Is WeChat The Ultimate Channel For Luxury Brands To Penetrate The Chinese Market?

摘要: For seasoned luxury brands that have endured the course of history, the quality of the content, whether the content can reach the compatible audience and whether it can precisely convey the message to them, and the feedback of the promotion matter more than data traffic.

(Chinese Version)

As many luxury brands roll out their own Chinese zodiac limited edition and MetBall built itself a Chinese night, even Galeries Lafayette has decided to set up his Chanel shop in Shanghai.

In recent years, the global luxury goods market has been cooling down. And apparently, the Chinese market has become a growth drive for many luxury brands.

In Spring Festival this year, French fashion brand Givenchy chose to team up with Chinese fashion blogger Mr. Bags and rolled out Givenchy Valentine Special Edition Handbag on February 3rd. The special edition was limited to 80 bags, and went on sales on Givenchy’s WeChat official account and Mr. Bags’ official account.

Looking from the quantity, Givenchy didn’t have much of a sales goal for this edition, but had a rather apparent promotion target. And the result was satisfying for Givenchy. The 80 bags were sold out within 12 minutes and the WeChat post garnered more than 100,000 views and one comment gathered 259 likes, getting the brands lots of public attention. According to Baidu’s index, Givenchy had been searched for 11,826 times in the day the WeChat post was pushed to users.

Givenchy’s valentine edition campaign had brought the brands more attention and data flow together with Mr. Bags.

As a matter of fact, Givenchy has always had a thing for the Chinese market. Many Chinese celebrities are also Givenchy’s loyal fans, such as the wild comedian Guo Degang. Guo Degang had attended many events rocking Givenchy.

However, Guo Degang doesn’t really have a good body shape nor the look to really rock Givenchy. If you spot him on the street dressed in Givenchy, you would probably think his whole outfit costs less than $100. That must have been much of a headache for Givenchy’s PR.

In China, Givenchy is generally associated with Chris Lee. Chris Lee has been an active fashion player in the international fashion industry and is actually favored by many designers. Even Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander Wang etc. are very close to her. Givenchy’s creative director Riccardo Tisci has been Chris’s friend for many years.

In early 2016, Givenchy announced that Chris Lee would be the brand’s global branding person and would launch a limited edition of sneakers with her. Besides Chris Lee’s influence and exposure, her fans’ consuming power is also what draws Givenchy to her.

Givenchy is very good at using popular and influential celebrities to promote its brand name. Its “marriage” with Chris Lee is a perfect example of that.

Rumor has it that Riccardo Tisci is going to leave Givenchy for Versace once its contract expires this year. It remains unknown whether he will bring Givenchy’s experience in the Chinese market to Versace and bring up another fashion wave in the country.

It should be noted that Givenchy is not the first luxury brand to sell on WeChat in China. Dior had also tried special limited edition online order via WeChat. Digital sales channel has become quite a big game for luxury brands.

Statistics show that 92% of the 107 luxury brands that have entered China have opened a WeChat account, a 87% growth compared with that of 2014. Cartier and IWC etc. are also selling their products or directing fans to their websites through WeChat.

The interesting thing is, instead of cooperating with e-commerce giant Tmall, these luxury brands are choosing WeChat as their foothold. From my point of view, compared with Tmall, there are more Internet celebrities and thought leaders on WeChat. And the social property of WeChat is what intrigues luxury brands.

Luxury brand prefer to differentiate themselves from the crowd. They come up with chic design and interact with the audience, building a relationship with their loyal fans and connecting with the young people who like fashion in China. That’s how they attract and nurture loyal users.

From many brands’ view, the accuracy of the promotion matters the most. And WeChat, as a closed system, is considered as the most suitable platform for that. “Luxury brands are always focusing on the control of their brand influence. There are no other platforms that are more private than WeChat,” says industry insider.

Becky, fashion blogger that’s ranked the 4th on the chart, opened her WeChat account named as beckysfantasy in October 2014. She had worked with brands such as Chanel, Dior, Burberry, Tiffany, Guerlain, YSL, GUCCI, Cartier, Hermes and Louis Vuitton etc.

Compared with other brands, luxury brands focus more on the accuracy of their promotion. “The targeted audience must be compatible with the brands,” Becky said. “I have many fans with great consumption power, and they follow me because they believe in my taste. And this is what luxury brands are looking for.”

Fashion blogger Fresh Boy who had worked with Cartier believes that luxury brands care more for the promotion accuracy than the traffic.

“For seasoned luxury brands that have endured the course of history, the quality of the content, whether the content can reach the compatible audience and whether it can precisely convey the message to them, and the feedback of the promotion matter more than data traffic.”

“Compared with mass amount of data traffic, the accuracy of promotion matters more for top luxury brands.”

However, as the anti-corruption campaign deepens in China and Chinese people’s desire for luxury brands starts to cool down, the luxury brands would also need to explore the market of young consumers so as to keep up the sales in China. Industry insiders estimate that WeChat’s mini app might be the next battleground for luxury brands to take down.

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[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @New Retail On The Road, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]

Translated by Garrett Lee (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.

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