3.0 - 20% of Any Global Luxury Brand's Revenue Is Up For Grabs...Seriously, 20%

 

2015 will be another year where business news is dominated by China.

Whether you want to debate its rate of growth or the confidence of its consumers, there is virtually no questioning China’s massive consumer population and its mounting strength within the global economy.  

“What’s your China strategy?” is the Fortune 1000 question for the New Year.  

But what does that question really mean?  And how is the answer different today, especially given how much the markets have opened up over the last 2-3 years?  

As a global communications and digital creative agency co-HQ'd in NYC and China along with arguably the most established practice of any multinational agency inside China, we have a whole lot of perspective to contribute to this conversation!

Now back to the question...articulating a coherent marketing and business strategy tied to this explosive opportunity may seem challenging…so here’s what you need to know.

The Rise of China's Super Consumers

China’s Super Consumers (CSCs) represent a massive consumer population and the global business implications are huge.  Just as the Baby Boomer generation influenced America’s position and strength within the global economy over the last 30+ years, CSCs are poised to do the same in the coming years.

Check out Savio Chan's book - "China's Super Consumers - What 1 Billion Customers Want and How To Sell It To Them" - and you'll be well on your way to getting as fired up about this opportunity as I am! 

To quickly put things in perspective, let’s look at the luxury sector where CSCs are making a huge splash.  

What if I told you 20% of your gross revenue is up for grabs?  If you're in the luxury space, this is a reality.  Here's how this breaks down...the numbers speak for themselves.

WHO?

Chinese Super Consumers - Young, wealthy, educated, strong digital/tech quotient, urban, price-to-value-sensitive and rapidly evolving consumer sophistication thanks to social media

WHAT?

CSCs represent 29% of luxury industry’s global sales

WHERE?

Of that 29% of luxury consumption, 70% is taking place in Hong Kong and outside Mainland China in a handful of key markets including New York, LA, Paris, Milan, London and Basel.

TRANSLATION....

20% of any luxury brand’s gross revenue is up for grabs.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO?

Step back before you lean in.

There is no one size fits all approach to engaging CSCs and with the Chinese market in general.  But understanding what makes China’s consumer populations unique – or engaging a strategic partner who knows the landscape – will help set you up for success.   

Some tips for creating a successful strategy:

 

Commit.

Next to the “Digitization of Everything,” China is probably the ultimate macro trend (and you know how much I love macro trends).   But mark my words: some brands will survive and thrive while others disappear forever, entirely as a result of how they approach this opportunity.  Do yourself a favor and commit to sorting out your China strategy.

Don't (always) believe the hype.

The 24-hour news cycle tends towards catastrophe (NYC Blizzard anyone?). Recent coverage of China’s new Internet czar and “The Great Firewall” Gmail Block can give a false impression of China’s actual digital climate.  Do your homework, don’t jump to conclusions and play the long game.

Be flexible.  Be digital.

Legacy business models, institutionalized ways of doing things and internal politics that prevent companies from changing are all strategy-killers. Companies need to digitize their business model – whether that means hiring a CDO, or finding reliable partners to help you maximize your brand’s consumer experience.  Evaluate your internal systems, processes, infrastructure and digital resources: are they adaptive, nimble and globalized?  Start and end with the consumer in mind all the time.

Know your north star.

Evaluate your approach to marketing and consumer engagement. Are you trying get as close as possible to your customer? Are you digitizing that profile/preference info and developing a personalized, one-to-one relationship with each consumer?  Is a consumer’s experience seamless in the real and digital worlds?

Invest in the right partners.

There’s no question about it: the right partners will accelerate your evaluation, strategy formation and execution.  Now is the time to make the right, strategic moves and acquire market share from your competition.

 

And don't forget, 20% is up for grabs... Still trying to figure it all out?  I’m ready to talk strategy whenever you are!

With the Super Bowl and the NBA All-Star Game almost upon us, next week’s post will focus on what separates the best from the rest in the world of Sports, Music, Entertainment and Lifestyle Sponsorship.  Of course it has something to do with Digital/Tech ;) but a big part is culture, people, nuance etc.

Thanks for reading.

Alec

 

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