Following the online backlash of a series of culturally-themed ads by the Italian luxury brand, screenshots of purported anti-China comments by brand co-founder Stefano Gabbana were widely circulated. This resulted in the cancellation of the brand’s Great Show fashion event in Shanghai as well as the removal of Dolce & Gabbana from China’s leading e-commerce sites.
Can Dolce & Gabbana Weather Its Chinese Social Media Storm?
In the article, Jerry compares the current crisis with recent boycotts of foreign brands and products in China. He suggests that this time, the backlash has been more organic, as opposed to the result of wider encouragement from political forces.
International brands in China need to be extra cautious when engaging with Chinese culture, ensuring the tone is positive and never judgmental.
Sadly, this recent (and arguably avoidable) crisis, is likely to have severe implications for the brand over the short- and long-term in China.
On Tuesday, November 20th, the World Federation of Advertiser’s held their final meeting of the year. The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) is a global trade association for multi-national advertisers and national advertiser associations. Its membership is made up of around 85 of the world’s top 500 advertisers and a number of national associations in 60 markets.
Resonance’s Paul McNeill speaking at the World Federation of Advertisers
Resonance’s Paul McNeill was invited to host a very interactive session on how the latest developments in the WeChat eco-system. After the sharing of some mind-boggling numbers, a deep-dive was shared on the versatility of WeChat as it has morphed from a communications tool into a fully-fledged business tool.
Particular emphasis was on how best to leverage on the Social-CRM opportunities within the WeChat universe, the diversity, and flexibility of mini-programs and how this deeper communication can lead to direct sales, through Social-Commerce. With top marketers from INFINITI Motor Co., Hong Kong Disneyland, Cathay Pacific, Nespresso, Estée Lauder, Hasbro, and others, the dialogue was fun, probing and engaging, just what you want from social engagements.
Paul McNeill breaks down the WeChat consumer journey
Critical perspectives and discussions from the talk included:
WeChat has now an apparent dichotomy between business use and personal use
The business tools currently available through WeChat and associated API’s allow for a mind-boggling array of services to be accessed directly through the WeChat platform
With over 170 million people engaging daily with over 1 million mini-programs, it is essential to stand out from the crowd with services that add value to a consumer’s daily life
Social CRM now allows for a very granular and highly targeted approach to communication
Social commerce accessed through WeChat is on the ascendancy and will continue to grow as more and more marketers get to grips with the power that they can retain in the customer buying journey
Last week, to coincide with CIIE being hosted in Shanghai, AustCham hosted a discussion and panel on the future of New Retail at the Westin Bund Centre – New Retail: Making Retail Great Again.
Invited speakers included Resonance’s Jerry Clode, alongside Alibaba’s Hector Zhang (Operations Advisor – Tmall Business Unit) and Ogilvy’s Olivia Plotnick (Marketing & Communications Manager).
Jerry lead out the session by discussing how China is leading the New Retail ‘revolution’; then Zhang shared Alibaba’s vision for retail in China; with Plotnick discussing how brands can best leverage new developments in this area.
Jerry Clode speaking at AustCham’s New Retail Event
After each speaker shared their perspectives, there was a lively panel discussion with questions from an enthusiastic crowd who joined the event.
Key perspectives and discussions from the event included:
That New Retail, while more advanced in China than elsewhere, is still in its infancy
New Retail represents a response to the limits of traditional retail. Now retailers have the opportunity to leverage data to provide consumers a deeper consumer experience
Due to the local reality that large tech companies can now combine e-commerce and payment assets to access SKU-level data, means New Retail is advancing faster here in China than elsewhere
New Retail is being embraced more readily by Chinese consumers due to the reality that traditional retail was not delivering on locals’ increasing expectations
Alibaba is championing New Retail as it represents the best way to optimize revenue yield from retail space, an increasingly rare and expensive commodity in China
New Retail offers marketers a more intuitive way to sell to consumers due to a wider set of data they can now access, meaning they can be less reliant on intrusive and disruptive mediums such as pop-up ads
Resonance’s Research Manager, Michael Norris, was sought out by Ordre for comment on latest developments in Chinese fashion incubation and retail strategies.
Ordre is a European online luxury wholesale platform with operations in London, Milan, Paris, New York, and Hong Kong. Launched in 2015, Ordre allows fashion designers to show off their collections via 360-degree photography and virtual reality to interested wholesale buyers. Ordre received investment from Alibaba in May 2018.
Michael’s interview was published by Ordre on 26 October 2018. The interview’s focus was on Zuczug, one of China’s leading domestic commercial brands and retail disruptors. Zuczug is at the leading edge of user acquisition and incubation to capture new segments and drive growth.
Wang Yiyang, the designer behind the Zuczug brand, with 73 stores in China and global ambitions. PHOTO CREDIT: WALL STREET JOURNAL
Key takeaways from the article and Michael’s interview:
Domestic fashion group, Zuczug, is working on a portfolio strategy through acquisition and incubation.
Zuczug’s incubation model is unique within Mainland China. It can be likened to the Comme Des Garçons support system in Japan.
The largest entity within Zuczug’s incubation model is WHM, an affordable luxury brand. Although it shares many sales channels with Zuczug, it has also found favor with specialty fashion outfits around Mainland China.
Zuczug’s incubation model is likely to be replicated by other domestic fashion and retail labels looking to appeal to new segments.
Horasis the Global Visions Community hosted 500 delegates in the beautiful Ukrainian city of Kiev this past week for its 14th annual Davos style Horasis China meeting; an annual meeting of the minds with delegates from the business, finance and government communities converging on Kiev to talk about all things China.
The 14th Horasis China Meeting took place in Kyiv, UK over 14 -16th October, 2018. The meeting was hosted by the Global Transformation Platform and the China Federation of Industrial Economics.
Resonance’s Paul McNeill was once again in attendance to host an illustrious panel on the subject of “Unleashing Chinese Firms’ Global Investments”. Over the 90-minute roundtable discussion, a lively debate was held over the merits of the Belt & Road Initiative, the shift away from US investment, the curbing of “Irrational Outflow” of capital, funding of overseas acquisitions and the focus on key knowledge industries such as biotech, automotive, healthcare, and technology.
With the participation of among others; Zhi Peng the President of Tsinghua Asset Management, Ge Ming, the Chairman of the supervisory Board of the China M&A Association and Aivaras Abromavcius Economics Minister of Ukraine (2014-16) an open and insightful debate was conducted.
The Unleashing Chinese Firms’ Global Investments session focused on the strategies, key sectors and countries for Chinese capital. Session chair Paul McNeill opened by asking participants which new strategies can help Chinese firms to go global more successfully.
Over the two days, 30 interactive discussions were held at this invitation-only meeting, with many old friendships renewed and new friendships forged over business ideas, ideologies, and networking events. This unique event continues to build momentum with its approach to constructive dialogue and the broad range of topics covered and with Las Vegas a destination for 2019, the ongoing trade spat with the US will no doubt be one of the many subjects on the agenda.
Key takeaways from a few days intense dialogue:
China continues to develop from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge economy
Outbound investment is across the globe but is shifting from commodities to know-how investments
China continues to the lead the way in e-commerce solutions and is finding new innovative solutions for the convergence of offline and online retail
The outward thinking younger generation of Chinese have all the knowledge at their fingertips and the confidence of seasoned travelers to further fuel the growth of global travel destinations and brands
On October 17, Resonance’s Consumer Research Manager, Michael Norris, interviewed Meituan Dianping’s CMO Steven Shu as part of ITB Asia. ITB Asia is Asia’s largest travel exhibition, featuring international destinations, airlines, hotel chains, tourism bureaus and service providers from around the world.
ITB is Asia’s largest Travel Exhibition
This was Steven’s first interview about Meituan Travel following Meituan Dianping’s IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September, where it raised US$4.2 billion.
Michael’s interview with Steven focused on Meituan Travel, Meituan Dianping’s travel services arm. During the interview, Steven spoke about Meituan Travel’s impressive growth and affinity with younger travelers.
Resonance’s Michael Norris Interviews Meituan Dianping’s CMO, Steven Shu
Unbeknownst to most industry outsiders, Meituan’s hotel reservation and booking services are at an equivalent scale to Ctrip and Qunar.
Meituan’s 大众点评 app is used by a third of China’s overseas travelers while they are abroad, and is the most frequently-opened app for overseas travelers, after WeChat and Google Maps.
This edge, coupled with Meituan Travel’s youthful user base, makes it a strong competitor to present industry leaders.
Steven also shared his team’s observations about trending travel destinations among Chinese millennials. Taking transit times and currency out of the equation, one of the key factors affecting an overseas destination’s popularity with Chinese travelers is food and beverage.
Steven emphasized the need for cities to put their best foot forward when it comes to creating and amplifying buzz around a city’s food and beverage scene.
Resonance’s Jerry Clode was recently interviewed in the South China Morning Post about American brands effect on luxury fashion in China. It’s a great read, full of revealing insights into Chinese culture’s unique effect on brand adoption and how brands like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger succeeded in China when their home markets were suffering.
Resonance’s Jerry Clode Interviewed on SCMP
“In China, American brands have been incredibly successful in owning category and new behaviours,” Clode told the South China MorningPost. “Starbucks has created coffee culture, Disney is the exemplar family destination, Apple still dominates premium consumer technology and Tesla has captured the imagination of China’s future-focused middle class.
“As local consumers increasingly use fashion and luxury to express their lifestyle and identity, American brands have a profound head start on other nationalities in terms of precedent and aspiration,” he said.
On June 26th, Resonance’s head of research and digital insights, Jerry Clode, will be leading a workshop at the American Chamber of Commerce.
Titled: “Brand America in China – How to Leverage Your Brand’s American Identity and Culture to Connect with Chinese Consumers”, the workshop aims to tackle key strategic issues facing US brands and organizations communicating liberal values in a country that emphasizes control and political correctness.
We’re proud to announce Resonance’s Jerry Clode and Michelle Yan have made it on the 2018 Campaign Asia Digital A List for creative excellence in the marketing and communications industry. They join 30 other digerati harnessing China’s enormous potential and the irresistible force of digital technology to make significant contributions to the marcom industry in China.
Michelle and Jerry – Digital A List Winners
Jerry is recognized for his work creating SMART@Resonance, our research offering, and developing and pioneering a new research methodology meshing traditional research with WeChat and other digital and social platforms to drive targeted results for both mass and niche brands entering or realigning their brands in China.
Michelle is recognized for her high standards and relentless push for excellence; offering new, original and tailored social media, WeChat strategies for clients, pushing boundaries and producing big results for clients across multiple industries.
Both Jerry and Michelle are a joy to work with at Resonance, and we look forward to the many great things they will no doubt achieve in the future.