Chinese Brand Zodiacs

A new method for understanding and managing the brand perceptions of Chinese consumers

The cultural and contextual understanding is the key to success in the marketing field. The Chinese culture and consumers have different values, ideals and unique formative myths which shape their perceptions and interpretations of the world surrounding them.

Western brands which simply adopt the western style of branding to the Chinese markets (or conduct research in China as they do in other parts of the world), might run the risk of disconnection to the thoughts, values, emotions and the actual living situation of Chinese consumers.

The Chinese Brand Zodiacs is a unique method of understanding brands. In the extended research, concept m has discovered that Chinese consumers, on an unconscious level, use the Zodiacs as perceptual pattern where they sense the characters and promises of brands.

The Brand Zodiacs on International Conferences

Brand Case DOVE 
The Attributes of the Rabbit Zodiac

Dove, as a personal care brand, is often seen as soft and gentle. Its classical white packaging has left a strong impression in the eyes of Chinese consumers. The elegant nature of this brand is often associated with the rabbit attributes. On many levels, they are both refined, polite, easy going and yet, show attention to details.

Rabbit Attributes

Diplomatic, polite, easygoing, creative, in camouflage, cautious, appear to be soft, harmless, hidden ambition, elegance

Brand Case PRADA
The Dark Side of the Snake

Snake is the sixth sign and it is mysterious, hidden and graceful. It is elegant and beautiful but skeptical and unrelenting at times. The shadow sides of Snake are similar to some general perceptions of Prada: dark, uncertain and sad.

Snake Attributes

Intentional, inconsistent, lack of trust, lazy, require privacy, secretive, extravagant, jealous

Brand Case MINI – The Expressive Charming Individualist

The Mini has a specific personality profile, which is very attractive to young Western-oriented wealthy Chinese.
The rat Zodiac sign promises an attractive path for development in life. People born in the year of the rat are believed to become wealthy and independent. They are intelligent, smart, adaptable, and popular with others. They are also charming and know how to enjoy life.

Rat Attributes

Adaptable, intelligent, ambitious, pace, charm, lack of concentration, hidden aggression, selfishness

Application of Brand Zodiacs

Insight Research

  • The cultural influences of the Chinese zodiacs
  • Patterns of target groups’ mentality
  • Patterns of brands perceptions
  • Advertising effects
  • Using qualitative-psychological research and advanced implicit
    measurement methods

Marketing Strategy

  • Takes into account the specific cultural differences of Chinese consumers
  • Follows a consistent set
    of methods for the
    segmentation, branding and
    communication process
  • Based on qualitative insights and quantitative data

Creative Communication

  • Integrates with Chinese traditions, values and myths
  • Builds a bridge between the creative idea and the mind set of Chinese consumers
  • Patterns of brands perceptions
  • Closely relates to their perceptions and motivations

Contact for further information

Dirk Ziems 
Managing Partner


Sami Wong
Research Director Asia


About concept m

Concept m is a global research and consulting agency specialized in marketing consulting based on cultural research and a deep understanding of the motivations and perceptions of consumers. Practice focuses on national and international research on motivational insights, segmentation, brand and communication as well as innovation and sales - from ad-hoc studies to extensive strategy consulting. concept m is led by Dirk Ziems, Rochus Winkler and Thomas Ebenfeld. The company employs 50 people and operates internationally in 40 countries. Research director of its Chinese branch in Beijing is Sami Wong. For more information: