The Chinese Consumer
With a recent increase in disposable income among the upper class in China. These upper class consumers can now be identified by a number of traits. First, due to their increase in disposable income, many are seeking experiences that are different from those available in the mass market.
Second, in China consumers treat the product and services they purchase as a means of showing one’s social reputation. For example in China, female consumers consider clothing as a symbolic medium to demonstrate one’s social status or express one’s social image.
Third, the typical Chinese consumer is increasingly self-indulgent, seeking products and offerings that cater to his or her personal gratification. For Chinese individuals traits such as achievement, stimulation and power are seen as more valuable in comparison to what the more collectivist individuals find more valuable, traits like conformity and tradition. It’s clear that with the economic growth in China more people will become more individualistic and materialistic.
To really see how the economic growth and the increase in disposable income are affecting the upper class consumers, we can take a closer look at the golfing industry. Like in the U.S, golf clubs in China all have well manicured grass, golf carts and well-dressed members. However when looking further in, these members aside from having caddies are served by host drivers, umbrella holders and even have their own personal waitresses. Rather than just drinking water these members treat themselves to beer and other alcoholic beverages. The additional features present in the golf industry match perfectly with the culture of those in the upper class with greater disposable income who self indulge and like to maintain impressions.
Very few people play golf in China, mostly only the country’s wealthy elite play. As China’s economy continues to grow and the wealth of the upper class continues to rise, so will the growth of the distinct golf culture in China, which could eventually have an impact on the golf culture globally.