- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 9th January 2016
- brands, china, elements, luxury
As the market of luxury brands in China is rapidly growing, Chinese customers now purchase approximately half of all the luxury goods every year, which makes China a market no company can oversee. Due to the enormous purchasing power of the customers from the Middle Kingdom, luxury brands are doing more to appeal to the habits and culture of these new customers.
One important measure would be releasing limited editions during the Chinese New Year. Since China became one of the most important markets for the luxury brands, the luxury brands have started combining their classic designs with Chinese elements. These measures aim to boost the sales during the Chinese New Year, as many Chinese customers regard this period of the year as an opportunity to do some holiday shopping for themselves or for their families. However, not all the attempts were successful. On the eve of the Chinese New Year in 2015, Burberry released a new scarf exclusively for the Chinese market. As a matter of fact, the only difference between the limited edition and the classic Burberry scarfs was that the limited edition had a large Chinese word “Fu” (Fortune) on it. This new edition failed to attract Chinese customers and aroused widespread criticism on the Chinese social media. Most people stated that the rough combination of a Chinese word and the Burberry classic design seemed grotesque and inconsistent, making the scarf look like a counterfeit.
Even after a few years since China became the world’s most important luxury goods consumer, the luxury brands are still releasing the Chinese New Year limited edition which fail to adapt to the taste of Chinese customers. Recently, various brands like Louis Vuitton, Piaget and Breguet all published their special edition for the incoming Chinese New Year of 2016. As 2016 is the year of monkey according to the Chinese zodiac, these brands have added the image of monkey to their products, and many of them are also characterized by the red color. However, although Chinese zodiac and the color red are important parts of the Chinese traditional culture, customers in China are not used to putting them on the goods they use every day, which makes these special editions look somewhat unusual. These attempts of the luxury brands immediately aroused discussions on the Chinese social media as most people fail to find Chinese tradition beauty in these products. For many Chinese potential customers, these luxury brands are not actually putting focus on designing products which are blended with Chinese elements. They are merely crudely adding these elements in order to make their products appeal to Chinese customers. Due to the lack of the deep understanding of Chinese culture, many of these elements may actually look quite weird from a Chinese perspective and cannot motivate the customers to purchase them.
It can be significant for foreign businesses to understand Chinese customers better, but understanding does not merely mean the integration of a few Chinese cultural elements. If not applied properly, this act can be regarded by the Chinese customers as not showing respect for the Chinese culture.