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”
The Luxury Conversation attended China Connect’s Shanghai 2018 edition, which featured expert speakers talking about what’s currently at the tip of the spear of engagement with China’s consumers. A wide-ranging and insightful event, attended by over 300 people, China Connect was held at The Explorium on Yishan Road.
Among the engaging talks was that by Sophia Ong, GM of Strategic Partner & Key Account at Tencent, in which Sophia spoke about the well-known (let’s go ahead and call it God-like) power of WeChat and the Tencent eco-system.
Sophia’s presentation clarified that luxury brands need to quickly maximise their WeChat adoption and adaptation in order to keep up with the expectations of the Chinese consumer. Here are the key takeaways from the talk – with a thrilling preview into the next generation of WeChat commerce capabilities: WeLife. Continue reading “WeChat’s Next-Gen: ‘WeLife’ Previewed at China Connect, Shanghai 2018”
Last month, Secoo held a brand upgrade press conference, to announce their new slogan – ‘Devoted to You’ and to introduce the brand’s expansion plans. Already the leading premium lifestyle platform with over 25% market share, these bold new plans centred on customisation – unique collaborations with Chinese designers and talents, personalisation – high-end travel and personalised education packages, rental – a seven-day luxury bags and watches service, as well as partnerships and co-branding aimed at diversifying Secoo into new products and offline, social experiences. Continue reading “5 Questions with: Richard Li, Founder & CEO of Secoo, China’s Leading Premium E-Commerce & Lifestyle Platform”
It isn’t in any doubt that China is the place to be for luxury brands. How can businesses take the first steps to tapping into this huge market? Thankfully, the opportunity is possible due to China becoming one of, if not the most digitally innovative country in the world.
Here are 8 ways WeChat can work magic — even for a company based outside of China: Continue reading “8 Ways WeChat Can Work Magic for Luxury Brands in China – and Beyond”
The China Luxury Committee event took place on the 18th of May in Shanghai. With expert speakers, the event was attended by an invitation-only guest list, including top-level executives from brands such as Chow Tai Fook, Focus Media, Tmall, Tencent, Gucci, Lane Crawford, Lululemon, Moet Hennessy Diageo, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and many more.
The event was highlighted by keynote speeches and a panel discussion, moderated by Chloé Reuter, Founder and CEO of Reuter Communications.
CEO of Secoo – the leading luxury online platform – Eric Chan gave many insights as to their success. The key aspect to Secoo’s success has been embracing the strength of offline experiences – even as an e-commerce platform, as well as not being afraid of diversification: Continue reading “Expert Insight on the Future of Luxury E-tail in China; the China Luxury Committee in Shanghai”
By Tamsin Smith
It seems not a day goes by without another of China’s e-commerce platforms announcing a luxury initiative, attempting to lure the top brands to their sites with exclusivity, the fight against fakes and seamless logistics services. Many foreign luxury brands, however, are still unclear over the reality of the various apps and platforms in regards to luxury retail; and it’s easy to see why.
Continue reading “Luring Luxury to China’s E-commerce World; Who Comes Out On Top?”
You will have seen the work of Blue Mount, without even realising it — the designs of top luxury brands’ retail stores, such as Shanghai Tang, Christian Louboutin, Coach, Ted Baker, Lane Crawford, Value Retail, K11 and much more is down to them. The simple term to sum up these projects is ‘Visual Merchandising’, while the reality is that their pioneering development of the field in China has led to the more apt label of Integrated Experience Curator.
Combining original artwork from established artists, cultural relevancy which inspires, cutting-edge technology that engages and meeting the varying requirements of brands, malls and department stores has led Blue Mount to become the leader in the field, with a presence all over China, as well as in the UK.
We met with Blue Mount CEO, Luca Lam, for a chat about his experience. Continue reading “5 Questions With: Luca Lam, CEO of Visual Merchandising Leaders, Blue Mount”
With a career not only spanning, but creating global fashion e-commerce, Claire Chung is a renowned expert on Chinese and international retail, digital, fashion and culture.
Speaking 5 languages and having lived across continents, Claire was a pioneer in leading Chinese cross-border commerce, launching China’s first luxury multi-brand online fashion retailer. As VP of ShangPin.com, Claire forged epic deals, bringing global brands and western government entities into China with strategic partnerships.
In 2015, Claire moved into a newly created executive role at Net-A-Porter Group level, to expand all businesses in the China market. After the historic merger between Net-A-Porter Group and YOOX Group which created the world’s number one retailer in luxury, Claire was promoted to lead all of the YOOX-Net-A-Porter Group‘s businesses in China.
We met with Claire to hear her insights on the China luxury market.
Continue reading “5 Questions with: Claire Chung, GM of YOOX-NET-A-PORTER Group, China”
The Luxury Conversation held a special event with InStyle China and FASHION IS GREAT this week in Shanghai. Coinciding with a China Retail Mission organised by the UK Department for International Trade, CEOs and executives from some of Britain’s best loved fashion brands attended the event at the ‘by FANG’ Villa to gain genuine understanding about China from industry experts. Continue reading “The Luxury Conversation in Shanghai, with the UK Department for International Trade Retail Mission to China”
China is where any luxury brand needs to be.
McKinsey’s recent report, What can we expect in China in 2018, gives some details and data on the ongoing rise of digital China.
Investment in global infrastructure and start-ups, investment in culture, better regulations and more is all made possible with a pioneering level of leading tech. Cash is already (as good as) obsolete, with facial recognition for payments and next-gen AI being led by China.
What does this mean for luxury brands? Continue reading “China the Digital Pioneer; How Luxury Brands Should Capitalise on China’s Blazing Online Trail”