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business social media

Dior is the top relevant luxury brand among China’s Generation Z, report says

Dior brand ambassador Angelababy. Photo: Angelababy/Weibo
Dior brand ambassador Angelababy. Photo: Angelababy/Weibo

While the appointment of actress Angelababy as the brand ambassador for Christian Dior stirred up much controversy in China in May, it may not have been such a bad move for the brand after all. According to a report released this month by RTG Consulting Group (RTG), the French luxury powerhouse has been named the most relevant luxury label by China’s Generation-Z (a group that ranges in age from 15-24). And Angelababy‘s extreme popularity among this age group shows that her appointment was one of the smartest moves the 70-year-old fashion brand has made to reinvigorate its image in China.

According to the “Brand Relevance Report 2017,” the brand is believed to be highly effective at inspiring Chinese youth to express the cultural values and philosophy they stand for, which transcends the traditional cultural norms. That is an important ability for luxury brands to master if they want to stay relevant with this young population. Chanel and Swarovski are the next two most relevant luxury labels among China’s millennial youth, respectively.

“The young generation is really moving away from materialism to embrace (values such as) playfulness and mindfulness,” Marc Arnold, the chief strategy officer of RTG as well as the author of the 2017 relevance report, told Jing Daily. “Dior is good at inspiring expression (of these shifting cultural values) that goes beyond the tradition and norms. Plus, [the brand] also has good visual campaigns that are appealing to young people.”

The 2017 relevance report surveyed 5,000 Chinese consumers from first-tier cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chengdu) to get a sense of how they perceive the relevance of 300 international and domestic brands to their daily life.

It categorises these surveyed brands into nine sectors including luxury, personal care, beauty and hospitality. By “relevance,” RTG refers to the ability of a brand to establish a strong and emotive relationship with consumers and stand for something that truly matters to their lives.

Under the luxury category, Chanel, with an average score of 6.7, stands at the top of the ranking as the most relevant luxury label in China, among all age groups, in 2017. According to the report, the brand has catered to Chinese clientele with a diverse product offering ranging from well-designed handbags to fragrance and beauty products. In addition, Chanel’s social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements have pushed the level of the brand’s relevance among the digital-savvy Chinese consumers even further.

Top 20 relevant luxury brands in China: courtesy photo
Top 20 relevant luxury brands in China: courtesy photo

However, given the success of Dior among the younger generations, whether or not a brand is able to inspire its consumers seem to be highly important. In order to gauge this quality, RTG dubs it the “passionate” metric. Dior has secured a score of 8.4 under the “passionate” metric, outperforming Chanel (7.4), Gucci (7.6) and Cartier (6.6), among others.

Another interesting finding from the report is that Burberry ranks relatively low in comparison to the strong rebound of its market recognition and sales in China. Earlier this month, Burberry’s first quarterly report presented a better-than-expected global growth, with its chief financial officer, Julie Brown, highlighting the contribution from Chinese consumers.

The brand was only ranked 17th on the list with a relevance score of 4.7. The passionate score is also low at 5.9. That finding seems particularly counterintuitive given that the brand has frequently worked with the pop singer Kris Wu who has a huge young Chinese fan base.

“This might be related to its country of origin,” said Arnold. “Britain is not a country that is known for triggering creativity and playfulness, compared to France, for example.”

“What’s more important, Burberry is more perceived as an icon of fashion, not luxury, in China.”

The rest of the report contains many other insights. For instance, the concept of the luxury lifestyle that is led by the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is successful in growing the brand’s relevance among Chinese consumers, making it the top brand in the hospitality field.

Estee Lauder, the most relevant beauty brand in China, shows that consumers buy into the rich history and heritage of this French label. Its prominence also derives from their “large-scale campaigns across strategic media platforms using well-chosen celebrities.”

Meanwhile, a number of domestic Chinese brands including Huawei, WeChat and Yili have all seen their relevance surging in 2017, signifying the rising influence of Chinese brands across the globe.

By Yiling Pan @SiennaPan

This article was originally published on Jing Daily, a Fashion & Mash content partner.

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business e-commerce

LinkedIn reveals 10 individuals transforming the US retail industry

LinkedIn Next Wave retail
LinkedIn’s retail stars in its 2016 Next Wave list

Everlane founder and CEO Michael Preysman is among the 10 individuals highlighted by LinkedIn as transforming the retail industry in its 2016 Next Wave list.

Part of a broader 120 names revealed, the second annual list is based on professionals aged 35 and under who are changing how 12 different industries work. It outlines those who are leading their companies, business units, peers and employees toward a future that they see more clearly than most.

In retail specifically it’s about rethinking how we shop, what we buy and how it all gets to us. Preysman is praised for the fact he has turned traditional retail on its head with Everlane by shunning the standard brick-and-mortar model, spending minimally on advertising, and revealing exactly how much each garment costs to make.

He joins others including Benita Singh, founder and CEO of Le Souk, the first global online marketplace to connect textile suppliers with fashion designers; Jonas Cleveland, co-founder, CEO and CTO of Cosy, a start-up deploying robots inside Walgreens, Home Depot and other retailers to check inventory nightly; and Aubrie Pagano, co-founder and CEO of Bow & Drape, a customisable clothing company with 40 kiosks due across retail stores like Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Lord & Taylor this year.

Further names on the retail list include Leura Fine, founder and CEO of Laurel & Wolf; Heather Hasson, co-founder and CEO of FIGS; Michelle Jolly, principal product manager at Amazon.com; Kevin Lavelle, founder and CEO of Mizzen+Main; Mariya Nurislamova, co-founder and CEO of Scentbird; and Laura Behrens Wu, founder and CEO of Shippo.

Narrowing down the LinkedIn members to this top 10 was based on an examination of interactions on the platform, including which profiles were most viewed by members in the same industry, social engagement performance and the frequency that candidates appeared in the news.

Other industries in the list include entertainment, healthcare, media, technology, education and more, with names like Lexie Komisar, senior lead at the IBM Digital Innovation Lab; Peter Deng, head of product management at Oculus; Nick Bell, VP of content at Snapchat; and Jessica Grose, editor-in-chief of Lenny; particularly standing out.

The list is limited to the US for 2016, but international versions will be coming next year.

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e-commerce social media

Ralph Lauren knocks Michael Kors into second place in digital rankings

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is top dog in the US when it comes to luxury brand website visits, according to the latest study from digital-marketing company PMX Agency and data-analytics firm Hitwise.

The pair measured website visits in the year to June, and Ralph Lauren overtook last year’s winner Michael Kors. Ralph Lauren had a 19.2% share (that’s nearly one in five visits) compared to 18.5% for Kors. The figures were arrived at by measuring website visits, social media interactions and brand searches.

With Coach in third place (12%), Louis Vuitton next (9.5%) and Gucci fifth (5.3%), it clearly doesn’t leave a lot of room for the other 75 brands the companies tracked. In fact they said that the top 10 brands accounted for almost 80% of the website visit share. The remaining top 10 brand include Chanel, Burberry, Hermès, Christian Louboutin and Versace, and as the number 10 spot only gives the Italian giant a 1.7% share it’s obvious that everyone else is trailing the big players at the top of the list by a huge margin.

Online interactions are largely driven by women of all ages, but among men, it’s the 34-to-44 age group that engages with these brands the most.

luxe-study-bloomberg-chart

Interestingly, even though luxury is seen as more of a physical store or at least a large screen experience, global luxury brands got more than half (52% actually) of their US web traffic from smartphones or tablets. Perhaps that’s part of the trend that sees social media driving 6.3% of the website traffic. While that’s still a surprisingly low number, luxury brand social media followers have risen 40% year-on-year and we’re likely to see more explosive growth over the next few years.

Consumers visited websites 185.2m times over the study period, which meant 11.2% fewer visits than a year earlier. That’s odd given how much luxury brand have upped their game when it comes to offering richer online experiences and better e-commerce features for those who want to buy online rather than tripping off to a destination city’s flagship store.

Of course, the fall also comes at a tough time for the luxury sector with global economic woes and currency exchange issues denting sales of luxury goods worldwide.

“The drop in online visits can be attributed, in part, to external factors like fluctuating exchange rates, uncertain economic outlooks across the globe and reduced travel due not only to financial concerns but also terrorism,” said Glenn Lalich, VP of research at PMX Agency.

“Also notable is that more luxury interactions may be occurring solely with social platforms on social applications – predominantly mobile – and not always reaching the traditional luxury brand website,” he added.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday.

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business e-commerce Editor's pick

8 unique e-commerce sites you need to bookmark immediately

Bow & Drape
Bow & Drape

As with everything digital – noise is one of the greatest barriers to success. With more players in the space, comes increased difficulty around standing out. E-commerce business is no different.

Responsive mobile sites and extensive product detail – once considered special features – are now points of parity. Ideas like free shipping, blog content and wish lists are commonplace. With consumer expectations at an all-time high, going above and beyond is harder than ever too.

Today, landing the claim of “hidden gem” particularly is no small feat. Up against established names including Net-a-Porter and Zappos, through to Farfetch, Lyst, Zalando and more, start-ups and smaller players must increasingly find ways to differentiate themselves in order to get seen. After all, it’s not just about giving shoppers reasons to visit, but convincing them it’s worth hanging around long enough to spend too.

While the specifics vary, the bulk of the success stories can be summarised under three headings: exclusivity, editorial and user experience. Read on for a highlight of eight lesser-known or particularly unique names worth checking out:


1. Shop-GhostShopghost

For a curator of high-end designer pieces, Shop-Ghost does nothing like its competition. The website is quirky and drunk with dizzied content, but somehow, it works. Tumblr-style clustered graphics are met with fragmented thoughts in “blog posts” that suggest pieces to fit the mood. The website is not searchable, does not bother with filters and offers anything BUT a clean interface. The zine formatting even forces users off the site to make the actual purchase. This is the digital version of the cluttered shop that oozes cool and finds you fleeing with three bags in tow. www.shopghost.com


2. Bow & Drape

Bow & Drape

Bow & Drape finds its niche right at the cusp of where young Millennials match up with Gen Z. This pop culture hub plays right into its market, updating simple garments with customisable and glittered-emoji makeovers, finished with the catchphrase du jour. A shoppable Instagram section also sees a witty artful take on meme-manufacturing, keyed in on ‘90s nostalgia and modern trends. www.bowanddrape.com


3. Semaine

Semaine

Each week, Semaine focuses on a new tastemaker, allowing a completely shoppable behind-the-curtains reveal into their lives. Monday begins with a short film or profile of the individual in question, while each subsequent day then features another glance into their lives, ranging from their beauty regimes to the dust collectors on their bookshelves. www.semaine.com


4. The Iconic

The Iconic

If you’re in Australia – this name won’t be new to you. For everyone else, it’s worth knowing for the unique fashion glossary on offer – a categorisation feature every site should consider implementing. The fashion conscious shopper is able to use it as a tool to quickly navigate the expansive site offerings in search of their unique piece. The fashion newcomer, however, gets a complete education in images akin to a more accurate and completely shoppable Google Image search. www.theiconic.com.au


5. Brika

Brika

Brika is the perfect online destination for the shopper with DIY pipedreams, but lack of skills to deliver. Each day, a new artist is introduced on the homepage with their story and collection featured. In search of art, home décor, jewelry, accessories or even little knick-knacks for kids, this is the destination that breeds the perfect kitsch meets craft item. www.brika.com


6. Shoes of Prey

Shoes of Prey

For the love of shoes, a woman need look no further than Shoes of Prey, which enables users to customise every aspect of their footwear, from sole to zipper. What makes this a standout offering is the expansive colour selection and a complete 360-degree view of the final designs. www.shoesofprey.com


7. Of a Kind

Of a Kind

This one may already be on your list – if it’s not, it’s really time to bookmark it. An online concept store, it specialises in limited runs of items created especially for its website. The supply side of the operation comes from emerging designers, which further appeals to the quaint luxury of the setup. The special items are deemed “# of a kind”, letting the consumer know just how unique their buy is. Each item is also paired with a beautifully photographed story, similar pieces to curate a collection and non-exclusive add-ons that make the look. www.ofakind.com


8. Vide Dressing

Vide Dressing

The consignment model is completely revamped by Vide Dressing – the eBay of the pre-owned luxury fashion market. Sellers post their goods, get them checked over by a legal team for authenticity and then have 72 hours to ship to their buyer after purchase. The unique feature that sets Vide Dressing apart from competitors such as Vestiaire Collective is a money-back guarantee within 48 hours of product receipt. www.videdressing.co.uk

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social media

The fashion and beauty accounts featured in TIME’s 2013 best of Twitter list

CocoRocha_Twitterpic

There’s an interesting cross section of both brands and individuals in the fashion and beauty category of TIME Magazine’s 140 best Twitter feeds of 2013 list. Among them are the likes of Coco Rocha (as pictured) through to Michael Kors, as well as teenage blogger Tavi Gevinson and Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton. Got to love the inclusion of the Museum at FIT though.

Here’s the full list, as well as the reasons why:

Tyra Banks: Following Tyra Banks on Twitter is sort of like watching her give advice on America’s Next Top Model — and we mean this in the best way possible. Her empowering, chase-your-dreams tweets will have you feeling fierce in no time.

Tavi Gevinson: While the rest of us probably spent our teen years hanging out at the local diner, the sixteen-year-old editor-in-chief of RookieMag attends haute couture fashion shows and makes late-night show appearances. It’s okay though, we can all live vicariously through Tavi by following her on Twitter.

Michael Kors: Designer Michael Kors uses Twitter to preview his upcoming collections, offer style tips and dispense advice for aspiring fashionistas looking to break into the industry.

Maybelline: Maybelline’s Twitter feed won us over the moment it started live-tweeting episodes of Gossip Girl. Think of Maybelline’s social media persona as the friend you had in high school who was always good with beauty products — offering make-up dos and don’ts daily for women everywhere.

Museum at FIT: With clothing dating back to the 18th century, the collection at the Museum at FIT is extraordinary. If you are unable to make the trip to the Big Apple, the museum highlights items from their collection daily on Twitter with recurring themes like ‘Historic Dress of the Day’ and ‘Accessory of the Day.’

Laurel Pantin: Glamour’s Associate Accessories and Shopping Editor Laurel Pantin tweets from every press preview, every party and every meeting she goes to. In her position, that’s a lot of tweets. If you like fashion and want to know what’s going on in the industry this very minute, you can do it just by following her.

Nicole Richie: Even though she’s now a mother, author and fashion designer, Nicole Richie’s Twitter feed feels like a throwback to her The Simple Life days. Whether she’s tweeting about how good she looks or being exhausted from wearing jeans, her sense of humor is apparent in every tweet.

Coco Rocha: Coco Rocha is more than just a pretty face. The model turned TV star keeps her Twitter followers up to date on the latest episodes of The Face and various other fashion projects.

Kate Upton: Model Kate Upton really is America’s “girl next door.” Despite what you may have thought after looking at Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit issue, she doesn’t usually hangout in arctic conditions wearing little to no clothes. As her Twitter feed makes clear, Upton’s just a normal gal who enjoys the company of her girlfriends and her pet boxer.

VFiles: Fashion doesn’t have to be so serious, ladies and gentleman — which is what makes VFiles’ Twitter account particularly brilliant. Along with hilarious one-liners, you’ll find interesting commentary from VFILES on fashion and pop culture.