Chanel brand awareness is going ballistic among China’s wealthy classes. The Bomoda Group that’s partnering with global brands to help them make sense of Chinese markets thinks it knows the reason why. According to Bomoda founder and CEO Brian Buchveld it has “invested very seriously in advertising and retail,” and this is what made the difference.
The top-end fashion accessories company is ahead of other front-rankers Dior, Hermes, Gucci and Louis Vuitton that follow in that order. As proof that brand awareness sells products, Chanel is also the preferred luxury brand for wealthy Chinese consumers, with 41% of them having bought a Chanel product in the past 12 months. Dior comes a distant second at 32%.
Chanel Touches All the Way Along the Funnel
The perfume and associated accessory company uses a multi-pronged approach to appeal to as many pressure points as possible. These include getting close to wealthy customers on websites, subtle use of social media channels, and through association with personalities around the world that choose Chanel over its competition.
In March 2015 it took the campaign to the grey market by slashing prices at its China stores. This put paid to complaints that it was cheaper to import Chanel goods than go the retail route. Chinese consumers flocked to Hong King and Shanghai malls to take advantage of the offer, and indulge their fantasies by giving gifts to friends.
More Detail on Chinese Luxury Consumer Preferences
The Bomoda 2015 China Luxury Blueprint Report identified several other important aspects of wealthy Chinese consumer decision-making, including that “Chinese consumers who search for a brand’s Chinese name are 34% more likely to buy for authenticity rather than price”, and that over-saturation of social media can “negatively impact a brand’s sales potential”.
I am confident that other luxury-brand companies will follow the Chanel Chinese model. Its successes in the second-largest economy in the world are bound to have a positive spin-off in its other global operations, as it continues to pump its branding messages.