How Balenciaga Online Reputation was attack by Chinese PErsonal Shoppers… Case study analyze.

“Boycott Balenciaga” went viral on the chinese social network

In April 26th 2018, “boycott Balenciaga” became a hot topic across the Chinese internet. At the occasion of the launch of a limited-edition shoes, a fight occurred in front of the Balenciaga’ shop inside the famous Printemps shopping Mall in Paris. After this incident, the Chinese netizens started to discuss about the boycott of Balenciaga.

This trend was also supported by Chinese Daigou, key influencers for foreign brands among Chinese consumers. This article will also give you some information about them.


#BoycottBalenciaga spread across Chinese Social media

April 26th 2018, that day was the launch day for “Triple S” shoes which were very expected by a lot of consumers. When queued for the purchase, a Chinese aunt was confronted to foreign queue-jumpers. As netizens broke the news, she tried to stop them and was pushed. Her son rushed to interfere and was beaten by this group of foreigners. At the end, when they went to complain, they were asked to leave and in addition, people who jumped in the queue bought shoes. The source also said that “the Balenciaga counter insulted Chinese people in line and let them get out”.

How Chinese Daigous Create or Destroy Brand Reputation…

This news wasn’t block on the internet. The following day (Friday, april 27th), the hashtag has been viewed 23 million times  on Weibo, the most used micro-blogging platform in China. Several netizens wrote about this thing on Weibo and make it shared around the network. News of the incident has attracted over two million comments “You can say goodbye to the Chinese market” wrote one Weibo user”.

A lot of Daigou also said that there aren’t going to buy and sell Balanciaga products anymore. While Daigou are not always view positively by luxury brand, they have still an impact on their sales and their reputation. Popular Daigou are trusted by their consumers.

Balenciaga issues apology after calls for boycott

After the incident, many people posted comments and questions on Printemps mall’s social media platforms, including Instagram. May, 28th Printemps Mall, gave an “apology” on the comments section saying: “We address a sincere apology for the two Chinese customers and all affected customers” reaffirming and ensuring their attitude about equality and respect to every customer.

After that, Balenciaga also  issued a second, and longer apology , considering the “seriousness” of the matter.

Have you ever heard about Daigou ?

Actually, while some brands are considering Daigou be a detriment, a lot of companies have a more positive view. In fact, Daigou helped a lot of brand to reach local consumers, by presenting and promoting their products into their network of Chinese consumers.

Who are they ?

Daigou are often Chinese who are living abroad. They use their free time to make articles and share information on their social media about foreign products. It is often the ones they like to consume and purchase. Before the cross-border e-commerce went hot in China, they were the most reliable way for local Chinese consumers to get foreign goods. They buy and then sell to their customers and followers.

It can be food, clothes or make-eup, anything Chinese consumers are interested about. But in generally they are specialized in a particular category of products such as : baby products, healthcare supplement…  luxury bags Korean or Japanese cosmetics are all popular niches.

Of course, it is not always bright idea to ask them in China as there are also Daigou selling counterfeit products. However, they know their success lies in their reputation among customers, so selling low-quality or fake product could quickly lead them lost their business.

How can Daigou be useful for brands ?

Daigou can be particularly useful for new brands. They often share information on their social media account, such as product using advices, new launch alert, sales and special offers … They attract a lot of consumers by this way and also because some Chinese people are afraid of buying counterfeit products in China.

Daigous are Micro Influencers and Resellers

While celebrities have to think twice before take part of an advertising to preserve their image, Daigou can do the promotion for new brands with less constraints. It is almost their job to provide new products. Daigou don’t have to care a lot about if the product will suit with their clients. They just base on their utilization or new trends and propose products. If there is a demand, then they can go search for the product.

For brands, instead of going to set up a store in China, assuming a costly marketing process to find out if there is or not a demand on the market, they could just let Daigou to test the market first.

Daigous Marketing

However, for luxury brands it is quite different. They are selling not only high end product but also high end services. The fact to face Daigou instead of the final consumer let the business turns from B2C to B2B. Also, they can’t touch directly their customers, so upgrade the relationship. Also, a lot of luxury brands don’t very appreciate the fact to face Daigou in their shops.

WeChat for your business

WeChat is the most used communication app in China. It has developed many features over years and nowadays, numerous young entrepreneur just use WeChat to start their business in China.

There is on WeChat the possibility to share activities, photos, information and articles through WeChat “Moments” which is similar to the Facebook’s main page. Besides, WeChat allows to do transaction, sending or receiving money.

To summer, there is 3 things you have to remember from this article if you want to enter the Chinese market :

  • The power of social network is very important in China : Chinese people are very connected between them. They actively share and get information from internet. Brands and companies need to have an online present to be visible and manage their reputation
  • Find  Key Opinion Influencer or brand representative can boost your business in China. They are often followed by a lot of people and can be very helpful for your brand
  • WeChat is an unavoidable app in China. Take a look on this other article.


Need to improve your Communication in China ?

Our agency is specialized on digital marketing in China (Website) . You can contact our consultant if you have a project  in China. We chase the lastest market trends and provide Cut edge Marketing Solutions for your Business …


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