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Consumer views can have big impacts for companies doing business in China

Many customer views can have significant impacts on companies. This includes how positively consumers view businesses in general. It also includes the overall level of optimism among consumers.

The results from a recent survey on these topics provide some interesting insights on the unique issues and challenges that can come up for U.S. companies that are operating in China.

Over 42,000 people were polled in the survey, which was by Brunswick Insight. These individuals came from 26 countries. The U.S. and China were among these countries.

One of the things the respondents were asked about was how they felt about businesses. Positive feelings about businesses were fairly common among the respondents. However, there was a difference in views on foreign businesses as compared to domestic businesses. While the percentage of individuals who reported feeling negatively about businesses was about the same for domestic and foreign businesses, respondents were much more likely to report positive feelings for domestic companies than they were for foreign companies. Sixty percent reported viewing domestic businesses positively, while only 43 percent said they had such views about foreign companies.

As this illustrates, companies operating in a foreign country can face special challenges when it comes to building up trust and a positive image among the consumers in that country. So, when navigating the various steps of doing business in China, it can be important for U.S. businesses to give careful consideration to how their actions will impact local customers’ views of their company.

The respondents were also asked about how they felt about how things were going in their country. The results suggest that individuals in China are currently feeling much more optimistic about things than individuals in the United States. Eighty-five percent of Chinese respondents said they thought things were going well, whereas only 47 percent of Americans did. Meanwhile, 52 percent of Americans said things were not well, an opinion expressed by only 14 percent of Chinese respondents.

As this illustrates, levels of consumer optimism can vary greatly between the U.S. and China. How optimistic customers are feeling in general are among the things that can impact customer behavior. When operating in China, it can be critical for U.S. companies to properly adjust their practices and tactics to the unique views and behaviors of the local customer base.

Source: China Business Review, “Great Expectations,” Robert Moran and Jeremy Ruch, May 8, 2017

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