Douyin & the New China Playbook for Brands with Charles Lavoie

In this episode of The Negotiation, we welcome back to the show, Charles Lavoie, VP of Marketing & Head of Creative Labs at WPIC Marketing + Technologies and longtime guest of the pod.

In our conversation, we explore the transformation that China’s e-commerce scene has witnessed due to the rise of Douyin, which has provided global brands with a new platform to connect with Chinese consumers

We examine how Douyin fostered consumer trust by initially incentivizing local brands to lower their prices, gradually cultivating a habit of buying through the app. As trust in the platform increased, larger international brands joined the mix. Today, Douyin hosts not just discounted items, but serves as a launching pad for innovative brand initiatives and drives substantial revenue.

Charles dives deep into how the brand strategy on Douyin differs from Tmall and the comparative advantages of each platform. Our discussion also touches on Little Red Book and Pinduoduo, and how these platforms reshape brand strategy. 

Finally, Charles also explains why a comparable video-driven social commerce platform has not emerged in the West.

Enjoy this insightful conversation on some of the most significant trends in China’s retail marketing landscape!  

Topics discussed in this interview:
  • Rise of Douyin

  • The difficulties of growing Douyin-like platforms in the West

  • Most successful product categories on Douyin

  • The process for brand store setup and operation on Douyin

  • Marketing on Tmall vs. Douyin

  • Livestreaming and influencer collaboration on Tmall vs Douyin

  • Keyword bidding and consumer intent

  • Attribution in closed ecosystems: Understanding consumer behaviour, tracking data importance

  • The rise of micro-influencers in China

  • The impact of Little Red Book

  • The culture of excessive discounting in China

  • Pinduoduo and brand strategy: platform potential, consumer behaviour, collaboration strategies

  • Impact of AI on search engines

  • Lesser-known platforms and trends in China

Award - Tmall 5 Star Partner
Award - Tmall Global 2021 TP100 Silver
Award - CCBC 2022 Gold