Today is the right time to create or launch a brand in China. Mainland Chinese consumers are seeking innovative and fresh niche luxury brands as they are more and more willing to spend money and time on fashion. Many opportunities are open to foreign niche fashion companies ready to take up this challenge.
However, it is important to ensure good positioning. Fashion brands wishing to establish themselves in the country have the opportunity to develop in the fashion market in China. Also, targeting the second-tier cities represents a good deal as the competition is less strong than in big cities such as Shanghai or Peking. Let’s delve into how to promote a niche brand in China market.
Why Are Niche Brands Becoming Popular Among Chinese Consumers?
The fashion industry in China is massive and there are many global brands vying for the piece of that cake. Mainland China is known for its huge consumer market, where overseas brands with big names are generating big profits.
As of 2023, China is the biggest fashion market in the world, recording 309.96 billion US dollars in revenue. One of the trendiest topics of this year is niche brands.
In recent years we see a growing interest in lesser-known brands, as Millennials and Gen Z consumers are looking for unique designs and personalization of products.
So why is the niche market growing and do international brands have a chance on the local market?
There are more and more wealthy Chinese consumers
With the country’s development, Chinese people see their economic situation getting better. Because they have more money, Chinese consumers want to improve their lives. They want more quality. Some sectors are more affected by the increase of the middle class, it’s the case of food, education, and fashion.
The Chinese middle class is also growing at a rapid pace, considered the biggest in the world. Brands turn more and more their business towards China because a new consumer segment is born. The Chinese market is becoming a very lucrative market for brands.
Both wealthy consumers and middle-class Chinese are seeking to buy international luxury products. In fact, as the purchasing power of the consumer increases, their desire to distinguish themselves from others is also constantly increasing. This explains why consumers are more likely to buy unique and exclusive products at any cost.
Niche brands are trendy
Nowadays, Chinese luxury consumers are changing their buying habits and now they are looking for ‘niche’ and high-end fashion items to express their personality. They are looking for brands that better reflect their style, taste, and also their status.
A “niche” brand is a brand with a strong identity and specializing in a field. This identity is designed to appeal to a specific group and cultivate a strong sense of belonging.
Fashion consumers seek to stand out from others. The growing popularity of niche brands in China reflects this trend. People are looking for something that is less common and brands that are not necessarily well-known, which can be a very positive thing for new fashion brands wishing to set up in China.
Chinese KOLs lead consumer’s taste
New trends are one of the most important things that people in China pay attention to. The fashion addicts are the ones who are the most concerned about this. They are nowadays increasing in number at a rapid pace on Chinese social networks, also called the Key Opinions Leaders. These “fashion addicts” are mostly women, middle-income professionals in larger cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
KOLs are often Chinese stars, internet celebrities or popular social media users, experts on a specific subject, columnists, socialites, fashionistas, or bloggers. They have created viral content and developed a community around them.
They have a lot of followers because their content is quality and knowledgeable. They post on various social media websites on all types of different topics: sports, video games, fashion, food, traveling, luxury goods, cars, etc.
The Appeal of Niche Brands in China
Individualism & Unique Identity
In China today, many people want to be unique and express themselves. They don’t want to wear what everyone else is wearing. So, they’re choosing brands that aren’t made for everyone. This way, they can show their style and stand out from the crowd.
Quality Over Quantity
Chinese shoppers are focusing on quality now more than ever. Instead of buying many items, they want fewer pieces that last longer and are well-made. Niche brands, which often make fewer items, tend to focus on quality. This means better materials and careful craftsmanship, which shoppers appreciate.
Storytelling & Cultural Resonance
Niche brands often have interesting backstories. Maybe it’s about an artisan’s craft or a special design inspiration. These stories connect with Chinese customers because they can relate to them. The stories also show a deep respect for local culture and traditions, which is important.
Exclusivity & Prestige
Having something not everyone else has is appealing. Niche brands usually have limited items, so owning one feels special. In China, having a rare item is seen as prestigious, signaling you have something unique.
In short, niche brands in China are popular because they offer uniqueness, quality, meaningful stories, and a sense of prestige.
How to Promote a Niche Brand in China?
The answer to attracting Chinese consumers is to promote your brand online. Gaining a good e-reputation, being present on Baidu and Chinese social media platforms, and making people ‘talk’ about your brand are the steps to your success in China.
Be connected online
Because new trends are born on the web. Chinese consumers learn about new trends on the Internet through social media or in fashion magazines. Thus, they are well-informed and try to stand out from the crowd, especially the current millennial generation. Influencers, besides helping people know about new brands or new products could represent also a trend by themselves.
Don’t miss to set up your Weibo account and WeChat account. These platforms are a kind of reference for local consumers. When they need to do some research, they will naturally go on these platforms to seek out whether you have already an account. Don’t see them as only a marketing tool, they are also part of your branding, because of their official nature.
Collaborate with Key Opinion Leaders
In China, famous people and internet personalities have a lot of influence over what people buy. When these celebrities or KOLs wear or talk about a brand, fans and followers notice. Many niche brands have successfully used these endorsements to get noticed. For instance, when a popular actor or singer wears a certain niche brand item, it often becomes a hot trend overnight. Brands that partner with the right celebrities can quickly gain a lot of attention and sales.
Chinese customers tend to trust someone they view as a ‘real person’ which they get by following them on social media. People normally like to check the reviews about what they are going to buy. If they read positive reviews, they will be more inclined to buy. Contact bloggers and give them a reason to post positive reviews about your business in order to efficiently start building your reputation.
We can help you to find the right KOL for your business in China.
Ensure your online visibility
All these solutions are useless if you don’t ensure your visibility online. Your site must have some technical attributes in order to be put forward by the main Chinese search engine Baidu. One can evoke the title tags, the meta descriptions, or even the meta keywords. Repetition of keywords is also preferred, as is a very home page, for example. Baidu SEO is one of the keys to success in digital marketing.
Create quality content and a Chinese website
Quality content is first of all a fast loading speed of your pages. It is then necessary that your site is hosted in China. Moreover, Baidu only takes into account the Chinese language, you must then write your site entirely in Chinese in order to be well-referenced.
Your content should, of course, interest your readers, but also be frequent and refreshed regularly. Even though Chinese consumers can read English, setting up a Chinese website is better to attract and catch their attention.
Pop-Up Stores & Experiential Marketing
Sometimes, brands set up temporary stores called pop-up shops. These shops are a chance for customers to see and try products in person, even if the brand doesn’t have a regular store. They’re often designed to be interesting and fun, making shopping feel like an event.
Customers get to interact with the products, ask questions, and even attend special events or workshops. This hands-on approach helps create strong memories and a deeper connection to the brand.
Localize your brand for the Chinese market
China has its unique style and preferences. When global niche brands come to China, they often change things up a bit to better fit local tastes. This might mean adjusting colors, and styles, or even creating special items just for the Chinese market.
It’s important for brands to know and respect these differences. If they don’t, they might not connect with customers. But if they get it right, they can become just as loved in China as they are elsewhere.
Promote Your Niche Brand with Gentlemen Marketing Agency
Navigating the vast, dynamic fashion landscape of China can be complex, but you don’t have to do it alone. Let the Gentlemen Marketing Agency be your compass and guide, leveraging our expertise to put your niche brand in the limelight.
Why Choose Gentlemen Marketing Agency?
- In-depth Knowledge of the Chinese Fashion Landscape: Understanding China’s fashion scene is crucial. We’re not just observers; we’re part of the fabric that makes up this intricate market. With years of experience, we know what resonates with the Chinese audience.
- Strategic Celebrity & KOL Partnerships: With our vast network, we can connect your brand with the right influencers and celebrities, ensuring your products are seen by millions and coveted by many.
- Expertise in Digital Platforms: Whether it’s WeChat, Weibo, Douyin, Tmall, or JD.com, we know how to maximize your brand’s online presence, ensuring you’re not just seen, but also talked about.
- Tailored Pop-Up Events: Create unforgettable brand experiences with our team’s expertise in organizing pop-up stores. Dive deep into experiential marketing, allowing customers to immerse themselves in what your brand truly represents.
- Localization Expertise: We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all strategy. Our team ensures your brand is tailored to fit the unique tastes and preferences of the Chinese market, respecting and celebrating cultural nuances.
- Results-Driven Approach: Our strategies aren’t just about creating buzz; they’re about driving sales. We measure our success by how we elevate your brand’s status and boost your bottom line.
- Dedicated Support: From ideation to execution, our dedicated team is with you every step of the way, ensuring seamless campaigns and optimal results.
In a market where the appeal of niche brands is surging, don’t let your brand get lost in the shuffle. Partner with Gentlemen Marketing Agency, and let’s craft a success story for your fashion brand in China.
Contact us today to set your brand’s path to prominence in the world’s largest fashion market.