The Guide To Market A Premium Fashion Brand in China

How to Market a Fashion Brand in China?

Consumers in China generally seek multiple kinds of goods that stand out from the average one. Although the fascination for everything dealing with luxury is still a current issue, there’s a high possibility that it has reached the “breakpoint” mode: expensive and apparently outstanding luxury goods are not coveted as ardently as we are used to seeing.   Showing off is not an interesting option anymore, as long as society and technologies’ fast pace are ongoing for decades.

Premium Brands are Cool not Luxury Old Fashion Brands

Valuable high-end products are still meaningful for Chinese consumers, they seem to be more wise and thoughtful around the significance of buying “smart” while targeting fashionable items, not necessarily out of reach, to showcase their specificities and uniqueness to others and their roundabouts.

Digital in China is Fashionable & Cool

Differentiation has always been the most desired aspect that people hold dear, that’s why being “fashionable”, “cool”, “outstanding” are not only mere behaviors but also the credo of modernity. Quality over high-pricing is a newly adopted mindset for these Mainland consumers, the user experience and reputation of the branding, goods that can shape their personality and individuality are more appreciated.

Read Also: Fashion in China: Top Marketing Strategies for Brands

The proof results in data and numbers: a slight slowdown has been perceived in China’s market revolving around the whole luxury market in 2015, a drop of 2% with an amount estimated between 110-115B RMB. Fashion men’s wear, watches of all kinds,s and leather goods are what are mostly the main strengths of Mainland China luxury, which growth strategy needs to be redefined through a more tailored and localized marketing impact, knowing that Branding is not that crucial. Luxury watches like Rolex are still quite purchased by many consumers, not at an incredibly fast pace though, more willing to trade down for less and buying more, high-end quality expectations included.

Why this slight shift?

Multiple reasons behind these consumers’ behaviors change the predominance of  E-commerce. The numbers of Chinese consumers adopting the online purchasing system keep increasing overnight, directly responsible for “launching” a specific segment and greatly handled by Alibaba which aims are dual: make it more knowledgeable and responsive services and guidance in their buying habits. They may consecrate more time before making decisions on high-end products, accessibility has been emphasized: a wide range of products are detailed and features are better explained than before. A wise consumers’ oriented mindset comparing to the ones rushing to be part of the first to buy the most fashionable good that just coming out, stressed by exaggerated advertisement. Another key point may be the Digital advancement, almost everything is at the reach of your hand with the use of smartphones, websites design are not properly optimized: developing the Chinese language is not an option anymore, especially when smartphones are used by a high majority. Items considered too expensive are not the priority.

The Corruption Fight limits the impact of Luxury Expensive Trend Nowaday

The current political situation has reduced the possibility of unfair trade related to pricing. The same goes for corruption when unimaginably expensive gifts and goods like premium fashionable watches in limited edition, are becoming step by step less alluring to these consumers. Taking up another way of purchasing by making the right decisions are good news, even if the items seem to be lower, price speaking. Some mainland consumers took the initiative to buy recognized and standard products overseas, or during their travels to optimize their overall cost. Destinations most preferred by Chinese people are Europe, South Korea, and Australia thanks to favorable exchange rates and competitive pricing on specific goods in the luxury market, a study stated by Bain&co.

Digital marketing presence in China

Through the change in Chinese consumers’ habits, more opportunities can emerge from the small businesses that also deliver high-end quality items at an affordable price. Beforehand, the similarity was what motivating people to buy but now they are more and more seeking typical and exclusive goods that can reinforce their convictions and personality. The area of “start-up reign” means disruption can happen anywhere, at any time and small brands are well-positioned to adapt their strategy to customers evolving needs. Several processes of consumption are constantly changing, so that the way firms tend to more adaptability could influence the psychological aspect of purchasing a product, emphasizing mainly the results and the degree of usefulness.

Few paths that marketers could undertake :

  • Ever-changing tastes and interest of Chinese people
  • Adaptability to local people in negotiations and exchange
  • The word-of-mouth spread in marketing that can reach as many people as possible and in China it can be viral through 2 big social media : Wechat and Weibo
  • An automatic sound digital marketing feature by integrating a Chinese- language web
  • Optimization of the site for mobile devices in Wechat and localization to the local market is significant
  • For brands related to luxury, an emphasis on the “young” or “millennial” (people aged between 19 and 36) criteria to attract the next generation, highly connected people
  • Product Owner oriented in design and store footprint

Thus, both challenges and opportunities are constantly growing at a fast pace  in a macro environment. Making an impact in the luxury market has become more tough but not impossible to handle, few steps to follow for a convenient business : digital content management platform need to be tailored, create a relation of trust with customers by engaging them naturally, emphasizing on the added value generated by exclusivity and brand awareness (assessed through feedbacks and a higher return) and a measurable pricing.

How to Market a Fashion Brand in China ?

The question that every Marketer in Fashion Industry ask ;

1. Reputation First

Brands in China have to be active on their Reputation. Chinese buy “trust” and no Trust no Business.

Many Brands actually suffer from a Reputation Problem. Chinese will spend a lot of Time searching for Brand information and Consumers Feedback.

They prefer to Buy a Brand that Consumers recommend, that is a Brand that People Criticize.

2. Social Media to increase Awarness

The best Way in China to increase Brand Exposure is through Social Media and all Online Social Networks.

Chinese are Superconnected, I guess you already know that right?

3 main Channels for Fashion Brands in China

  • Wechat

source Luxury society

Read also China Luxury Market Guide

  • Weibo
  • + Little Red Book

Little Red book is recently a very popular APP among Chinese girls.

  1. Xiaohongshu the app that change people in trendspotter 
  2. XiahongShu Marketing strategy

3. Influencers Campaign to Boost Results

Influencers or KOL (Key Opinion Leaders ) are the perfect way to boost your Reputation and Your Awareness.

They can not be the Main strategy but will give Resonance to your Digital Strategy.

Fan Bingbing is the most Influencing Star in China for Fashion.

She is probably Out of your Budget, but … we can help you to identify Suitable Fashion Trendsetters.

4. Buzz, go Viral and do not be Boring …

You have to differentiate your Brand and Go Viral is a good way to Mark the Spirit of a specific target.

Buzz starts from a Creative Idea, that goes viral in China with the support of influencers, Press, and Forums, and then Consumers will share it.

Premium Brands have to be different and every year consumers need to speak about them.

Discover Tods in Italy with Mr. Bags

5. PR Public Relation, use the Power of Online Media

Online Media, Online Magazine is the Media that Fashionista will follow not Printing Magazine in China.

We recommend this solution because…

  • It is Cost effective
  • You get a solid result
  • It is Good for your E-Reputation

6. The magic Power of Storytelling in China

You have to create Beautiful stories around your Brand. People in China do not really Brand, or Products they buy an Environnement, They buy a Beautiful Story.

Stories can be Commercial KOL but are more effective with Normal People. In Fashion, Stories can be explained by Video or by Photo Reportage.

7. Your Distribution Gate will be open with Branding

In China, the best way to expand your Distribution Network is to have a strong Brand.

  • Who wants to represent/sell unknow brands? Almost Nobody.
  • Who wants to represent / Sell Louis Vuitton? Almost everybody.

8. E-Commerce … Should you sell your Product online

  • Yes of Course.
  • The good question is Where to sell it.
  • … and when to integrate the Chinese E-Commerce Platform.

TMall is the perfect platform but ….do not accept New brands.

Tmall has strong requirements about the Company they represent.

Tmall is not a Cost-effective Solution and requires a big investment for most Fashion Brands.

And the main problem with Tmall is building a Successful Store takes Time and needs good Branding.

Wechat Store

Having a Wechat store is Usually a Good first E-Commerce strategy.

Difficult to sell a lot, but cost-effective and Social e-Commerce on Wechat will growth

Little Red Book Store.

You can now sell on LittleRedBook. The social purchase platform opens the gate of E-Commerce for Fashion Brand.

Communicate among Chinese Personal Buyers

…and let them sell for you. Daigou is Powerful in China because they distribute Fashion Brands to their Community.

nobody is really able to estimate this Market Size but can reach 50% for some Brands.

Target Chinese Tourists.

Most of Them like to buy Premium Brand overseas. Attracting them to your Store is the first real great experience for them and Proof that your brand is imported.

Before selling in China, you can start to sell to Chinese travelers, it will be a first step to getting feedback and understanding the Best Sellers for Chinese Consumers.

Do you want to Boost your Brand in China? Need an Agency to go to the next level?

  1. You can contact us, and explain what is your Dream in China, and we will see if you can help you too.
  2. We are a Smart Agency, trained to advise Brands.
  3. We really enjoy working with Smart & Ambitious People


  • Hello,
    We are Foshan Group, a real estate & retail company. We are searching to partner with luxury Brand from Europe & USA, Australia.
    please contact me

  • WeChat (very often compared to WhatsApp) allows the brands to talk directly to their followers in a more intimate manner, almost as if they were friends. Luxury fashion brands also use these tools to communicate with their customers. One of the fashion brands with the most developed social media strategy in China is Louis Vuitton. Every time they organize events, they send to their followers photos of those events. It’s exactly as if Louis Vuitton was sending consumers news through Facebook.

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