L2 hosted a research briefing on China luxury today, and one of the key takeaways was that effective marketing in China requires a hyper-local strategy. Not only should campaign language be local, brands need to develop strategies specifically for Chinese platforms and design websites tailored to the needs of Chinese luxury shoppers. Most brands in L2’s China Luxury Index underestimate the level of localization – thinking that translating creative English-language assets is sufficient. Here are a few instances where thinking local boosted a brand’s digital presence in China.

Burberry breaks the internet with Wu Yifan. Chinese consumers make up 34% of Burberry’s sales revenues, therefore it’s no surprise that Burberry is adept at catering to local shoppers. In January, Burberry enlisted Chinese superstar and singer Wu Yifan to models its London Fashion Week menswear show. Burberry also posted extensively about Wu Yifan (constant behind-the-scenes photos and videos) on Sina Weibo to promote its London Fashion Week Menswear show, also being broadcast on the social media platform. On the brand’s Weibo account, posts about Wu Yifan garnered 16,000 interactions on average, 56.4 times the average brand’s average post engagement. Nine of top ten posts in engagement across all Index Fashion brands were Burberry’s Wu Yifan-related posts.

Tissot separates authorized retailers from unauthorized ones for Chinese shoppers. The gray market, or unauthorized online sellers on retail giants Tmall.com and JD.com, is one of brands’ main concerns in China. Some such as Burberry have opened storefronts on Tmall to create transparency around products and pricing and deter shoppers from buying from unauthorized online sellers. On its brand site watch marker Tissot has created a tool where users can enter an online shop’s URL to see if it is recognized by Tissot.

Calvin Klein, Coach, Piaget, and Jaeger-LeCoultre promoted H5 (paid) campaigns on WeChat to increase reach. As WeChat is a direct-messaging service, as opposed to a broadcast platform like Sina Weibo, organic reach is difficult to achieve and maintain. Calvin Klein utilized celebrities for its #myCalvins# campaign. Coach promoted Mother’s Day on H5. Piaget introduced new product features and collections, and Jaeger-LeCoultre promoted a brand video.


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