Many of the world’s luxury brands still seem unsure how to market in China, but getting the messaging right is more vital than ever as China is set to be the world’s biggest luxury market by 2025.

The context

Ahead of the crucial Chinese New Year holiday period next month, a number of luxury brands are finding nostalgia messaging can create powerful connections ­– when it’s done right.

  • Partnering with childhood animated characters, in particular, is popular with brands – Loewe has used characters from a fantasy movie, and Gucci products have featured a Japanese manga character, for example.
  • When companies connect with customers emotionally, the pay-off can be huge. But nostalgia marketing needs to be highly sophisticated or it can backfire, especially if consumers see it as shallow – simply cutting and pasting a character onto products – or if brands fail to understand the complicated mores of Chinese culture.
  • Overuse is another potential pitfall – no brand wants to be seen as looking backwards too much.


“The Chinese market is extremely complex and local teams can help understand cultural references, and make sure that they’re playing at the right level, without making any missteps that can be harmful to the brand” –  Remi Blanchard, consultant with China market research firm Daxue Consulting.

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Sourced from Vogue Business