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China 2016: INSIGHTS | BUSINESS TO HUMAN

IN THE B2H ERA, EVERYONE CAN BE A BRAND ADVOCATE



ONIE CHU
Deputy Managing Director
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Onie.Chu@hkstrategies.com
The past twelve months saw WeChat gaining tremendous velocity in the social media space. Amongst the 600 million users globally, 570 million are considered active users in China. These Chinese users rely heavily on WeChat for social networking. Statistics reveal that 57.3 percent
of them get to make new friends via WeChat while 86.1 percent have increased interactions with friends.
Not only are instant messaging, and sharing moments becoming daily routines, engaging in group conversations is emerging as an a nitive behavior. Private chat groups ranging from tens to the maximum of 500 users have mushroomed. Some of those groups focus on a certain interest, some are for educational purposes, some for e-commerce, and some are simply for daily networking. Within the groups, the sharing, commenting and endorsing of discussions can easily accumulate to thousands of messages per day.

This huge exchange of content on the mobile platform challenges brands to rethink their communication model. Like it or not, brands cannot simply practice B2B or B2C communications, it’s o cially the B2H communication era. While drawing the stakeholder map, brands need to consider the interest of the public at large in addition to distinctive groups. Always put a purpose at the core of the brand narrative, inject it with creativity, and articulate into relevant stories to tell. To catch eyeballs and be sharable, the content has to carry a bit of humor, timeliness and relevance. When everything is done right and by leveraging the power of WeChat sharing, brands will be surprised at the number of advocates they have. Indeed, every individual is an influencer.

It’s said that once we step into the B2H era, there’s no turning back!
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