Louis Vuitton or Bear’s Paw
In China, bear’s paw is a rare dish. Maybe on this planet, you will not find people in a second county who will pay 4 thousand Yuan for a paw of bear. Meanwhile, it is also difficult to people from another country that will spend several months’ salaries on a Louis Vuitton bag. Besides astonishing foreigners, eating bear’s paw and purchasing LV bag have another thing in common; they make people spend big money on useless thing.
It’s very difficult for foreigners to understand why Chinese eat bear’s paw as a kind of food. It will be even more difficult if they know the fact that most Chinese who have tasted bear’s paw before don’t think it’s delicious; on the contrary, they think it taste bad, with an evil smell.
To understand this, we need to trace back to ancient time. When in winter, there’s shortage of food for both human and bears. And some of my ancestors accidently saw bears lick their paws in the winter. And they think it is the paw of bear that gives energy and nutrients to the bear. So they began to hunt bears; cook their paws and eat them. I don’t explain this story to give people a lesson that licking hands is a “dangerous” thing in China. Today, you can’t see a bear licking its paw when you go out, but the understanding of the value of bear’s paw hasn’t changed for thousands of years. And in Qing Dynasty, from 17th century to 20th century, bear’s paw is listed on Chinese emperor’s royal menu, together with other notorious dishes like monkey’s brain and placenta of leopard.
Unlike bears, Louis Vuitton doesn’t choose licking its hand to penetrate into China market; instead, it adopts a strategy including exclusive distribution, the brand messaging of the discovery, refinement, French elegance and creativity and also famous and suitable brand ambassador.
Both of them leave Chinese consumers the similar feeling: luxury. In fact, they also have other factors in common.
1. Brand ambassador
They both have top ambassador in their field. Bear has the ultimate brand ambassador you can find in China: emperor who, at the same time, also equals to the best food eater on the planet.
Louis Vuitton chooses the emperor in fashion field in China as their brand ambassador.
2. Hunger marketing
3. Brand culture Louis Vuitton uses its price to make to exclusive to top consumers, but obviously they “failed” in China because even relatively poor people would like to spend salary of several months to buy their bags. Bear’s paw is not only expansive, but also illegal to get which makes it more exciting for people to get it.
3. Brand culture
Carrying a Louis Vuitton bag is a symbol of being a member of high class people which is honorable to China people. Eating a bear’s paw has the same effect. It’s like one day life as the Chinese emperor. Later they can show it off to their friends. That’s also why most Chinese people are still willing to tell people they have paid for something “useless” like LV bags and bear’s paw.