Established in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, Gucci is among the most enduring Italian fashion brands still thriving today. Its roots go back to the production of luggage, catering for the wealthy elites of Italy with opulent travel elements. And equipping the equestrian community as well. Over the years, it has evolved into an iconic fashion house with a rich heritage. Conquering the world market, especially in China, thanks to Gucci’s strategy in China.
In recent times, under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, Gucci has gained further popularity for its eclectic and eccentric designs, combining traditional elements with contemporary and avant-garde styles. This new direction has appealed to a younger and more diverse audience, making the brand a prominent name in the fashion world.
GUCCI: THE LOGO
Gucci’s logo is one of the most recognizable and iconic symbols in the fashion industry. It’s an interlocking double-G designed by Aldo Gucci representing his father’s initials. It was created in the early 1930s when the brand was expanding beyond luggage and into other luxury goods.
Additionally, the logo remains a constant and essential element of the brand’s identity.
THE KEY POINTS OF GUCCI’S STRATEGY IN CHINA
As a matter of fact, the success behind Gucci’s strategy in China can be credited to having one of the most authentic brand stories in the luxury industry. It presents itself as a bold and unapologetic expression of individuality. Prioritizing also this aspect over relying solely on the finest leathers or materials, although it still excels in those aspects as well.
What sets Gucci apart is its focus on addressing something deeply relevant to consumers – the pressure people feel to meet societal expectations, be it from family, friends, colleagues, or society at large.
Among Gucci’s markets, China has been one of the most important since 2006. Today Gucci has 40 stores in China, is well known on social networks, and has a large customer base. Gucci is one of the most popular luxury brands, and these are the key points of Gucci’s strategy in China:
ENHANCING SHOPPER ENGAGEMENT WITH WECHAT MINI-PROGRAMS
Gucci has gone beyond just creating online stores and has introduced two WeChat mini-programs, namely “Gucci Beauty Self-expression” and “Gift Card“.
These mini-programs offer unique experiences to users and facilitate personalized interactions between Gucci staff and customers, a strategic move aimed at enhancing brand loyalty and attracting new clients.
The “Gucci Beauty Self-Expression Mini Program” is designed for fun and creativity, allowing users to upload their selfies and transform them into personalized Gucci emojis. This feature provides users with a delightful escape from their daily routines, immersing them in the captivating world of Gucci culture.
On the other hand, the “Mini Gift Card Program” features a clean and minimalist design that reflects the brand’s elegant style. Customers can purchase and send virtual gift cards to their friends, accompanied by a heartfelt message. These gift cards can be easily redeemed at any Gucci store, making the process hassle-free. And also aligning with the preferences of today’s youth, who seek convenience, speed, and directness in their shopping experiences.
So, this initiative not only showcases Gucci’s commitment to interpersonal attention but also caters to the evolving shopping habits of the modern generation.
GUCCI COLLABORATES WITH CHINESE KOLS
Equally important is partnering with key opinion leaders. Which has become a crucial aspect for luxury brands seeking success in China, and Gucci is no exception.
In fact, Gucci recently announced Xiao Zhan, a member of the Chinese boy band X Nine and a rising star known for his role in the popular TV drama “The Untamed,” as their brand ambassador. This strategic move catapulted Gucci to the top of trending topics on Chinese websites, leading to a rapid surge in sales virtually overnight.
(Xiao Zhan x Gucci, courtesy of Gucci)
Xiao Zhan’s androgynous style complements the delicate qualities of Gucci’s products, creating a perfect alignment. According to Marco Bizzarri, CEO of Gucci, Xiao was chosen not just for his fame but also for his strong mindset, which resonates with the brand’s values.
This collaboration has proven to be highly effective in capturing the attention and admiration of the Chinese audience. Further solidifying Gucci’s position as a favored luxury brand in the region.
GUCCI’S STRATEGY IN CHINA: EMBRACING DIVERSITY
For its 2018 Cruise Campaign, Roman Rapsody, Gucci chose ordinary Roman residents as models, regardless of age or culture. Indeed, the goal was to show the real Roman society.
Sonia Zhou was among them, a middle-aged Chinese lady who caught the attention of Chinese netizens. Sonia Zhou is a Chinese immigrant who became the owner of the famous Chinese restaurant Hangzhou by Sonia.
The campaign was not designed to celebrate nonconformity and eccentricity, core values of the brand. Thus conveying cultural affinity and inclusion, Sonia Zhou’s participation caught the attention of the Chinese people. Leading to both an exaggerated increase in sales and making Gucci one of the hottest topics on Weibo.
GUCCI’S STRATEGY IN CHINA: WINNING GEN Z
For Gen Z, a brand’s story and positioning must align perfectly to be appealing, and in this area, Gucci stands out as the best.
Furthermore, Gucci’s communication campaigns are unparalleled in their diversity and inclusivity, encompassing all ages and expressions of race. By embracing diversity, Gucci has disrupted the luxury market, setting a new standard for inclusion.
It was this approach that won over Generation Z, who identify Gucci as their “personal brand” through social media.
GUCCI: THE YEAR OF THE TIGER, CASE STUDY
To celebrate the Year of the Tiger, Gucci executed a strategic move by opening pop-up stores in Nanjing and Shanghai, bolstering its Chinese New Year campaign.
Under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, the iconic Gucci tiger came to life in captivating stories. Each one beautifully captured the essence of cherished Chinese values such as family reunion and togetherness.
In addition, the campaign also featured global ambassadors, including Chris Lee, Ni Ni, and Lu Han. Thanks to them Gucci garnered immense interest and engagement across Chinese social media platforms. The campaign video alone amassed an astonishing 25 million viewers on Weibo. While the hashtag #GucciTiger reached an astounding 430 million viewers, highlighting the significant impact of celebrity endorsements for luxury brands.
In order to maintain the campaign’s momentum, Gucci launched interactive and platform-specific digital initiatives in collaboration with these influential celebrities. A Douyin challenge featuring the Gucci tiger and floral prints from the collection garnered a remarkable 330 million views on YouTube within just five days. Moreover, an exclusive Weibo campaign offered users a chance to win virtual campaign accessories for their profile pictures. Resulting in a phenomenal 240 million views under the hashtag #CuteTigerProfilePhoto.
Additionally, Gucci launched a WeChat mini-program that provided users with personalized New Year predictions and product suggestions tailored to their horoscopes. To add a touch of festivity, they offered digital wallpapers with campaign themes for users to download. Moreover, Gucci also presented limited edition red virtual envelopes, which users could send as gifts to their family and friends during the celebratory period.
GUCCI: THE NEW CHINA STRATEGY 2023
In 2023, Gucci’s new strategy in China provides for greater involvement of Chinese customers.
On April 28, the brand inaugurated the captivating “Gucci Cosmos” exhibition at the West Bund Art Center in Shanghai. This exhibition pays homage to Gucci’s illustrious 102-year history, taking visitors on a journey through the decades and celebrating its Florentine heritage.
To emphasize the event, the brand used Instagram to build anticipation for the event. For example, by sharing tailored content and a video account by Global Ambassador Xiao Zhan’s visit to Gucci’s archive in Florence. Notably, the advertising campaign featured Chinese model Liu Wen, showcasing the legendary Gucci Bamboo 1947 bag.
As the exhibition’s opening neared, Gucci shifted its communication focus from Florence to Shanghai. And it did that by highlighting Global Ambassadors Chris Lee, Ni Ni, and Lu Han amid Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl skyscrapers. The video installation was truly captivating and added to the event’s allure.
Without a doubt Gucci’s decision to debut the “Gucci Cosmos” exhibition in China demonstrates the brand’s acknowledgment of the importance of the Chinese market.
As a matter of fact, the timing of the exhibition in China from April to June was opportune. Because it allows the Chinese market to delve deeper into Gucci’s storied history before embarking on a new chapter with the incoming creative director. “Gucci Cosmos” provides a captivating exploration of the brand’s legacy, setting the stage for an exciting new phase in Gucci’s remarkable journey.
GUCCI: KEY STRATEGY AND FUTURE
To conclude, Gucci’s strategy in China consists of three focal points. Leveraging WeChat’s miniprograms, embracing cultural inclusion, and continuing to capture the attention of gen z. All this while continuing to pushing the boundaries of creativity and fashion while remaining true to its values.
By adhering to these strategies, Gucci has secured its position as a leading luxury brand, solidifying its influence in the market.
For 2023, according to mffashion, organic growth of 9% is expected for Gucci.
But it will be possible to have certainty about Gucci’s future sales in China only after observing the reaction of the Chinese market to the collections of the new creative director of the maison, Sabato de Sarno.
Long Advisory digital marketing agency in China
Long Advisory supports American and European companies in China through digital marketing. In fact, our experience has led us to believe that today, the best and most convenient approach to making your brand well-known in China is through a digital approach. Furthermore, thanks to our know-how, we know how to make your brand known to potential Chinese consumers. With the effective coordination of Long Advisory, your company will see a new rise in the largest market in the world: China.
Long Advisory is a digital marketing agency specializing in developing digital marketing solutions tailored for the Chinese market.
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