When It Comes to Digital Innovation for Luxury Brands, It’s Time to Copy China

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Luxury Society, and parent company Digital Luxury Group, hosted the latest edition of their Keynote event in Shanghai last month to an audience of over 150 luxury industry brand executives. Key themes uncovered include: online and offline commerce, AR, VR, livestreaming, social CRM, and KOL partnerships.

The millennial generation in China, which already accounts for 300 million people in China, seeks experiences and emotional connection, they’re not just a bystander.

Last month Luxury Society (http://www.luxurysociety.com) and Digital Luxury Group (http://www.digitalluxurygroup.com) hosted the second edition of the Luxury Society Keynote event at the Four Seasons Hotel Pudong in Shanghai. Over 150 luxury industry executives hailing from luxury and premium brands such as Dior, Swarovski, Bulgari, LVMH, and more, were delighted with a dynamic afternoon of keynote speeches, exclusive industry data releases, insider perspectives, and engaging dialogue with industry experts and professionals.

Key insights uncovered at the event include:

E-commerce is changing. This was the key message received from a number of speakers. Thibault Villet, CEO of Mei.com, the leading luxury fashion e-commerce platforms in China and recently invested in by Alibaba, shared that their livestreamed show in collaboration with TMall was a successful approach to selling. 65% of the products featured during the livestreamed event were quickly sold out.

Arthur Zhang, CEO of UCO Cosmetics, a leading platform for luxury and premium beauty sales believes that the early stage e-commerce model (simply providing a platform to sell products online) is dead. Luxury brands need to utilize new technologies and offer different experiences to their consumers.

Augmented reality, virtual reality, and livestreaming are key technologies being experimented with and improved upon in China today. As highlighted by Pablo Mauron, Partner & Managing Director of DLG China during his address to the audience, “the millennial generation in China, which already accounts for 300 million people in China, seeks experiences and emotional connection, they’re not just a bystander. As a result, livestreaming has become a medium for them to express themselves.”

Mauron went on to share examples on how brands such as Maybelline, Montblanc, Swarovski and Mei.com are taking advantage of these new opportunities.

Social CRM is allowing highly-targeted messaging and engagement. As evidenced by John Hamilton, Director of Marketing Communications for Four Seasons Hotels in Asia Pacific, the luxury hotel chain has been gaining meaningful data about their customers, which in turn has driven growth. This is thanks to taking the past year, through trial-and-error and optimization, to define a CRM-led content strategy on WeChat.

Celebrity and KOL (Key Opinion Leader) partnerships can make a big impact in China. Qing Dai, Commercial Director for Easy Entertainment, shared with the audience her experience of partnering luxury brands with appropriate celebrities. One of Easy Entertainment’s most successful was in joining up Cartier with Lu Han, the well-known singer and actor with a massive following.

As pointed out by Wan (Grace) Zhang, Baidu’s General Manager for East China, Cartier is the most searched luxury watch brand among a generation born between 1990 - 2000. This lead ahead of the competition is heavily linked to their collaboration with Lu Han.

*PDF presentations, conference videos, and images from the day’s event are available upon request.*

The conference’s speakers included:
Arthur Ho, General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai
Arthur Zhang, CEO, UCO Cosmetics
Casey Hall, Writer, Editor, & Author, Women’s Wear Daily
David Sadigh, Founder & CEO, Digital Luxury Group
Di Fu, Senior Project Manager, Baidu
Jenny Tu, VP of Sales, Yixia Tech / YiZhiBo
John Hamilton, Director, Marketing Communications APAC, Four Seasons Hotels
Nikolaj Schnoor, Managing Director Asia Pacific, Lindberg Eyewear
Oosha Zheng, Client Engagement Director, Blackbow
Pablo Mauron, Partner & Managing Director China, Digital Luxury Group
Robin Kerawala, Partner, Kung Fu Data
Thibault Villet, Co-Founder & CEO, Mei.com
Vanessa Qian, Digital Manager, Sephora China
Wan (Grace) Zhang, General Manager, Baidu

Amongst the attendees were brands and companies such as:
A Lange & Söhne, Alexandre de Paris, Baume & Mercier, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Cartier, Carl F. Bucherer, Chanel, Chaumet, Conde Nast, Corum, De Beers, Dior, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Hublot, Loewe, LVMH, Marc Jacobs, Massimo Dutti, MCM, Mei.com, Michael Kors, Montblanc, Nars, Net-a-Porter, Nike, Plaza 66, Puyi Optical, Qeelin, Richard Mille, Sephora, Shiseido, Swarovski, TAG Heuer, Tiffany & Co., UCO Cosmetics, Vacheron Constantin, Vilebrequin, and Zenith

About Luxury Society
Luxury Society, published by Digital Luxury Group, is the preferred online destination of luxury brand executives when it comes to embracing digital and the impact of technology on the luxury industry. With over 40,000 members across 150 countries, Luxury Society brings together unique insights, leader interviews, and digital learnings from a curation of respected industry insiders. Luxury Society organizes events and conferences around the world, stay tuned for details on our next Luxury Society Keynote. http://www.luxurysociety.com

About Digital Luxury Group
Digital Luxury Group is the digital partner of forward-thinking luxury brands. In China, DLG specializes in digital and social media marketing and communication services, working for brands such as Leica, Dior, Montblanc, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Baume & Mercier, Landmark, Alexandre de Paris, Atelier Swarovski, Fendi, Christian Louboutin, MCM, Blue Nile, De Beers, Vacheron Constantin, Kempinski, and others. The company provides both the strategic skillset and the creative and execution capabilities to develop digital communication and marketing activities targeting the Chinese consumers both in Mainland China and abroad. http://www.digitalluxurygroup.com

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Tamar Koifman
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Luxury Society Keynote Shanghai 2016