China’s pet market has seen remarkable growth in recent years, especially with the emergence of the “cat economy,” presenting unprecedented opportunities for international pet brands.

To thrive in this competitive market, brands must develop effective marketing strategies and gain a deep understanding of the unique demands of Chinese consumers. This article delves into how precise market positioning and innovative marketing techniques can enable international pet brands to succeed in China.

The Chinese pet market is characterized by 3 important trends:

1. Rapid Growth in the Chinese Market

In 2023, the number of pet cats reached 69.8 million, a 6.8% increase from 2022. Pet dogs numbered 51.75 million, up 1.1%. This growth reflects not only in numbers but also in the demand for high-quality products and services from pet owners.

2. Consumption Upgrade

With rising living standards, spending on pet products and services is also upgrading. The market demand for high-quality products is continuously increasing, from basic food to high-end smart devices.

3. Emotional Support

Pets have become emotional support for young people, especially office workers. Brands need to meet pet owners’ needs for emotional connection and interaction through their products and services.

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Positioning of International Pet Brands in Chinese Market

To succeed in the Chinese market, international pet brands need clear market positioning and strategies targeted at their consumers.

1. Segmenting Consumer Groups

Segment the market according to the different needs of Chinese consumers. Imported pet brands should target China’s mid-to-high-end consumers, functional demand groups, and emotional demand groups, offering corresponding products and services for each group.

For example, high-end consumers focus on product quality and brand effect, so high-end pet food and smart devices can be introduced. Functional demand groups can focus on nutritional products and health management services.

2. Localization Strategy in the Chinese Market

When entering the Chinese market, foreign brands need to make localization adjustments, including product packaging, promotional methods, and after-sales service. Understanding and respecting Chinese consumers’ cultural habits and aesthetic preferences will make products more attractive. For instance, integrating Chinese elements into product packaging can enhance brand affinity.

Positioning of International Pet Brands in Chinese Market

Marketing Methods in China’s Pet Economy

1. Social Media Marketing

Chinese consumers highly rely on social media for information and sharing their lives. Brands can establish close connections with consumers through popular platforms like WeChat, Weibo, and Xiaohongshu. Using KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) and KOCs (Key Opinion Consumers) for product promotion can enhance brand influence.

2. Live Streaming Sales

Live streaming e-commerce is rapidly developing in China. Brands can conduct live streaming on any platform or cooperate with influencers. Direct interaction with consumers and live demonstrations of products can increase exposure and sales. Chinese consumers are now accustomed to this marketing model and receive a lot of product information through shopping, social, and video platforms.

3. Content Marketing

Attract target consumers by publishing high-quality pet-related content such as pet care knowledge and health guides. Brands can post original content on their websites, WeChat public accounts, and Weibo to build a professional image and increase trust among Chinese consumers.

4. User Experience Optimization

Providing high-quality after-sales service and a user experience with Chinese characteristics can enhance consumer brand loyalty. For example, setting up 24-hour online customer service to quickly resolve issues, and offering personalized services like custom pet food formulas to meet special needs.

Marketing Methods in Chinese Pet Market

International Pet Food Brands in the Chinese Market

“PetAwards” is China’s first pet industry award voted by pet product consumers. Based on annual research from the “China Pet Industry White Paper,” it covers a wide range of pet owners in China.

Brands like Acana, Orijen, Instinct, and PetMaster have won the “2023 Most Popular Brand (Imported Dog Food)” and “Most Popular Brand (Imported Cat Food)” awards. In the imported dog food category, brands like Nutrience, NUTRO, Merrick, Addiction, and K9 Natural stood out, while brands like Solid Gold, Feline Natural, Now Fresh, Open Farm, and NUTRO won the “2023 Most Popular Brand (Imported Cat Food)” awards.

Future of Pet Economy in the Chinese Market

As the Chinese pet market continues to develop, international brands need to keep innovating to maintain competitiveness.

1. Intelligent Trend

Smart pet devices, such as safer automatic feeders and more functional smart litter boxes, are becoming increasingly popular. Brands should invest more in smart products to meet the demands of Chinese consumers.

2. Emotional Connection

Brands can create products and services that build emotional connections with consumers, increasing brand loyalty. For example, launching customized pet accessories, pet memorials, end-of-life care guides, cat emotion interpretation manuals, and scientific care courses can enhance emotional investment.

3. Environmental and sustainable development

With the rising awareness of environmental protection, consumers are paying more attention to the eco-friendliness of products. Brands can introduce pet products made from eco-friendly materials like cat litter and biodegradable bags to meet consumers’ environmental demands and enhance brand image.

Future of Pet Economy in chinese market

The rapid development of China’s pet economy presents both great opportunities and challenges for international pet brands. By following the strategies and methods above, international pet brands can stand out in the Chinese market, achieve sustained business growth, and develop long-term brand success. 

For more information and marketing strategies about the Chinese cat market, please contact us. The Staiirs professional team will provide you with the most comprehensive services.