Over past couple years the Chinese market has become increasingly competitive for luxury and retail brands. This has made official entry into the market a more difficult question for brands a companies to consider. These reasons can range from the cost to operate a flagship store in a premier shopping center to the ability / resources to generate brand interest on social media. This week for free lunch we will be serving 3 "easier" ways for brands begin exploring the China market.
1. Cooperate with right Chinese vertical e-commerce platform
Cooperation with the correct Chinese vertical platform is an easy way for brands to with no presence in China to test their wings. Opening a store on one of the big platforms can be very challenging and costly. A more manageable way to explore e-commerce in China is through vertical platforms. Brands can choose to explore several or become an exclusive partner with one. Either way, these platforms offer a range of options, from consignment models to flash sales with limited quantities, giving lots of control to brands. These platforms also tend to target a more niche consumer allowing brands to place their products in positions to reach their target audience.
2. Work with Chinese local stars or celebrities
Instead of choosing a local star or celebrity as a spokesperson, which can be very costly, brands wanting to build a Chinese audience or create interest can consider a more cooperative model. Brands can opt to invite celebrities to participate in their design process. This can range anywhere from celebrities getting a first look or wear test of new products to actually engaging in and informing product design. This event and participation can then be leveraged for marketing and PR by both the brand and the celebrity creating the effect of a spokesperson without the cost. One brand who chose to take this route was Chloe. At the beginning of the year, Chloe cooperated with famous Chinese star Yuanyuan Gao and launched their handbag, Drew.
3. Cooperate with charity to emit brand positive energy
This year we have seen consumer consciousness on the rise as enterprises and individuals are paying more attention to the effect fashion has on society and the environment. Cooperation with charitable organizations can help promote brand image as well as accelerate brand awareness via social media. This year TOMs rose in popularity after introducing their campaign "One for One" (i.e. if a consumer purchases a pair of certain shoes TOMs will donate a pair to charity).
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