Two years of strategic planning paid off in pleasing form with the launch of the first Australian Macadamias consumer promotional campaign in China late last month.
Spread over two events in Shanghai and Guangzhou on 24 and 26 November, the launch attracted the who’s who of Chinese industry players and was supported by Australian federal and state government departments.
The extraordinary turnout of more than 230 guests over the two events comprised Chinese nut processors and value-adders, online and offline retailers, wholesalers, media and members of industry associations.
Also in attendance were Australian macadamia growers and marketers and representatives from the Australian government as well as New South Wales, Victorian and Queensland state government departments.
Richard Doggett, Chair of the Board of the Australian Macadamia Society and a macadamia grower, officially welcomed guests prior to a video message from the Honourable Andrew Robb, Australian Government Minister for Trade and Investment, and an introduction from Austrade.
Minister Robb highlighted the strong base from which this campaign is launching, with exports of Australian macadamias to China up 86% in the past two years, and China now representing 24% of all Australian macadamias sold globally.
With the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement expected to enter into force soon, our product is set to become even more affordable for Chinese consumers, making our clean, green premium product more attractive than ever to this market.
Minister Robb’s video message can be viewed in full here.
Investment backed by knowledge
Australian Macadamias Market Development Manager Lynne Ziehlke introduced the consumer campaign, explaining the depth of research and planning that occurred in the lead up to the launch and the importance Australian growers place on China as a market for our product. She provided a snapshot of our industry and the regulations and farming practices that underpin the quality of Australian-grown macadamias.
Marketing experience and knowledge gained both domestically and in other export markets means our program now reaches more than 80 million consumers each year, and we have an excellent understanding of what motivates our fans in each market.
Further to Minister Robb’s comments, Lynne illustrated the popularity of macadamias in China already, with both kernel and in-shell imports into China from Australia more than doubling since 2013, as have e-commerce sales, while the healthy snacking category has experienced double-digit growth.
In-depth research was conducted prior to designing our launch campaign in China, zeroing in on consumption occasions, possible positioning, price elasticity, regionality, seasonality, core target markets and media consumption. This information unearthed potent market opportunities that our campaign will tap into as we drive consumption frequency, new applications, increased awareness and Australia as the source of the world’s best quality macadamias.
The overriding campaign objective is to educate consumers and drive demand for Australian macadamias. In doing so, it will:
- Maximise visibility of macadamias
- Engage consumers with the differentiating benefits and premium attributes of macadamias
- Generate positive word of mouth
- Support our partners
More details of the campaign activities can be found here.
Carefully crafted messaging
A significant part of the market research and analysis that preceded the launch centred on consumer profiling and development of core messaging that we believe will create a powerful first impression with those market segments most receptive to our product.
The core positioning developed for macadamias in China is ‘The beauty nut that’s also best for baby’. This will be brought to life via a series of tactical campaigns directed at our target audience of professional Chinese women living in top-tier cities, earning a high income and demanding quality nutrition as she approaches pregnancy and throughout motherhood.
Brendan Tansey, CEO of Digital for Greater China at Havas Worldwide Digital Shanghai, explained that as a nut that offers tangible benefits related to healthy snacking, skin smoothness and firmness, and health benefits that can pass from mother to baby, macadamias are perfectly placed to own this market positioning. Our campaign will make it the nut of choice for beauty conscious women who are too busy to spend a lot of time on a beauty regime. Macadamias can supplement their other beauty practices freeing them to concentrate on their busy lifestyles.
Three influencers have been engaged to bring the messaging to life for Chinese consumers – a model, businesswoman and aspirational mother. A short video was produced showing how each incorporates macadamias into her health and beauty routine – view it here.
Brendan outlined the social media strategy that will deliver brand messaging to tens of millions of Chinese consumers,
with heavy activity scheduled on China’s most popular platforms WeChat, Weibo and Youku. This will educate, engage and inform consumers and drive traffic to the new Australian Macadamias Chinese website
Macadamia product showcase
A showcase of popular Australian products containing macadamias was on display and guests were eager to take a closer look. Everyone also received a gift bag to take home, enabling them to experience our product first-hand and share it with family or colleagues.
Extraordinary media coverage and feedback
Both the Shanghai and Guangzhou events generated significant media coverage in China, covering both print media (Shanghai Daily) and online media that attract over 2 billion daily page views.
Furthermore many of the guests have since made contact to compliment the quality of the events, praising the depth of information and insights presented and the overall cooperative business approach that was evident throughout.
This launch represents a pivotal moment for Australia’s macadamia industry and we look forward to sharing campaign results over the coming year.
If you would like any further information on our China campaign, please don’t hesitate to contact Lynne Ziehlke.