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Starbucks cracks Chinese culture to succeed | WARC


“In order to climb up the hierarchy, however, you needed to internalise the rules of that hierarchy. You need to advance by mastering convention, not bucking against tradition… this is the core unifying tension in China that brands need to resolve, in order to charge a price premium,” he said at the recent Mumbrella360 Asia event in Singapore.

For more on how brands can successfully tap Chinese consumer culture, read WARC’s in-depth report: Three golden rules to crack China’s consumer culture.

Despite being a mostly tea-drinking country, Starbucks recently opened its largest store ever in Shanghai and is launching a new branch roughly every 15 hours in China.

Doctoroff explained that Starbucks found success in China “by conforming to the public consumption imperative” and offering opportunities to show social status.

Even the pricing strategy takes this philosophy into account – the Starbucks logo is a status symbol, so products emblazoned with the logo are more expensive.

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Starbucks cracks Chinese culture to succeed | WARC.

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