What you need to know about regional differences and local pride to grow your brand among Chinese youth. It is more than physical attributes, locality also decides who is in and who is out.
- The Bergstrom Group
REGIONAL PRIDE IN CHINA: YOUNG CONSUMERS DEFINE HOME PERSPECTIVE
INTRODUCTION Regional differences are more than objective, external attributes. In China, they also help define who is “in” and who is out. Beyond spoken dialects, media makes sure the definitions are universally understood and Internet language maintains boundaries online.
From I China to I Shanghai On a cold December morning, Shanghai radio station Moving 101's "Music Breakfast" program was being broadcast. Hosts Xiao Jun and Xiao Chang were chatting in Shanghainese dialect, joking with the audience during a break in the music. An audience member sent an SMS message to the show: "I beg you guys to stop speaking Shanghainese, I hate you Shanghainese people! "
The DJ replied on air: "...to this audience member, please roll yourself into a ball and then roll yourself out of this city you hate and the presence of these people you hate!" After this bomb exploded, people online were quick to take a stance. SNS users changed their profile images to "I love Shanghai" and shared photos and messages to support their hometown. Shanghai people themselves were from other cities back in the old days. The thing Shanghainese talk about most is WDR's bad manners. - Jimmy, 23, male, Shanghai
<ul><li>Language of Exclusion </li></ul><ul><li>" 门槛精 (Men Kan Jing)", meaning </li></ul><ul><li>"being smart and not easily duped" in </li></ul><ul><li>Shanghai dialect, is often used by people </li></ul><ul><li>from other pats of China to describe </li></ul><ul><li>Shanghainese people. Tit for tat, </li></ul><ul><li>Shanghainese have developed slang to </li></ul><ul><li>refer to non-Shanghainese too - 外地 </li></ul><ul><li>(Wai Di Ren - people from outside of </li></ul><ul><li>Shanghai) or 乡下人 (Xiang Xia Ren – </li></ul><ul><li>country bumpkin). </li></ul>
Using the term WD (Wai Di) was censored by online community KDS because of the issue's sensitivity. Still eager to communicate their position, KDS users started using YP, an abbreviation for "Yingpan", meaning hardware in English. What does hardware have to do with it? There is a famous hardware company West Digital, which is abbreviated to WD. Sly, eh?
In the Culture Shanghai Dialect Input Method Editor is an application that allows users to type in Shanghainese. The tool was created by Professor Qian Nairong, a strong advocate for preserving the language by making it modern and accessible.
<ul><li>Shanghainese-dialect rap song "99 Reasons Why I Love Shanghai" </li></ul><ul><li>上海是所有宁咯 FAMILY Shanghai is everyone's family </li></ul><ul><li>才讲上海闲话 We all speak Shanghainese. </li></ul><ul><li>上海一年一个样 The face of Shanghai changes every year. </li></ul><ul><li>上海咯明朝会得越来越可爱 The future of Shanghai will be so amazing. </li></ul><ul><li>阿拉咯上海 大家一道 say Hey! Our Shanghai, let's say Hey together! </li></ul>
Brands Go Native Keeping regional dialects alive of course is not only a means of excluding outsiders, it is also a means of establishing an inner circle. Speaking these languages connotes that you are in the know, you come from a common place and share a set of expectations about the future.
Shanghainese beer brand Reeb touted its Shanghainese roots in a TVC spot. It is an ode to the city and a reminder that the brand's belonging. Lyrics: 上海是我长大成人的所在 Shanghai is where I was born and grew up, 带着我所有的情怀 and have all my memories. 第一次干杯 The first drink, 头一回恋爱 the first love, 在永远的纯真年代 they remain in the age of innocence. 好日子 好时代 Wonderful days, wonderful times, 我在上海 力波也在 I am in Shanghai. So is REEB. To see the ad (within China), visit here .
MOVIES "CRAZY STONE" AND "CRAZY RACER" WERE RELEASED IN A MIX OF MANDARIN, SICHUAN, QINGDAO, GUANGDONG AND NORTHEASTERN DIALECTS Dialects Rule Shanghai people are trying their best to preserve and develop their culture including the dialect. Of course, Shanghai is just one example. Every regional dialect has its own culture and fans.
TAKE AWAYS Understanding what regional identities exist and what connotations they have is critical for brands hoping to gain favor – without alienating. How can your brand be part of the local scene? How can you adopt visual and verbal cues that demonstrate that you know your consumers and fit into their lives better than your competition?
<ul><ul><li>OUR STORY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Established in 2006, Bergstrom Trends has developed a reputation for providing vivid customer immersions for brands and agencies. We began our commitment to China by focusing on youth and have since broadened our scope to include women and lower tier consumers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based in Shanghai, our on-the-ground team of subject matter experts, researchers, trendspotters and photographers is dedicated to telling the story of new China in a way that is both authentic and actionable. </li></ul></ul>