Retail | Luxury brands use WeChat for marketing campaigns in China

Luxury brands use WeChat for marketing campaigns in China

Yiling Pan April 1, 2017 2:17 AM (UTC+8)
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Many international luxury brands have embraced the undeniable importance of WeChat to do business in China. The app goes far beyond a basic messaging tool, so luxury brands and marketing firms are using the platform to push out a variety of different campaigns to fulfill marketing needs. Jing Daily has put together a list of the latest WeChat marketing case studies from high-end labels to show how they’re using the app to engage with a Chinese audience and convert their online following into sales.

1. WeChat X online to offline (O2O): SK-II

Aiming to make the connection between online and offline, premium skincare brand SK-II recently launched a WeChat campaign that invites online customers to experience a “perfect PITERA” treatment in any of its physical stores in China. The treatment provides people with a free skin test and helps them design a customized skin-care plan, which picks products that best match their skin type out of the diverse product offering.

Guiding online followers to brick-and-mortar stores has become increasingly important for luxury brands to help convert their online following into sales. In SK-II’s case, the brand also has an online boutique on WeChat. For any customer who visits SK-II’s physical store, the promotion specialists can help them place their order on WeChat after offering them a free skin test.

The WeChat post promoting this event has had more than 100,000 views, outperforming most of the articles during the same period, with some of them featuring high-profile Chinese celebrities.

2. WeChat X customer relationship management: Coach

From March 24 to April 23, American luxury brand Coach is organizing an event that encourages its existing WeChat followers to invite friends to join the brand on the app. According to instructions shown on Coach’s WeChat page (Image 1 above), each participant can generate his or her unique barcode through Coach and share it with friends who aren’t following the account. Participants will earn 20 points if they get one person to follow the account. Moreover, as long as the participant’s friends extract the barcode, the person can also earn five additional points for each new follower. The points that followers earn during the event are cumulative and can be used to redeem a cash coupon worth 300 renminbi for a number of Coach’s signature products, ranging from passport covers to crossbody bags and handbags.

It has become increasingly difficult for luxury brands to grow their audiences on WeChat, so Coach is playing it smart by leveraging the influence of their current followers to attract new ones. The event is also meant to be fun in order to incentivize followers to tap into their social network to support a brand they love.

3. WeChat X key opinion leaders: Bulgari

Riding the wave of the recent Baselworld watch and jewelry show in Switzerland and the popularity of Chinese celebrity Kris Wu who attended the show, Bulgari launched a “see now, buy now” campaign on WeChat. A WeChat post on March 24 showed a number of pictures in which Wu wore the latest version of the Octo Finissimo automatic watch. WeChat readers could go to the Bulgari online store to pre-order the Octo series.

4. WeChat X gamification: Hugo Boss

During this past Christmas season, German luxury brand Hugo Boss used an interactive gift-hunting game to appeal to Chinese consumers and to introduce its latest products. The digital agency Curiosity China said the brand created a virtual-reality shopping experience on WeChat. Players needed to find the four parts of a new character named “Bossbot” in its virtual store to complete the game. Once completed, participants were directed to a page with pricing information, styling tips, and e-commerce links to Hugo Boss’s latest products.

5. WeChat X Moments ads: Chanel

WeChat has recently upgraded its Moment advertising by adding new features. Many luxury brands, including Chanel, have been pioneers in placing ad campaigns on WeChat’s Moments stream by promoting its 2017 spring/summer ready-to-wear collection. The campaign shows up on the timelines of a targeted group of users, and interested viewers need to click on the image to watch the full commercial. The Chanel case features a 15-second video, several images of its latest products, and links to its online store.

6. WeChat X philanthropy: Louis Vuitton

On January 14, two days after its global launch, the French luxury powerhouse brought to WeChat its #makeapromise campaign in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Similar to its global initiative, the brand promises to donate US$200 to UNICEF for each Silver Lockit jewelry item it sells. The WeChat post promoting the campaign also features Chinese celebrities who support the initiative and have called the public’s attention to it. Interested customers can click the link at the end of the post to visit the official site featuring special-edition products, but they need to order the item online and pick it up at one of Louis Vuitton’s boutiques.

To learn more about how brands can use WeChat marketing to optimize sales in China, click here to download our latest WeChat report.

This article was originally published on Jing Daily.

Yiling Pan
Yiling (Sienna) Pan is a luxury business and fashion reporter at Jing Daily. She revels in the challenge of working in a fast-paced environment and presenting Chinese consumer trends to Western readers. Her coverage of the Chinese luxury industry combines a native perspective with her background in finance. Yiling is an alumnus of Thomson Reuters News Agency in Shanghai and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University.
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