New trends in the China's fashion and luxury retail markets suggest that smaller brands can compete with larger ones and win the attention of emerging Chinese consumers.
With growing sophistication of Chinese consumers, brands need to learn how needs and styles are evolving for thier target audience and tell compelling stories to grab their attention.
Thibault Villet, CEO of Glamour Sales (MEI.com) explains.
Chinese Consumers: Growing Numbers and Taste
Chinese consumers are getting more informed and sophisticated because of their travels, because of their reading, because of their exposure to the world and fashion.
In terms of consumer segments, the second generation, affluent generation, those kids who are in their twenties, have a lot of disposable income and are willing to express themselves through fashion. They are looking at different shades of products and brands searching overseas and in China through local designers.
They really want to express themselves and express their individuality.
This is one of the drivers of fashion growth in the years to come. This gives a big opportunity to smaller brands when it comes to China.
Social Commerce is Key, But Not Enough
On the one hand you have this demand, this search for unique, new, different brands and products. On the other hand you have also the development of social commerce.
It is not because you have a new and interesting brand that you put for sale on a very large ecommerce platform that it is going to sell. You really need to engage and stand out.
The role of fashion bloggers and key opinion leaders (KOLs) play in guiding the eco-consumer eco-system is important. The content and messages that brands are communicating should be in sync with what's trending in the eco-system.
Style is (Becoming) King
We used to say in China it was relatively easy to sell products, you needed to have a strong functional product with an inspirational brand. But I think now we are in a new dimension in China: you still need a functional product which has good quality, you still need to have good content and story-telling, but you also need to have style.
This is something which is quite new in the past couple of years.
Consumers are not only listening to stories or looking at functionality, but they also having their own judgment, and they want products that help them grow themselves and be part of their overall look.