Luxury in China: Since the reemergence of consumerism in China, the presence of global luxury brands has acted as a harbinger for the nation’s wider transformation. Luxury has consistently been the symbol of arrival at the national, city and personal level.
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The New Era of Luxury in China
The elite cliches of early arriver brands – such as Louis Vuitton, Armani, Prada, and Dior – have maintained a psychological distance from the Chinese consumers that adore them. Playing a role akin to the “cool kid you know, but will never be friends with”.
Some Chinese people described the brand felt as very distant, it is “like Dior is on the moon, we will never reconcile or get to know each other.”
The family will be the target group of Luxury brands in China
It is assumed the future of luxury brands is depending on the family. It was quite obvious that couples are buying together, and luxury brands are becoming emotional symbols of their romantic stories. In a wider sense, the luxury purchase is becoming a powerful symbol of their immediate family – the one they are building.
However, there are two brands capture the opportunity in time Burberry and Dolce Gabbana. Both brands in their 2015 campaigns have placed luxury in a family context, albeit in differing ways. Burberry has wholeheartedly celebrated Christmas, featuring the toothy grin of Romeo Beckham, the son of a Chinese most adored foreign celebrity. While Dolce Gabbana presented an idealized version of a global family featuring three generations of different nationalities including Chinese.
Now as China is becoming more and more capitalistic, luxury has concomitantly returned, and the family has become increasingly prominent within this context. While the connection between family and luxury comes naturally to Chinese consumers, it is making its way to luxury.
The Rich millennial generation rises
Now it absolutely should not neglect the consumption ability for luxury goods by Chinese millennial. The millennial generation, which already accounts for 300 million people in China, will be an opportunity for the future.
The Thriving of “Personnal Shoppers” could be the Challenge
Luxury and premium brands are still faced with the challenge of massive parallel import, or Personnal Shoppers (using overseas persons to purchase luxury goods for a customer in mainland China as prices can be 30 to 40 percent higher in China), so establishing a functional mechanics for importing luxury products is the priority for now.
You may have bought fake products. This is a lesson for brands don’t have so much price difference! We surveyed our customers, and they said that maybe they can accept 10-20% price gap at most – let’s say that desperately want a particular product and they can’t wait for it to arrive in China. Buying products from Personnal Shoppers not only means no service, no guarantee, no refund, but the product is still probably fake, the fapiao (receipt) is fake and the product never left China.
It’s actually the brand’s fault for price gaps. For example, when one certain U.S. Brand came to China, they raised their price by 50%. But now, Chinese people can travel everywhere, can get long-term visitor visas everywhere, so they can’t be tricked! We know the price difference! If brands didn’t do this then they wouldn’t need to worry about Daigou, so they need to take responsibility for this.
What is the Future Marketing of Luxury Brands
Choose an appropriate e-commerce platform
For many brands, particularly beauty brands like Estee Lauder, Clarins, and David Wellington, learning how to navigate online sale rushes is imperative. Some 30% of annual revenues can be made on Single’s Day (each November 11th in China, and known locally as 11.11), with some even higher, the panel added.
E-commerce definitely will be good for your business, but the main problem is that not any e-commerce platform is suitable for your business.
Tmall, Taobao, and JD are the giants of e-commerce. They are the bigger platforms and also the bests in terms of quality and safety. Thus they are good for selling on Tmall or JD.Com because Chinese people only trust reliable platforms with quality.
However because these e-commerce platforms are very popular in China, it’s not easy to sell on that platform. Most of them only accept brands that have already a significant presence and realized high sales in China. That’s why most of the spirits brands failed to sell on the giants’ platforms, Tmall, Taobao or JD.
If you are the famous brand or have a tight connection with big brands, you can try to sell on Tmall and JD because the 2 platforms want to keep a high ranking and only offer to their consumers’ famous brands and quality products. That’s why they are so selective.
If you are not very famous yet, Wechat store also provides good e-shops. It’s a bit more accessible for beginners of the spirits market.
Collaborate with influencers
The influencers have become a powerful tool for luxury marketing in China. Many influencers command thousands of followers on Chinese social media platforms. They will share your messages with their fans and write articles about your company. Chinese customers tend to trust the opinions of these influencers more.
Promote on Chinese Social media platforms
As Chinese people cannot leave without social media nowadays, advertising on the various Chinese social media platforms is very effective. Among these major platforms, we have Wechat, which is now the platform by the excellence of many companies. With around 889 million registered users in December 2016, Wechat has become a powerful tool for businesses around the world. It is widely used especially among Chinese youth, who are most likely to travel.
As a second popular platform in China, we also note Weibo. It is also very powerful for sharing images and content with a wider audience. Although it cannot match the Wechat user base, it still registered nearly 260 million active users in 2016. Chinese tourists often look for information on these social media platforms before to make decisions about travel.
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