Luxury in China is a big industry. Maybe the biggest in the world. One thing is certain; the Chinese youth is redefining the luxury sector. The millennial includes everybody born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. There are now imposing their own rules and giving some trouble to the luxury and haute-couture brands.
Who are the Chinese Millennials?
- Actually the Chinese Millennials are more looking like you can think to the Western Millennials.
This generation is probably the one that has experienced the most changes. With urbanization, the growth of the middle class, the development of the Internet, and social media, the Millennials have different dreams and desires than those of the previous generation.
In China, most members of this generation are only children (because of the one-child policy) in their families. This has given a generation of child-king with better purchasing power and the desires to discover new countries and travel abroad. Indeed this generation took advantage of the borders country opening to the world in the 2000s and has greater freedom of speech than its peers.
- They can also make more choices and have access to more experience than the previous generation.
This is an extremely interesting marketing target for luxury brands because they are more than 200 million people among who you can find the youngest billionaires in the world.
What is looking for the Chinese consumers today when they purchasing luxury goods?
Today if this generation buys luxury is primarily for the know-how and for the quality and not for the logos as before. Consumers take more time to think about their purchases and learn about the products they wish to buy. They seek information on social media and compare them. They are now “sophisticated shoppers”. The quality is particularly important for them and it is an important buying trigger for this Chinese youth. The brands must therefore communicate their know-how and their history if they want to hit that target.
Is it the end of the Bling-Bling luxury?
We all have in mind a Chinese wearing designer clothes with huge brand logos everywhere right? Before, this generation wanted to show everybody that they can afford this kind of luxury product. It was also a way to prove to others that they were an important person. Many luxury brands had even developed collections only for them. Louis Vuitton was probably the brand that had the most bet on this type of product at a time.
But it’s changing right now and the mentalities are evolving. We are moving from mass consumption to individualism in China.
And today the Chinese youth is looking for personal recognition. If they buy luxury goods it’s only for them and not to show off anymore.
Today they are looking for more authenticity.
A strong appeal for brand experiences and interaction with brands
Experience is an important point for Millennials. Brands must create interaction with their customers. For that, social media have to be used. In fact, The Millennials are hyper-connected (even more than in the West). Thus brands need to build a digital marketing strategy to succeed and speak directly to their fans. Example of Victoria Secret
The brand codes are also crucial for this generation, and brands must establish a strategy to put them ahead.
A growing desire for niche brands
The niche brands are more and more popular among Chinese youth. Consumers are becoming savvier and they are looking for smaller niche brands as they represent for them the scarcity. Actually, the mega-brands need to worry and need to rethink their strategy.
The Chinese consumers are sensitive to “good Deal”
The Chinese Millennials are very sensitive to price. Buying luxury is considered the “perfect purchase” for them. It means that they want the price to be justified. The Chinese Millennials too often consider luxury as too expensive. They want the brands to be more transparent.
Focus on the Ma Ke’s brand
Wu Yong, Ma Ke’s brand is very popular in China and even more within the Chinese golden youth.
A Chinese Eco-fashion brand
We can consider her brand as an “Eco-fashion” brand as everything is made in her studio by following traditional stitching techniques in order to promote the traditional folk arts and crafts in China.
- This is this “authentic” aspect which is particularly appreciated by the Millennials. The designer has her own rhythm and don’t submit herself to the fashion calendar: she only presents her collection when she is ready.
- She already received the award for the best Asian designer, has exhibited at the prestigious Victoria & Albert Museum in London and participated at the Paris Fashion Week.
- Moreover, her designs are quite unique and also have meanings. And, that’s exactly what appeals the Chinese consumers.
This generation is a huge opportunity for young and innovative brands which will be able to offer something different. Young Chinese love luxury even more than the previous generations but the luxury brands don’t have to make fun of them.
For more information on how to penetrate the Chinese market, click here.