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How to Explore Characteristics of Chinese Millennials on Social

While millennials have experienced the enormous rise of influencer culture, surveys indicate that they are more inclined to be influenced by information from official brand accounts. They tend to view influencer accounts merely as a point of reference when browsing for products and services online.

Engaging content from brands has a greater impact on millennials than Gen-Z. Millennials show the most positive response, both in terms of loyalty and investment, towards brands that connect with them emotionally [S] .

What Make Chinese Millennials Special?

1.Acknowledge vast diversity

Millennials’ diversity is not only prevalent in their personality and individualism, but drastic societal changes have given them vastly different life experiences: Those who grew up in more developed areas had earlier and easier access to resources for advancement, while those who grew up in relatively rural areas continue to lag behind in education and exposure to brands and influence.

Furthermore, older millennials are more likely to be homeowners and under pressure to provide for their family, while younger ones are still trying to discover a meaningful career path… By targeting their unique history and emotions, brands have the opportunity to explore and cater to niche markets.

2.Willing to spend for family

Millennials are the essential workforce in the Chinese economy and often the breadwinners for the family. Though the generational difference between millennials and their parents is great, it doesn’t impact the sense of responsibility and the underlying familial bond. With almost half of them becoming parents themselves, many popular products for seniors and kids are targeted towards millennials.

3.Prioritize quality of products

Chinese millennials are less loyal to brands compared to their predecessors. When asked what is the main factor in a purchase decision, more than 60% of millennials choose quality and durability. [S] They also have a stronger financial capacity compared to Gen-Z [S] in supporting their lifestyles while ensuring life quality. 

Dove Celebrates Diverse Life Choices of Chinese Millennials

In contrast to Generation Z, who explore expressing their identities through creative and entertaining means, millennials find themselves at a later life stage. They’ve honed their ability to choose lifestyles that suit them, embracing a range of social identities.

For women in particular, it’s possible to prioritize a career and still remain single, unmarried, or without children well into their 30s or 40s. However, these life choices often go unrecognized by traditional society, particularly within the more conservative confines of their parents’ generation.

Be the Social Support Lacking in Millennials’ Lives

A screenshot of Dove's weibo super topic

Dove and Souhu Video joined forces to initiate a super-topic on Weibo: #A hundred different kinds of beauty exist in a hundred different girls#, encouraging women from all walks of life with unique backgrounds to share their views on beauty along with their selfies.The super-topic gained a lot of traction, and attracted over 200 thousand unique posts with over a billion reads in total.

Dove invited 100 women to participate in its Weibo super topic for interviews and posted a cut of 20 interviewees on the brand’s official Channels account.

Dove Logo
the flyer for the Dove "A hundred different kinds of beauty exist in a hundred different girls" campaign

Among Dove’s interview subjects there is a law firm partner who is also a single mom and experienced gender discrimination at work, a media worker who migrated from a lower-tier city with only 1500 CNY before making her career, and a housewife who is unhappy with her choice and filled with regret ……
Most subjects are in their late 20s, 30s and early 40s. They are asked to look in the mirror and define their own standard of beauty. The video ends on a positive note: Beauty is from within and doesn’t have standards. You are free, you are brave, you are beautiful.

Dove also provided photoshoots for the 100 women, planned an exhibition and advertised it on Dove’s Weibo account, connecting online branding to offline.

One picture of the photoshoot for a girl from the Dove campaign.

Millennials are Generous Spenders for Their Families

Many products and services have separate payers and users, such as nursing products. As millennials take on more family responsibilities, they play an evermore significant role in brands’ customer journey.

Among those living in 3rd tier and higher cities with a spending capacity of over CNY 1000 per month online, a significant portion —  76.3% — of those in their late 20s and 30s are married. [S]

Despite the evolving perspectives of millennials challenging traditional Chinese values regarding gender roles — where men traditionally work outside the home while women manage domestic affairs — certain stereotypes persist. It’s noteworthy that even as millennials break away from these stereotypes, married women still commonly take on the role of the primary spender at home. In fact, a substantial 62% of domestic consumption and financial management is overseen by females. [S].

How much would post 80s and post 90s females spend on children every month? 31.5% of them will spend between 500 to 1000; 27.3% between 1000 to 2000; 22.9% between 2000 to 3000; parents who spend more than 3000 only constitute 12.9% of the group.

One of the primary domestic expenditures revolves around raising children. In fact, over half of young mothers opt to cut back significantly on their personal spending, particularly on items like clothes, cosmetics, and entertainment. Instead, they choose to redirect more of their financial resources towards supporting their offspring. [S].

Millennials’ parents are usually more affluent. However, they share different spending habits and consumption values with their millennial children and are less engaged in modern consumer society. For example, the majority of seniors would consider age-friendly smart home products to be extravagant and unnecessary. However, their children (millennials) will buy these types of products for them as gifts.

Xiaohongshu screenshots shows that there’re more than 960 thousand Xiaohongshu posts related to the topic of parents’ health or gifts for parents. Popular posts talk about how to pick smart watches suitable for parents. Xiaohongshu also provides viewers with related popular keywords.

Furthermore, while some seniors may embrace a modern mindset and be open to a broader range of purchases, it’s millennials who exhibit greater sensitivity to new market trends, largely owing to their engagement with social media. This makes millennials more receptive to products or services seeking entry into the senior market.

Balabala Understands the Family Economy of Chinese Millennial

Millennials adopt a distinct parenting style compared to their parents, influenced by their unique upbringings. They prioritize nurturing their children’s inner worlds, placing greater emphasis on holistic development rather than solely focusing on academic grades.

balabala logo

“balabala” is a children’s clothing brand for 0-14 year olds, however, the brand’s message “Unique Childhood” is designed for millennial parents, who value interactions with children and respect their unique opinions and thoughts.

Under the Douyin topic “balabala’s Unique Childhood,” balabala collaborated with influencers and regular users to showcase captivating moments from their children’s everyday lives. The initiative aimed to spread the message that adults should actively support children in exploring their individuality, fostering sensitivity and creativity. Striking a chord with numerous parents, the topic garnered an impressive 120 million views, strengthening the connection between balabala’s audience and the brand’s core values.

Douyin’s infrastructure for full-funnel service has matured, and now it is the most popular and efficient social platform for e-commerce conversion. “balabala” took full advantage of Douyin’s ecosystem: after seeing the video and clicking the hashtag, “balabala’”s audience can then access the topic page with a pull-down option redirecting to the brand’s livestream.

Utilize WeChat Ecosystem to ShowTechnology Advantages

“balabala” invests greatly into R&D, and consistently upgrades fabric, design, and practical features, resulting in 150+ patents and multiple international awards.

A screenshot of the balabala wechat article on summer clothing line combining fabrics with tea-leaf extracts.

Naturally, “balabala” chose WeChat to explain its extensive product features in the most specific and colorful way — as a WeChat article can accommodate relatively lengthy and sophisticated content.

With 61.2% of post-80s and post-90s parents choosing WeChat as their main source for parenting information, “balabala”’s WeChat content is well positioned and has gained a lot of attention with main articles usually achieving 100 thousand reads or more.

Take “balabala”’s summer clothing line for example, it creatively combined tea-leaf extract and minerals with fabric, reducing temperatures by 5 degrees and extending the ‘cool’ feeling for an extra 40 minutes… Their winter jackets are light in weight, wind and water-resistant with thermal storage features.
These innovative efforts have successfully attracted millennial parents who prioritize quality of products over other factors.

Another screenshot of the balabala wechat article on summer clothing line combining fabrics with tea-leaf extracts.

If you want to learn more about how can brands attract Chinese millennials on China social media platforms, feel free to download our guide “Social Media Marketing to Millennials in China”.

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