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CIC who provide the IWOM set of reports and flakey tools (think Sysomos, Radian6 or Adobe SocialAnalytics for the mainland Chinese internet eco-system) have come up with an interesting report on online conversations around the Chinese luxury market. CIC is increasingly being integrated with GroupM. It will be interesting to see how CIC copes as China exerts increasing control over social and marketing data access.
- They are motivated to buy luxury goods as a way to ‘show-off’ and most of the online conversations are around this subject. Status itself is a tool designed to engender trust in things like business interactions rather than self actualisation per se
- The distribution system is complex with overseas purchasing and purchasing agents (presumably to avoid China’s luxury goods tax and for more choice) also a popular subject. For luxury brands it means that Chinese expansion needs to be tapped by also having presence in places like Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Paris – France and the major cities of the US
- Real-time reporting of runway shows initiated by the brands doing webcasts has been extended by netizens to their own platforms. Much of the commentary is similar to the social television interactions you used to see on early video platform Joost; and on Twitter during shows like The Apprentice or The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE)
- Counterfeit – there was a significant group that own both counterfeit and authentic versions of a product because it is ‘interesting to mix and match usage between real and fake’. This is a really interesting brand interaction and raises the question: what if authentic isn’t authentic enough in terms of brand experience? This is something that I could see impacting the likes of Louis Vuitton. Gucci, Chanel and Hermes as they become over-exposed in the marketplace. One of the ways to approach this is to educate consumers on what luxury means: craftsmanship, heritage or being at the forefront of something (which may mean an intersection between streetwear and luxury)