It is exciting time to set up business in China with growing opportunity for foreign business and this change is visible and challenging. However it’s manageable with right business plan and right guidance to achieve your business goal in China. For fashion business in particularly have more golden opportunities to expand your business in the fashion market in China, especially in Mainland China.
Here are tips for your business plan, especially for new coming brand and small business. You can Check the article- ‘How can small business in fashion penetration the Chinese market?’ for some advices too. But here I would like to go further discussion for setting up a fashion business in China.
Public relations matters to the business, from marketing perspective, online targetted PR is important for your image !
Public relations are involving how your fashion business operated based on Chinese regulations which govern your fashion industry and investment in Chinese fashion market. It is better to have your business introduction and company’s responsibility which based on Chinese law. Problems will come to you in terms of business scandals such as non-ecofriendly materials used on the product.
Chinese are welcome foreign business entre to China, However, public are also putting more attention and strict requirement for foreign business. So it is essential to deal with public relations well in China, and good online Magazine like Vogue China.
Secondly, you can’t avoid social media has power to enhance you public image or destroy your reputation. So it is important to manage well on your online public relations which are also called online reputation.
Chinese are highly suspicious about brand image on the website, if problem raised, all public will turn against your brand with bad comments and negative discussions on the social media. Thus, Chinese professionals like bloggers or key opinion leaders (KOL) are important to reputation of the brand. They can help you to increase your brand image amongst all netizens or they can have a bad influence on your brand.
No matter you are new fashion business or well fashion brand in China,never ever put yourself in a position which against the public . instead, winning public’s heart is essential for long -term business in China. CEO Mike Jeffries to sell his brand Abercrombie & Fitch to people who were ‘ thin and beautiful ‘ in2013 and in response , blogger posted videos of homeless people being given free Abercrombie & Fitch product (source from Inc.com) and netizens started criticizing the brand and made the scandal in viral.
Organize a fashion event to target your audiences !
Holding a fashion event of your fashion brand will catch a lot more attentions of target audiences! As to a new fashion brand, if you have budget to hold a fashion event or even just a small fashion talk is worthwhile for you for long term business.
Firstly, fashion event can target your audiences more specifically and deliver you message of your brand clearly. Celebrities who attend the fashion event as a spokesman will help your brand to build up more fans of your brand. In China ‘celebrity’s effect’ always works for a brand, if the fans love that super star, they will love your brand too, even it is a new brand!
Secondly, through fashion event, you can hone your brand personality more vividly. Because you will always have a topic of your fashion event and the topic you created will add more personality to your brand. And also the topic you choose will be widely discussed by publicity. Fashion event will help you to increase your brand awareness via media press, social media etc.
For example, nobody knew VISCAP not until Fanbingbing became its spokesman in 2012 and since then, VISCAP has become one of the most successful local designer brands in China
Co- branding with other well- known brand
For new fashion brand, it works by Co- branding with other well-known brand or by collaborating with famous designers or designer brand.
Firstly, it will increase the reputation of the new fashion brand by going through this strategy. There are many Co-branding examples, such as between carmakers and watchmakers (Aston martin and Jaeger-Lecoultre) and between fast fashion brand H&M and Kar-Lager feld. This strategy blurred boundary between high – ends, luxury and mass market product. And at the same time, it increases the market share for both brands.
Secondly, it will increase the uniqueness of the brand by collaborating with designer brand. The uniqueness of collaborative products between the mass market brand and high- end designer brand is important to customer make a purchasing design. If the designer brand can help your brand to increase your uniqueness of brand would be great. However, if the designer brand took over your personality of your brand, you will become sub- brand of the designer brand
Chinese fashion designer Alexander Wang has been recently worked with H&M which increases his brand awareness and at same time this collaboration has made H&M more culture diversity in the mass fashion market and gained more fans in China .
If you think you cannot compete with big brand in the market yet, choose to go second, or even third- tier cities.
It is a clever choice for brand new brands to go developing their market in the second or third- tier cities.
Firstly, less competitors with your brand and you can more easier to start your business in China as first step of entering into Chinese market.
Secondly, there are a lot more market growth in second or third- tier market over past few years, and also because too many foreign companies invested their business in first- tier cities like Shanghai and Beijing over the years. The government started put more restrictions on investment of business in these areas for foreign business.
Thirdly, there are more rich people who used to living in big cities are now moving to second or even third- tier cities in terms of the air pollution in big cities or higher standard of living environment. So, for the best choice for new fashion brand in heading to second and third- tier cities.
For example, some of big luxury brand like L’Oreal and Lancôme were moving their business center to second- tier cities in 2013 which gained huge success in this market and also the online market on E- commerce platforms.
To sum up, as to newcomers of foreign fashion brand, there are more challenges for the business in China. But it will go well as long as the brand has a right marketing plan and good advices from marketing professionals. MarketingtoChina is a professional marketing agency to help your business and increase your brand awareness through varies of marketing solution in China.