The Chinese are one of the world’s largest consumers of luxury products. Sales of luxury goods in China represent a staggering 20% of the global market in 2015. Nonetheless, the Chinese consumer’s desires and concerns with regards to luxury brands are significantly different.

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What do Chinese consumers want ?

The increasingly affluent Chinese middle and upper class seek to purchase international, luxury products. Their tastes for luxury are constantly evolving which leaves room for local, domestic brands. This poses a threat to traditional, western luxury brands.

China is set to become the world’s largest market for high-end products and services so understanding what Chinese consumers want and how to tailor your product here is vital.

Quality and Authenticity

With increasing numbers of counterfeit, fake products circulating the Chinese luxury consumer prioritizes authenticity and quality. They will pay a significant premium for this. Counterfeit goods undermine a luxury brand’s image so ensure the product is unique, intricate and difficult to copy.

The luxury brand represents quality of production and service so ensure these impeccable standards are employed in China with regards to the aesthetic of stores, products and the process of training staff.


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As the consumer’s purchasing power grows so does the desire they have to distinguish themselves in some way from others. This is especially so in China where there are 1.3 billion people. This explains why consumers are more willing to buy exclusive, unique goods regardless of the cost, this contrasts with American consumers who typically prioritise paying the best price when buying high-end brands.

Make your products exclusive and customizable. The affluent Chinese consumer will value being able to personalize the product so that it is unique to them and will pay handsomely for the privilege of doing so.

Brand Story

The Chinese consumer is drawn to appealing narratives surrounding products, they are looking for something unique which sets a brand apart in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Connecting with consumers emotionally through a well constructed narrative has become evermore important. Products come to life through stories and this can be what elevates your brand.

Chinese luxury consumers want to feel different when they buy a luxury brand, they prefer brands with this unique and distinguished story.

They want to understand the brand’s heritage and level of craftsmanship which are reflected through a brands’ narrative.  Have an interesting story to tell to attract Chinese luxury consumers.

The love story may be considered a cliché in the west but in China it remains popular and has a strong, enduring appeal. Love stories are very popular in China with many popular songs, films and books concerned with this classic example of a ‘human interest’ story. Brands can effectively engage through a well marketed love story which feels genuine and sincere.
Sebastien Grynko a Frenchman from Paris has had much success in China with his luxury lingerie brand ‘Chaton’. A well constructed romantic narrative combined with the Chinese perception of French products as luxurious and sensual has contributed to the success of the brand.
He has marketed lingerie in a personal way basing the narrative around himself and his partner. In a previous interview with us he spoke of how; “for Irina and I choosing lingerie was really something very natural. Irina is a Russian and Slavic women, any self-respecting woman has a huge penchant for lingerie.”
The narrative is concerned with the couple who become intimately associated with the product. They have posted video’s of themselves on Youku and make themselves accessible to customers. This personal, romantic touch has proved popular with the Chinese.

Brand Reputation

In China people are concerned with ‘keeping face’, with having a positive reputation. Status and prestige is therefore vital for the affluent consumer who will look to purchase brands that reflect this. Luxury brands need to stay abreast of consumer trends, to constantly access what the Chinese are looking for in terms of how they seek to present themselves. It is important to manage your reputation online and offline.

Niche Brands

Consumers are looking for something to set themselves apart from the rest, to define themselves as a true individual. The rising popularity of niche brands in China reflects this. People seek something that is rarer and thus a smaller, less well known label can be a very positive thing. This trend represents a significant opportunity for lesser known brands and labels to move into the Chinese market.


More China, less show off?

Subtly in luxury branding has always been important but in the current political climate it is perhaps key in China. Moral Laws have been imposed by the Chinese government to fight against corruption and ostentatious display. Discreet items may be preferred whilst a greater emphasis on Chinese culture could be incorporated into the products and branding.

Luxury products could recall traditions, history, lifestyle, calligraphy and even capitalize on the traditional patriotism of Chinese people, the “China Pride”.


Luxury Brands should keep in mind that Chinese consumers are different from other luxury consumers, high-end brands need to adapt themselves in order to offer Chinese consumers what that they are looking for, this is especially important because of the premium price they pay.

If you are interested in further understanding Chinese luxury consumers and how to attract them don’t hesitate to contact us.