. More specifically Australian wine exports to China have grown significantly with the Chinese market becoming the largest export market for Australian wines. Australia is also ranked second largest overall supplier of bottled wine to China. (Cai 2009) Through recent studies, it has been projected that China would be consuming around 1.26 billion bottles annually in the next three years. Thus, it is soon expected to be the world’s seventh largest wine consumer. (China Wines Information Website 2008) Due to this, a growing opportunity...