It’s safe to say that Chinese consumers are even more knowledgeable about the world of luxury than their Western counterparts. In fact, luxury is a way of life for affluent Chinese consumers, and this arguably affects brands in many ways.
One of the major changes of recent years has been the shift from making blingy, big-logo purchases to a more curious look at luxury. Today, it’s about being discerning, as having a savvy knowledge of luxury goods expands from China’s first tier cities and well-travelled set of affluent consumers, to reach wider, regional audiences. Continue reading “Op-Ed: Hyper-localism – Luxury Brands in China Must Prepare to ‘Go Local’”
While the wine industry in China has been booming for years now, the industry is far from the simple gold mine that it seemed to be in the past. Those who have lived in China for some time will remember the ‘grape rush’ circa 2010, as many a Frenchman came to cities such as Shanghai, quickly opening up a wine importing / retail company, before just as quickly shutting it down as Chinese consumers were able to buy any grape under the Sun from Tmall and China’s other m-commerce giants.
A decade ago, a bottle of wine was a mere box on the checklist of middle-class aspiration – a token alongside cheese, coffee and golf – while nowadays there has been a shift to genuine enjoyment, knowledge and dare we say oenophilia (while a checklist photo of the wine glasses ‘cheers’ is still a common WeChat sight come Friday evening). Domestic vineyards are proving so bountiful that Chinese wine tourism is set to becomine a thing. Counterfeiting is finally being tackled. Trade organisations are allegedly throwing huge amounts of money at borderline unknown Chinese ‘KOLs’ to live-stream themselves drinking particular wines.
China’s cup poureth over in terms of demand, with the country set to become the world’s second biggest wine market overall by 2020, and is in fact already leading in the top-end segment, as is revealed below. But what is the state of this unique marketplace? In terms of reaching the Chinese wine drinker whether you’re a national wine group, a label, importer or restaurant/bar, what’s happening in 2018 and what should you know about the ‘grape wall of China’? Continue reading “Wine in China: A Fruitful Opportunity If You Can Hit the High Notes”
We’ve told you about China’s self-declared Spicy Mamas – and the face of modern fatherhood in China is also one that distinctly differs from past generations. Luxury brands and new media platforms in China are finding that China’s affluent, modern Dad is keen to be seen as part of the successful family unit. Continue reading “China’s New ‘Wonder Dads’ Go Big on Luxury for All the Family”
By Nick Withycombe
Yes, I said it: China’s KOL bubble.
KOLs have become a solid part of any brand’s checklist when operating in China. To be frank, if that needs further explanation then you’re already a few years behind the curve: KOLs in China are examples of many aspects of modern society here – when a concept is taken from the west (influencers, in this case) and is super-charged into massive earning and income potential. You might even say ‘enhanced capitalism’, but now is not the time to go into that.
KOLs are more influential on both consumption behaviours and social trends than celebrity movie stars and singers. There are Chinese KOLs for any type of field you can imagine – not only fashion and sports, but there are travel KOLs, pet KOLs, even ‘park & garden KOLs‘. With a population this big and country this diverse, there’s something for everyone.
Yet, is there now over-reliance on the KOL as a silver bullet? More than that, are certain ‘China marketing/business experts’ guilty of reducing KOL marketing to mere advertising of budget = views theorem? Continue reading “Op-Ed: China’s KOL Bubble, and How Brands Can Prepare”
We’ve all seen the carefully curated gym pics going out on social media. But more than just a chance to flash the flesh, fitness and exercise have a whole new meaning in China. Fitness is the new status symbol of luxury and wealth.
Bling is tuhao (nouveau-riche and lacking in class), Gucci is ‘something my Mum wears’, and a YSL lipstick is fine for entry-level luxury. But if you want something that says ‘I have plenty of free time, I am as up-to-date as can be with international trends, and I am a class above’ – you want a toned bod with a booty to boot.
A fine physique takes much more money, know-how, and time to build. Shapes and muscles speak of privilege, and are fast becoming a badge of social status itself. A growing segment of China’s young, wealthy class is shifting attention from obvious brand purchase to fitness and bodybuilding. Continue reading “How a Curvy Butt is the New Luxury Status Symbol in China”
If your travel brand is not offering impressive and integrated WeChat solutions – why not?! Payment gateways, location-based features, ‘internet of things’ interactivity, marketing campaigns … WeChat does it all. Here are some notable WeChat campaigns and features, cleverly used by luxury travel brands.
Continue reading “5 of the Smartest WeChat Luxury Travel Campaigns We’ve Seen”
The KOL (key opinion leader) or influencer dynamic is a typical story of China taking something already in existence in the West and rapidly discovering new ways to create revenue out of it.
We dipped into the issue previously, with our piece on KOLs in China. Let’s go a bit further into what is becoming the top priority for any luxury brand in the China market.
If you’re into stats, then Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has millennials at 40 percent of China’s urban population between the ages of 15 and 70, statistising that the millenial bracket will perform 69 percent of consumption by 2021. If you’re in China, then you don’t need stats. You will have noticed all people of all ages glued to their phones at all times of day or night, whether in a car, a bar, or even in the cinema. You will have heard talk of almost nothing but shopping, dining, holidaying, car and home-buying.
Continue reading “The Truth About Working with KOLs for Success in China”
Is the selling power of China’s KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) changing the nature of Chinese e-commerce marketing?
This past year has seen an explosion in KOLs moving from merely posting branded content, to now helping brands to directly sell product. Last week we saw a prime example of this shift in KOL power when Mini Cooper teamed up with Chinese fashion blogger Becky Li to sell 100 Mini Cooper cars. She leveraged her vast social media following to help the brand sell 100 cars in 4 minutes.
In this issue of The Luxury Conversation, we look at four recent examples of this influence-to-sales shift, and provide tips on how to get the best results from similar partnerships.
Continue reading “KOLs in China: How to Craft Relationships for Returns”
China’s jewelry consumption isn’t growing at the breakneck speed of years past, but evolving tastes among high-end consumers still present opportunities for both established and emerging players.
As the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show kicks off this week, we take a closer look at the market. Jewelry consumption in China has experienced significant growth over the past decade, with this period also representing a major evolution in consumer tastes and a shift in purchasing methodology.
Continue reading “Jewelry; China’s High-End Consumers Dare to be Different”