THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

 

A Middle-Class Force Awakens pt. 3

Jun 15, 2016

WeChat Omni-Social with Service Based on Trust




Gucci recently displayed an exhibit in Shanghai to introduce the influences of Alexander Michele, its critically well-received new designer. The gallery was well-curated and took me through the playful world-view of Alessandro Michele and the work that he is doing at Gucci and put it in context, without directly commercializing the brand. This would be apparent to anybody paying attention carefully. Very few were, instead most participants were too busy working with their friends to take photos within the exhibit and sharing those results on their WeChat Moments. Unintended, this is even better for the brand as it is the potential customers promoting Gucci on its behalf. This is part of the challenge in today’s world of marketing, first to even give personalized messaging to the customer, but second to create a platform where customers can create their own experiences with a brand. All the tools are out there it just takes a change in the mindset of brands. In the current mindset, WeChat is used as another channel to deliver content; but if I am a loyal Gucci customer who understands the brand and has purchased a wide range of products, I get the same message as an aspiring consumer who is trying to understand Gucci for the first time. 


This is also where we need to address customer servicing, I should be able to take a photo of what I believe to be Prada shoes being worn by someone along Nanjing road and WeChat it to the store manager at Prada and ask a question about those shoes. The conversation may lead to an ecommerce transaction, or a purchase occurring instead while I am vacationing in Milan. That store manager should get credit for that purchase, not just when that purchase occurs in the retail environment because good service is luxury service. Again all the tools are already available for luxury brands, it just requires the will to rethink the current paradigm and do something about it across the entire organization. 

Great service also requires will. We know that there is a high turnover for sales associates in China; we know that it is hard to train people to provide great service when sales associates do not expect great service themselves in their own retail experiences. We also know it is hard to give advice when the customer themselves may live fashion and luxury; but very soon these reasons can turn into excuses and we think that there are tools available to turn sales associates into Trusted Advisors. In the end we can say that if we want customers in China to spend money on things that they do not need, on luxuries; we need to give customers true luxury and that means a personalized feeling of value and being valued, then brands need to be willing to work harder and be more open to change than they have ever been before in China.



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A Middle-Class Force Awakens

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