China Marketing

Beer and branding - finding a place to land in China

Foreign brands that have made the decision to enter the China market face several particular hurdles when it comes to creating and implementing brand strategy and brand awareness among their target audience. This was no different for Chicago craft beer brand, Goose Island.


When the Goose decided to land in China they needed to quickly raise awareness among target consumers, while maintaining the authenticity of their brand, and do it through a platform they had not utilized before.

Here’s the plan that was brewed up:

Find your space

Foreign brands shouldn’t sacrifice their unique characteristics when adapting for the China market, but rather find the right characteristics to shine the spotlight on. The Goose Island brand has strong ties to the music and art scene in the US, and this was an important aspect they wanted to stay true to, however this space was already occupied. To avoid getting drowned out by China’s many mid-range beers who already have strong ties with the music scene, Goose Island highlighted the fact that their beers are a premium experience, based on craft and quality.

Shout it from the rooftops

Once you have the right message, you need to get it in front of your target audience as quickly and efficiently as possible. Goose Island launched in Shanghai and Beijing. While the craft beer experts already have a well-oiled set of launch week activities, they needed to get the word out. With the usual social media tools, Facebook and Twitter out of commission in China, WeChat was the primary platform to create a buzz among the community. By recruiting key opinion leaders in the F&B, artist and music industries, Goose Island saw their WeChat followers grow into the thousands in just weeks.

Goose Island has enjoyed continued success and popularity in both Shanghai and Beijing, with the distinctive goose head beer tap being a regular sight for drinkers in both cities. And in Shanghai, they just got their own place – the newly opened Goose Island Brew Pub!

Developing a branding and messaging strategy for China can easily go wrong, but like most things in life, someone out there is an expert on it. You can check out these tips for finding a China marketing agencythat is right for your brand.

If you are interested in how Brandigo China helped Goose Island migrate to China, or would like to know more about our full range of services, drop us a line at hello@Brandigochina.com, or check out our handy guides to marketing in China.


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