In recent years, games and outdoors have become a niche but emerging category for many luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Gucci. This industry is not a large market, so why it is favored by so many brands? Because the key benefit of this category is not the revenue, but the brand image. This niche consumer goods category is key to boosting the brand universe and showing the know-how of a luxury house.
The Benefits of Launching Games & Outdoor Category in China
Luxury is Showing the Unique Know-how of the Brand
The know-how of a luxury brand is one of its key values. In the luxury industry, the products are exceeding the concept of consumer goods. Spreading the brand’s know-how is very important for a luxury brand to build up its luxury image and attract more customers. Game & Outdoor products become a unique way to show their know-how through the creation of exceptional pieces.
Luxury Can be Fun and Seduce Chinese Playful Consumers
The image of luxury was very solemn, royal, and meticulous. This is because most of the big luxury brands were working for the nobility back to their origin. In the 2020s, the image of luxury is changing into a more joyful industry. Showing that luxury can be fun is also a target of launching Game & Outdoor categories. Since the games have a long history in the Chinese culture, local luxury clients engage better with luxury brands that know how to be “fun” than the more solemn ones.
Attract Luxury Customers from a Larger Chinese Audience
China has 1.4 billion population, and although the luxury market in China is already huge, it’s still a small percentage of the Chinese population. To expand their audience in the Chinese market, brands can try to launch games & outdoor lines to attract different customer groups. Even with a small conversion rate, you can grow your audience thanks to the huge population of China.
Build up Your Luxury Brand Ecosystem
Building up an ecosystem has been a common strategy for electronic product brands such as Apple, Huawei, and Xiaomi. By launching different categories that your customers might be interested in, a luxury brand can bring its customers into an ecosystem. This can help luxury brands build up a close community among their core customers, and also grow their brand loyalty.
Top Luxury Brands Assortments and Items for the Chinese Market
Louis Vuitton: What Sports do Chinese Customers Like?
As one of the biggest luxury houses in the world, Louis Vuitton is one of the pioneer brands in the games & outdoor category. Among their products, the Louis Vuitton ping pong set and skateboards are receiving the most positive feedback from China.
- Ping pong is the No.1 sport in China
- Skateboarding is getting popular in China with the raise of the hip-hop trend
On the contrary, you can barely see a discussion about the Louis Vuitton chess set or skim board since there are very few people playing them.
Unlike other categories when people have a solid demand to make a purchase, the game & outdoor category is mainly driven by interest. Before you launch your creative idea in this sector, you need to make sure this game or sport has a certain audience in China.
Gucci: Make Your Customers Engaged with the ‘Good Game’
The most classic element of Gucci is the “GG” logo. As part of the Gucci DNA, “GG” accidentally got the new meaning of “Good Game” in the world of games. Gucci see this phenomenon and decided to build up a link between the “GG” in games and the brand identity of Gucci. As the House expands beyond the boundaries of its own universe under the manifesto of “Good Game”, it seeks to craft the unexpected across various gaming platforms.
So far, Gucci has collaborated with Xbox, Pokemon GO, Sim 4, Hot Wheels, Animal Crossing, Fnatic, and many other entities from games, and e-sport teams to gaming hard wear. This wide collaboration brings huge attention from game lovers all over the world. At the same time, Gucci launched their online games which you can play on their website, and a Capsule Collection defined by the emblematic motif of “Gucci Good Game”. All these actions enabled the audience of Gucci to be engaged.
Burberry & Louis Vuitton: Chinese In-game Content and Character Skins
What can be the first luxury piece of a young student? It was a wallet, a belt, or a bracelet. But now, it might be in-game content or a character skin. A similar decision was taken by Burberry and Louis Vuitton to cooperate with MOBA games and launch specially designed character skins with their classic elements.
Burberry chose Honor of Kings, one of the most popular mobile games in China for collaboration. They designed a special character skin with classic Burberry elements for Honor of Kings which was sold at 168 CNY (22 Euro) in mainland China for a limited time. This strategy enabled the brand to target newborn luxury consumers who were making their first luxury purchase. But also geeks and game lovers who were not into luxury before.
The choice of Louis Vuitton is League of Legends (LOL), which also have a large number of players in China. The 2 skins they designed for LOL are not for sale, the only solution to get them is through special events. This campaign reinforced the sense of exclusivity and unicity of Louis Vuitton items.
How to Launch Your Luxury Game & Outdoor Products in China?
Social Media is Essential to Promote your Products and Luxury Brand Universe
When we see that game & outdoor products are mainly driven by interest, social media become the best platform for brands to promote their lines. The main social media in China includes Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, and Douyin. You can choose your platform depending on your targeting audience, and post videos or visuals about your products. Promoting on the right platform can not only help you target the right audience, but also enhance your ROI.
KOL Campaign: From Point to Surface
The niche attribute and high price decided that your product won’t be available to reach a large audience. To maximize the influence of your launch, cooperating with KOLs is a good option. You can choose the right KOL carefully by their field and audience. If your campaign can target the right audience, you can create a Buzz among customer groups with similar interests.
Depending on the category of your line, you will need to make an influencer audit. We suggest selecting the few angles that your TA (target audience) is interested in. As mentioned before, it can be ping pong, video games, skateboard, or any other activities. Depending on the key activity, you will need to work with a local KOL agency to get a partnership with the KOL in this specific category.
Combine PR Campaign and Baidu SEO to Increase your Reputation
Since your target is mainly on the brand image and reputation, PR and SEO are 2 things you should not ignore. They can be your leverage in the Chinese market to boost the influence of your project. The PR campaign is now highly connected with social media, and your effort on different media can also have a push on your reputation on social media.
SEO, on the other hand, is your tool to convert your project influence into your brand reputation. When Google is blocked in China, Baidu is currently the No.1 search engine in China. Make sure your customers can find your website and related information when they are interested and search on Baidu. A Chinese website is also helpful to keep your customers on your website, otherwise, they might lose patience soon and leave while the interest is faded.
Pop-up Store: Interact With your Audience with Offline Luxury Activations
What can be more interesting and attractive than a limited-time pop-up store with a unique concept? People are all attracted by terms like “Limited”, “Unique”, “Fresh”, etc. A pop-up store in first-tier cities like Shanghai or Beijing can bring huge attention to your brand if you are starting. If you already have good visibility on the Chinese market, we suggest launching your pop-up store in Tier-2 or Tier-3 cities.
These cities have a strong luxury consumer base and they are often forgotten by top luxury brands. Although more and more Chinese people are making purchases online, the offline experience is even more valued than before.
A pop-up store can enable them to interact with your brand directly. Your influence of a pop-up store is not limited by the number of people interacting, because it will again be boosted by social media. Modern Chinese people are used to sharing their experiences on social media, and encouraging them to share with your event tag can move your influence from offline to online as well.
GMA: Your Best Partner in China
GMA is a marketing agency based in Shanghai. With over 10 years of experience, we have been helping hundreds of brands with their China project. We offer 360°services from marketing research to daily operations on social media. GMA always focuses on your long-term benefit and is willing to help you build your brand image in China.
Luxury is a special industry, and the marketing of luxury brands needs deep knowledge of this unique category. Thanks to the Luxury Division directed by Anais Bournonville, a former LVMH talent, GMA can now offer deeper insight and suggestions for luxury brands. Feel free to contact her for a first consultation and grow your reputation in the Chinese market.