Luxury brands looking to market themselves on China’s social media platforms must be well-versed in the country’s cultural norms.
The days in which companies “managed to reap huge profits with crude strategies in China” are gone. Typical obstacles for brands included slow online activity, poor communication, awkward attempts at localizing marketing efforts, and over-expansion, according to Luxury Daily. Today, mistakes like these are becoming more and more unacceptable for businesses trying to make it in the competitive Chinese luxury market.
E-commerce in China continues to grow at an astounding rate. The Boston Consulting Group recently conducted a study on Chinese expansion of online retail. Called “The Chinese Digital Consumer in a Multichannel World,” the report expects the number of online shoppers in China to reach 380 million by 2016. Despite such a huge pool of potential customers, brands must market themselves on the Internet with care, as just .5 percent of online activity is spent on company or brand websites. Cultural competency is a must, according to Rand Han, founder and managing director of Resonance China.
“Align with Chinese consumer aspirations – travel, global lifestyle,” Han advised. “Bring global brand ambassadors together with China celebs is a great way to make a splash, but maximize the event. Bridge offline to online [to] extend reach and sustain buzz through social and digital.”
Resonance China recently issued a report on one of the more successful recent online marketing campaigns conducted by a luxury brand in China: Michael Kors’s Jet Set collection campaign. The study examined what worked for Michael Kors in order to provide insights on how other luxury brands can change their approaches in the cutthroat Chinese market.
“As China’s netizens become more wealthy, increasing numbers of global brands are attempting to establish relationships with them via social media,” Han explained. “The problem then is how exactly to establish these connections.”
Resonance China noted that Michael Kors’s strengths were its varied yet consistent campaign and inspirational message. The brand first used their Sina Weibo page to grab the attention, posting travel content “that either featured brand products in various locales or merely appealed to consumers’ travel aspirations.” Next came contests on Sina Weibo and WeChat and collaborations with influential magazines like Elle China.
As the marketing campaign gained traction, Michael Kors “introduced the possibility of attending the culminating Jet Set event,” which corresponded with the opening of the brand’s Shanghai store. The store was introduced via microsite, with an array of 3D visuals and effects. After the event passed, the company took content from the opening and used it to continue to encourage consumer interest in the brand.
“Overall, the brand created 76 posts during the teaser phase, 27 during the launch phase, and 29 during the post-launch phase,” bringing in a total of 62.7 million user views.
image credit: michael kors