BEIJING: With Chinese consumers now making up almost a third of all luxury purchases globally, premium brands are having to turn their minds to China-specific engagement strategies.

“The vast social influence of the Middle Kingdom has shifted the ‘Made in China’ moniker to ‘Made for China’,” according to Chris Maier, Managing Director - Analytics, Research & Insight at Publicis Media for Greater China.

Writing exclusively for WARC, he explains how this trend is “driving a cultural movement to inspire local product flavour, rather than languish with off-the-shelf Western styles.

“More and more global brands – especially in the luxury sector – are creating China-specific products with local bents to cater to the key consumers,” he says. (For more on how brands can engage China’s luxury consumers, read WARC’s report: Maneuvering luxury brands in China’s e-commerce age.)

A Publicis Media study of 1,000 luxury consumers across North Asia – including China – delved into how luxury resonates through consumer lives, including attitudes, behaviours and time spent. One insight was that China continues to push ahead as the most digitally native and highly digital-social culture, particularly in the information gathering process before a purchase.

When asked about top touchpoints of influence on luxury purchases, invariably the top five of digital were head and shoulders above others: official website (41%), e-commerce website reviews (35%), social media advertising (31%), official social content (30%) and message app advertising (26%).

Likewise, e-commerce is booming among Chinese luxury consumers.

“Across the consumer’s journey – from awareness to research and consideration to purchase – e-commerce reviews landed as the top touchpoint influence, barring reviews and recommendations on TV & OTV. Recommendations rated high, but the go-to point is online retail,” Maier says.

To capture the Chinese market, several luxury brands are now creating product lines specifically targeted to the Chinese market. Maier singles out luxury fashion retailers LVMH and Loewe as early movers.

“China consumers are, justifiably, voicing specific wants for unique, locally relevant products to go with their new-found authority on the world stage,” he says.

“If brands are to successfully maneuver in this new consumer age, uniquely fitting the what, where and how together is the trifecta for success.”

Sourced from WARC