unt for about 20 percent of the total, but they have quadrupled in the past two years.

“If you can prove to small-town youths that the products are useful, they are willing to pay,” Lan said. “Some inno

vative Saky products have also seen rapid growth in lower-tier markets, including one that removes stains from teeth.”

Chen, from Roland Berger, said that while small-town youths are narrowing the gap with their count

erparts in bigger cities in many ways, they still have many distinct demands. If companies want to win t

hem over, it is important for them to have a deep understanding of lower-tier markets and to draw up strategies acc

ordingly, whether in building brand awareness, or providing specialized products and distribution channels.

For example, while helping a jewelry company to access lower-tier markets, he found tha

t jade inlaid with gold is very popular, although it is considered unfashionable by consumers in large cities.

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