Louis Vuitton China: Online Marketing Case Study

Louis Vuitton Malletier, commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton [lwi vɥitɔ̃] or L.V, is a French fashion company founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The brand is owned by LVMH, which also owns Moët Hennessy. The brand is a French multinational apparel and accessories company headquartered in Paris, France. The label is well known for its internationally renowned LV monogram featured on most of the brand’s items. Louis Vuitton is one of the world’s leading international fashion houses, Louis Vuitton sells its products through standalone boutiques, high-end department stores, and the e-commerce section of its website.

Market Analysis of Louis Vuitton in China

Chinese consumers appreciate long-lasting luxury goods that will not go out of fashion. Louis Vuitton specializes in making timeless products, although the luxury brand remains innovative and trendy, many of its handbags and watches have not much changed in the last few years.

The aforementioned point shows that Louis Vuitton opts for a different strategy from its main competitors, such as Dior or Gucci, who are known to launch new collections almost every year. As a result, a lot of Chinese consumers dream to own one of the classic LV bags and some of them save money for months or even years in order to purchase one. 

In recent years, Louis Vuitton has continued its digital innovation in the Chinese market. In the previous years, Louis Vuitton opened self-operated e-commerces in 12 cities in China for the first time, also the brand provided purchasing and delivery services to all Chinese cities, the brand has also launched a WeChat boutique and WeChat Mini-Program pop-up store.

Source: Jingdaily

Louis Vuitton strategy to conquering the Chinese Luxury Market

Louis Vuitton’s strategy is mostly offline, with to some extent a few online events. In August Louis Vuitton showed off its new Spring and Summer 2021 menswear collection with a fashion show displayed in Shanghai, that was live-streamed internationally. This show was the first one of a touring series of presentations that will take place later in the year.

The show featured celebrities and guests seated along the catwalk, promoting its online side via a heavily publicized Livestream and full-court social media press. Held outdoors, with only attendants and a handful of attendees wearing face masks. Louis Vuitton’s content strategy in China for 2020 has been one of the most innovative, they have tried to get consumers interested in the new collections via relatively traditional methods, such as star-studded offline events.

1. A strong focus on younger consumers

In the past few years, Louis Vuitton has been reaching out to millennials and Gen Z, which turned out to be a successful strategy. In the past luxury brands wanted to be associated with excess wealth and privilege, but today’s luxury is more inclusive. By collaborating with streetwear brands (Supreme, Off White, etc…), partnering with young influencers and celebrities, and building an online presence that connects with younger consumers, Louis Vuitton has created a global sensation while changing the rules of audience engagement.

Louis Vuitton x Supreme collab / Kris Wu for Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2021

Their online presence is one of the most important in the luxury industry. With 7.38 million Twitter followers and 43 million Instagram followers, Louis Vuitton is leading the social media revolution across the world and is proving that a heritage luxury brand can be savvy with social media. While some heritage brands such as Chanel have remained highly inaccessible, Louis Vuitton continues to break new ground with social media engagement. This is quite unexpected for luxury brands, which are often slow to engage with consumers online.

Specific to China, Louis Vuitton attracted younger customers by highlighting streetwear collaborations and leveraging the power of KOLs in that country. For example, choosing rapper and television celebrity Kris Wu as their brand ambassador was an audacious move that sent both fans and haters into a frenzy while allowing social media conversations about the brand to thrive.

Read more about Brand Collab in China

2. Louis Vuitton in China is Embracing Digital Innovation

Most luxury brands have taken a slower approach to integrate digital campaigns, and several luxury houses still haven’t integrated consistent digital brand experiences. However Louis Vuitton is a digital pioneer, especially for having created a WeChat Mini Program specifically for the launch of their Virgil Abloh-designed sneakers.

3. Establishing a customers-centered service:

Louis Vuitton was the first luxury brand to open a WeChat service account in 2012 when they realized the unique nature of this personal messaging app, and so they proceeded to create a customer-centric WeChat marketing strategy.

According to a report by Gartner, Louis Vuitton boasts a very sophisticated brand zone feature on WeChat. The brand zone is a WeChat function that allows labels to have a ‘micro homepage with a comprehensive listing of information and content. When searching Louis Vuitton on WeChat, the brand zone homepage will be the first result to appear, linking to commerce, account, live chat customer service, and even seasonal features like Chinese New Year Stickers. This system allows consumers to access brand content easily and keep up to date.

Louis Vuitton Wechat Brand Zone + mini Program and Wechat Post in background

4. LV in China has Strict control of their distribution Chanel

Louis Vuitton has remained cautious with its distribution rights, and this vigilance has benefited the brand in the long run. Eventually, if a luxury house expands excessively, it might result in affecting negatively the brand’s overall status and value. Despite the fact that brands can now reach more potential consumers than ever, the appeal of buying luxury brands is all about their exclusivity, as a matter of fact, no one wants to invest in easily available luxury items. Louis Vuitton fans and consumers know that the brand doesn’t have sales for department stores. Because of this, Louis Vuitton keeps their production and pricing in check, therefore, always maintaining its high-end appeal.

5. LV China Stays on Top of Trends

Louis Vuitton manages to stay ahead of trends mainly due to their brand image and reputation but also thanks to their artistic collaborations, like the one with contemporary artist Jeff Koons in 2017, Louis Vuitton has resurrected iconic leather accessories, with younger consumers now enthusiastically embracing those products.

Moreover, Louis Vuitton decided to take the customization trend a step further by starting their “Now Yours Run Away” personalization program for sneakers (2018). Because authenticity and self-expression are important to Chinese consumers, they like influencing the design process of the products they are going to buy. This is why the customization trend responds well to Chinese needs.

The next step for Louis Vuitton in the Chinese market is that it will continue to invest in cross-channel customer experiences. Louis Vuitton is a digitally-minded forerunner in the field, but mature consumers might distance themselves from the brand because of overexposure. Louis Vuitton is a heritage brand that moved from ads starring 20th-century titans like Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Francis Ford Coppola instead featuring video game characters and celebrities in their campaigns.

Louis Vuitton Partnership with JD

It’s been announced that LVMH and e-crossborder platform J.D have come to partner up, resulting in the fact that the brand will have its Mini Program directly accessible from the JingDong (JD) product pages to further its e-commerce entry into the Chinese market. Louis Vuitton does not plan to sell its products via JD.com’s platform, instead, the users are redirected to the luxury brand’s Mini Program to confirm the transaction. With this new partnership with LV, JD is creating an unprecedented Omnichannel model to provide a “seamless eCommerce experience”.

Launch your Luxury Brand in China

Creating and setting up an efficient digital marketing strategy, may not be within everyone’s abilities, but with our help, you can efficiently achieve your goals. Gentleman Marketing Agency is an agency based in Shanghai, China. Specialized in digital marketing with different services including lead generation, e-commerce, and branding.

Contact us to discuss your project with us, we would gladly help you!

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