The home category can be included in the Art of Living industry. But in the meantime, this category deserved a specific analysis. In this category, a lot of household goods are included based on their unique use or high-end material. We will review several categories such as household appliances, furniture, and home fragrances. And material trends such as porcelain, glass, and crystal. Today, luxury home products are meeting a great opportunity in China. In the Chinese culture, people value their family and home a lot, and they are ready to spend heavily in this category.
The Chinese Luxury Home Market
The Luxury and Premium Home Market in China
China is currently the second largest luxury market after the USA. According to the data from Statista, the revenue of the Chinese luxury goods market reached 39.3 billion USD in 2020 and will increase to 59.1 billion USD by 2025. With a higher growth rate than the US, we can expect China to be the largest luxury market in the next 10 years.
High Acceptance of Luxury Household Appliances and Furniture
According to the report on the importance of luxury or premium products by category in China in 2022 by Statista, 21% of Chinese respondents claimed to be willing to buy luxury household appliances. In the meantime, 14% of them are willing to buy luxury furniture. Compared to the percentage of US and French respondents, the acceptance is much higher. Both household appliances and furniture are growing categories in China.
This feature is formed by the mindset of Chinese people. For cultural reasons, Chinese people value their family and home a lot. They love to spend time at home to reconnect after a day of work. The connection between the family and the house is very strong. Since family is regarded as one of the most important things in a person’s life, Chinese people tend to invest in their family, home, and private circle. It was a highly admitted movement to add assets to their home which includes household appliances and furniture.
The Non-luxury Industries are Strong
The corresponding non-luxury industries are strong in the Chinese market. According to the Statista global consumer survey, 31% of Chinese customers are planning to buy household appliances in the next 12 months compared to an average rate of selected countries at 21%. Also, China is the country with the highest revenue in the Major Appliances segment at 94.3 billion USD in 2021. With the maturity of these industries and a growing market, the demand for diverse products is raising which gives the ground for the luxury home sector.
Current Market Trends in the Home Sector
Luxury Household Appliance Find its Best Market in China
From the previous report on the importance of luxury or premium products by category in China in 2022, we have already seen the difference in market preference for luxury household appliances. 21% of Chinese respondents are willing to pay for a luxury or premium household appliance. This market is already mature. Even if this volume cannot be compared with traditional luxury sectors such as bags or shoes, the success behind this category sales is the importance of home rooted in Chinese culture.
Brands Find it Hard to Sell Glass and Porcelain in China
Glass and porcelain are very common categories in the luxury home sector, but many brands found it hard to sell their products to China. This is because China has a highly developed glass and porcelain industry with cheaper products with higher quality. Actually, China is the biggest export country of glass and porcelain products in the world. Today, they are still taking a 25.1% share of worldwide glass and glassware exports and 18.19 billion USD in porcelain export value in 2020.
For instance, on Taobao, you can find porcelain bowls from China and France with similar designs and quality. But the price difference is huge. We can see that if brands are trying to beat the local competitors as a normal product, there will be no chance to win. The only way out is to sell more than a product, but a lifestyle.
Home Fragrance: The Spread of Nice Atmosphere in China
Home fragrance is a trendy category in China, and more and more Chinese customers are enjoying a nice atmosphere in their homes. However, the market is more complex for international home fragrance brands. Fragrance products all have a common feature, highly dependent on emotional motivation. No matter how good your product is, you cannot win the market if the scent cannot catch your customers’ noses.
Of the huge gap between the Chinese culture and Western culture, their preference for the scent is different. Especially when it comes to the scent in their home, Chinese customers are extremely picky. Brands should do their marketing research carefully before the launch of their products. Select the right assortment with candles and incense, propose China-appealing scents, and create high-end packaging.
Don’t Make your Luxury Household Appliance an “IQ Tax”
Recently, there are many luxury household brands launching their products in China, but not all of them are successful. Even one of the most known brands Dyson is facing an argument among Chinese customers. Dyson is a brand selling various household appliances at a luxury price, promoted as high-tech and well-designed. But there is always doubt about their high price and if their product is really worth the price. Always a matter of e-reputation and trust in China.
Under this debate, an expression named “IQ Tax” was created to describe those products with a high price compared to the market average when consumers consider it doesn’t really worth it. To avoid being tagged with this “IQ Tax” image, brands need to work on their branding and e-reputation. If you plan to enter the market, you should make sure to have some cutting-edge technologies to support it.
Crystal is Seen as Glass in China
In western countries, crystal is seen as a different material from glass with higher quality and higher price. But this is not the case in China, because it is seen as a kind of glass which have no luxury value. The material crystal we usually use in glasses is actually named lead glass, a variety of glass in which lead replaces the calcium content of typical potash glass.
When translated into Chinese, crystal is directly called “Lead glass” which shows no exclusivity but concern about the possible toxicity of lead. At the same time, when you talk about crystal in Chinese, it actually refers to quartz crystals which can result in a misleading conception.
What is the Strategy of Luxury Houses?
Hermes, the Leader of Art of the Table
Hermes has a large collection of tableware products including plates, bowls, and cups. Instead of selling and promoting the quality, they added a lot of iconic Hermes elements into the design of the collection. This movement added the value of the brand to those products and increased the willingness of customers to purchase. Also, they are applying playful designs to form sets and create a Hermes atmosphere in the home of their customers. For Chinese consumers, all the Hermes symbols are bringing value to home decoration and contribute to their Mianzi.
Dior, the Leader of Homeware and Ceremonies
The home sector of Dior was launched under the concept of “Let your way of living and receiving guests shine.” On the design, the Dior home collection also applied a series of Dior elements to form a home sense, but also has diversity in the style for different customer groups. To make sure the Dior lifestyle can fulfill every single product you need at home, their collection contains a lot of abnormal products such as straws, candles, notebooks, garden tools, etc. In China, it is very common to celebrate fancy ceremonies, birthdays or weddings with Dior homeware.
How to Win the Luxury Home Market in China?
Branding on Social Media to Show your DNA
Chinese social media is well developed relying on the huge netizen group in China. This makes branding on social media much more efficient than traditional advertising for home products. Take good use of mainstream social media. We recommend creating an official account (with a blue check to give trust to your potential consumers) on Xiaohongshu. This social media, which is a mix of Instagram and Pinterest, is the key social media for lifestyle posts. The majority of users are women, located in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. Majority of them are sharing some art of the table and ceremonies pictures.
You can combine this social media with WeChat to open and run a mini-program or with Weibo to reach a wider audience. In China, home brands are more creative and often share videos on short-form video apps such as Douyin and Kuaishou. These video platforms can help you to promote your collection in a more modern way and show your distinctive brand identity with a creative campaign.
If you want to know which one fits your demand the most, it must be Xiaohongshu, the fashion leader in social media. With a majority of female users, the information and discussion about fashion and luxury products are massive on Xiaohongshu. You can also cooperate with selected KOLs to target your audience accurately as well as increase your e-reputation.
Avoid Being Compared with Non-Luxury Products
Brands should really be careful when they are entering the market, especially about their positioning. Building up your first image is very important to avoid being compared with non-luxury products. This marketing strategy is key to avoiding falling into the “IQ Tax” trap. You will need to select carefully the magazines and media to promote your collections. If you use mass media, local consumers may confuse your brand with regular home brands. We recommend having official press releases in luxury, lifestyle, and design magazines:
- Vogue China
- GQ China
- ELLE China
- Package & Design
Baidu SEO: How to Rank on Chinese Search Engine
E-reputation is very important for luxury brands. No one will buy your product if your website is not showing up when they are searching for your brand name. If you are still using Google SEO to boost your website, you might find it useless in China since Google is blocked. Try to use Baidu SEO to help your website rank up and benefit from the No.1 search engine in China.
We recommend a selection between 10 to 30 keywords depending on your objectives. If you propose home decoration, 10 keywords will be enough to reach a strong exposure in the related categories. But if you are a luxury furniture brand and plan to do lead generation, 30 keywords are recommended. Your target audience will be different and the consumer journey is to search on Baidu, land on your website, and book a visit to discover your furniture.
Sell on E-Commerce, but Keep your Exclusivity
Any brand cannot survive in China if they are not using e-commerce, because it’s the way Chinese people buy everything. However, you need to make careful decisions on the selection of e-commerce and the way you promote your store. The biggest e-commerce platforms in China include Tmall, Taobao, and JD.
To keep your exclusivity, we recommend forgetting about Taobao (cheaper home decoration and items) and focusing on Tmall or JD. Having a flagship store on these platforms can help increase your traffic and bring more trust to Chinese customers who can be sure they are not buying fake products. Also, positioning your flagship on Tmall or Tmall Luxury Pavilion will help you to avoid being compared with non-luxury products.
GMA: Home for Your Luxury Home Brand
GMA is an experienced agency for marketing and branding in China. With more than 10 years of experience cooperating with hundreds of brands, from furniture to home decoration. We are familiar with all industries and how to promote these brands. Don’t hesitate to first contact GMA and let us support your China project and win the Chinese market.
How Can GMA Support Your Brand?
GMA acts as a guide and teammate for your brand. We will start with the previous market research to help you make your branding and marketing strategy. After that, we don’t stop at recommendations but will manage your operations in China. From marketing to online and offline sales, we will grow your business locally. With our HQ located in Shanghai, we are living at the heart of your target audience.
Professionals in Branding and E-commerce, ROI Focused
GMA has 70+ experts in different fields, digging into the real professional of digital branding and e-commerce. Focusing on the ROI, we don’t want our partners to spend money on low-efficiency movements. GMA will make your customized plan for the Chinese market and make sure your brand benefits from a long-term strategy. With only one motto: be creative and be different.
Some of Our Case Studies
Pasabahce, the Glassware Brand
Since 1935, Pasabahce has been investing in and producing all basic glassware for the glass industry. The brand is using excellent technology and doing active research and development. Pasabahce focuses on the global market and has achieved continuous growth since the 1960s, aided by its specialization and competitiveness. It is one of the best manufacturers in Europe and even in the world. Pasabahce contacted GMA for their marketing and digital branding in China.
- The total traffic of 3,881 views for the Pasabahce WeChat account in the first month
- 691,950 exposure in the first month on Weibo
- 4 posts with high traffic on Xiaohongshu in the first month
Ethnicraft, the Luxury Furniture Brand
For 25 years, Ethnicraft has been creating authentic, contemporary, and timeless furniture from solid wood and natural materials. With outstanding craftsmanship at the core of the brand, their Belgium-based company believes in creating quality wooden furniture that lasts for generations and withstands trends. Ethnicraft contracted GMA for support on Baidu SEO for better visibility and e-reputation. The main objective was to work on their lead generation to bring potential clients to their showroom in Shanghai.
- Top1 ranking on the SEO keyword “high-end tourism”
- +12 leads generated per month
- Strong exposure online
Porcelanosa, the Porcelain for the Kitchen and Bathroom
Porcelanosa is a global leader in the innovation, design, manufacture, and distribution of Tile, Kitchen, and Bath products, Porcelanosa endeavors to be the industry leader by providing trendsetting cutting-edge designs of unparalleled beauty and refinement, uncompromising quality, technologically superior products, and dependable services to its clients. Porcelanosa contacted GMA for social media presence and community management in China.
- High-Level Exposure
- Increased Brand Awareness in China
- Optimized e-reputation