Category

Premium photo-session service Himo has launched Christmas photoshoots for 2019 with new virtual ambassador VIC. They are estimated to have sold over 100,000 sessions so far. Himo started to provide Christmas products in 2015. Click for more…

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: According to Tencent TMI, 68% of consumers take beauty shots for special life occasions. This sense of ritual is widely used in brand marketing, especially in the cosmetic category. For example, La Mer encourages users to warm up the cream with their palms to activate their ‘magical’ ingredients. With improved living standards and rising emotional needs, the sense of ritual is becoming increasingly important in key life moments. Brands should think how they use this as an opportunity to build stronger emotional connections with their target audience.

Consumer

Research company Kantar reports that online food purchases by China’s senior consumers increased by 41.8% in 2018.  Their consumption of popular products like instant hotpot and instant rice also grew by 128.3% and 122.2% in 2019. Click for more…

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: Brands need to reconsider the stereotype of China’s senior generation. They are more energetic and want to enjoy their lives. However, data reveals that over 90% of food targeting China’s senior consumers is primarily porridge and paste, with brand messages being primarily about family bonds and filial piety rather than self-enjoyment. In order to build stronger connections with these consumers, brands need to introduce innovative products and rethink their marketing strategies and brand messaging. Brands should not depict senior consumers as weak or feeble but rather show how their products can empower.

Culture

Research and data company CaasData revealed that 21% of China’s cosmetic influencers are male, and 79% of the audience is female.

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INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: Male cosmetic brand ambassadors are not new. For example, Japanese celebrity Takuya Kimura successfully sold 3 million Kanebo lipsticks in 2 months back in 1996. However, it’s only recently that male ambassadors have started to appear across different female-focused categories. Popular TV series The Untamed and Royal Nirvana also show a distinct difference between the gender of main characters in the show and that of the target audience. That said, brands need to understand that their choice of brand ambassador has to clearly match their communications strategy and messaging. Plus brands need to conduct due diligence and ensure flawless execution.

Media

Alibaba’s online second-hand market Xianyu’s annual transaction volume in 2019 reached RMB 1 trillion and the user base has expanded to over 200 million users in 5 years. Click for more…

INSIGHT & IMPLICATION: Xianyu’s success is not a coincidence. In addition to consumers’ changing mindset about second-hand products, Xianyu’s operation strategy continuously conveys the idea that products sold on the platform are authentic, which is the biggest concern for second-hand buyers. The most recent  product page on Xianyu contained a heartbreaking story of a man who was rejected by his love interest (in Chinese slang, men who continue pursuing their love interest, in spite of being rejected are called 舔狗or lapdogs) gained huge buzz on social platforms, which led to the creation of a new category —The 舔狗礼物 (gifts for lap dogs). Product pages for these items usually contain emotional stories of men who were rejected by their love interest. This is why consumers believe that these products are genuine (a man would not buy a counterfeit product for their love interest) and also feel sympathy for the sellers. Here, one can see that an emotional approach can help alleviate some functional concerns and, while this behaviour should not be encouraged, brands could consider how they utilize emotional marketing to alleviate functional concerns or educate their target audience on new categories.

Have a great weekend!