So what do you need to know about a Chinese consumer? Or more specifically about the Chinese Luxury consumer? Well most importantly, it is all about finding the right way to generate brand awareness, create the exposure and build brand loyalty with your Chinese consumers. Creating a relationship, and building a loyal customer is one of the more important elements that a fashion brand and more importantly a luxury brand should understand.
Fashionbi, is helping fashion and luxury brands understand their Chinese consumers to build awareness and a stronger and more trustworthy relationship. It is important for brands to understand that they must engage and communicate with Chinese consumers, and one easy form of communication can be the social media platform, Weibo. Weibo can be a bridge between the consumer and the fashion brand, a safe place to leverage a trustworthy relationship.
Create Awareness on Weibo
Weibo can also be a platform to create awareness for your fashion brand. Use this platform as a way to connect with the key influencers, and Chinese celebrities. Many Western fashion brands will gain awareness through celebrities, or appearances on popular TV shows and or movies. Thanks to Fashionbi Weibo Analytics, we were able to analyze that some of the best engagement came from Weibo posts featuring celebrities. We examined one photo post with fashion designer, Giorgio Armani and Chinese celebrity, Wu Xiubo that featured 377 replies, and 84 comments. On average a post on Giorgio Armani’s Weibo page, may see around 30 replies. Looks like this Chinese celebrity sure boosted the replies and engagement for Giorgio Armani.
Speak Their Language
Now that you have created brand awareness and engaged with consumers, where do you go next? It is important to understand that you must speak their language. Not just actually speak the language, but communicate at their level. The visual merchandising, retail design, and the product merchandising must all be localized to fit the Chinese consumer. Of course many of these consumers are well-traveled, but if you are a fashion or luxury brand entering into the Chinese market, it is critical for your store to speak their language. A fashion brand must understand the varying cultural and economic stances of the cities in China. These fast changes are having a huge effect on how fashion brands communicate with consumers, because the outcome of these changes is that they are constantly altering customer expectations and wants. So, the international fashion brands cannot just apply a certain strategy in terms of both style, marketing and communication. They should study the Global market, the body language and the behaviors of Chinese consumers abroad to better understand what the Chinese consumer is looking for in China. Find the right merchandising strategy that will fit their needs in their country. Study the digital world and their reactions to different posts and news. A brand must understand what attracts Chinese consumers from a digital perspective as well as their shopping behaviors. Ermenegildo Zegna has shown one of the best strategies to date in China. The brand has mastered the supply chain and understanding the right product mix and merchandising strategy inside of China. Not only do they culturally connect with their Chinese consumers, they are operating over 75 stores in China, so the awareness and engagement is certainly dominated. Take for example Fashionbi’s study on Zegna benchmarked with 5 similar brands, the fashion brand proved to be the most active posting 11 Weibo posts, while the closest brand within the same time period posted 8 Weibo posts. One of the most important findings was that Zegna’s average audience (the people who saw the post) reached 1.14 million. Looks like Zegna not only understands what their consumer is looking for but is engaging in the right way and creating a loyal customer following.
Identify your Target Market
Not only do you need to speak their language inside of the store and outside of the store but you must identify the right age group and target your communication towards that age range. A luxury consumer may be a working professional living in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Chinese city and they are seeking brands with value, quality and integrity and they expect the brand to speak this to them. They want to see this from a brand to create the trust they need to make a purchase. A younger consumer, in the age range of 21-30 may not look so much for quality, but more at the price of an item. They are also not inclined to have as much brand loyalty towards a brand, and are more experimenting in nature. This is important to note because as a fashion brand you must nurture the younger generation consumer to become loyal to your brand as they get older.
As Globalization takes over, there will always be cultural differences from one country to another that a fashion brand must understand to create a lasting and loyal customer. Always speak to the consumer in their language, build a comfortable shopping environment, identify the right age group and understand what they want and cater to their needs. Don’t forget connecting with a few influencers and Chinese celebrities can always help too.
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