6 Ways Luxury Brands Use WeChat for Marketing Campaigns in China


Yiling Pan | March 29, 2017

From O2O, and KOLs, to gamification and Moments ads, here's how luxury brands are using WeChat to reach China's digital natives.

The majority of international luxury brands have embraced the undeniable importance of WeChat for their businesses in China. As the app goes far beyond a basic messaging tool, luxury brands and marketing firms are using the platform to push out a variety of different campaigns to fulfill their various marketing needs. Below, Jing Daily put together a list of the latest WeChat marketing case studies from high-end labels to offer insight into how they are utilizing the app to engage with a Chinese audience and convert their online following into sales.

1. WeChat x Online to Offline (O2O): SK-II

SK-II offers an offline “perfect PITERA” treatment for its WeChat followers.

Aiming to make the connection between online and offline, premium skincare brand SK-II recently launched a WeChat campaign that invites online customers to experience a “perfect PITERA” treatment in any of its physical stores in China. The treatment provides people with free skin test and helps them design a customized skincare plan, which picks products that best match their skin type out of the diverse product offering by SK-II.

Guiding online followers to brick-and-mortar stores has become increasingly important for luxury brands to convert their online following into sales. In SK-II’s case, it also works in the opposite way as the brand also has an online boutique on WeChat. For any customer who visits SK-II’s physical store, the promotion specialists can easily guide them to place their order on WeChat after offering them a free skin test.

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The WeChat post that promotes this event has more than 100,000 views, outperforming most of the articles during the same period, with some of them even featuring Chinese high-profile celebrities.

2. WeChat x Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Coach

From March 24 to April 23, American luxury brand Coach is organizing an event that encourages its existing WeChat followers to invite new friends to join the brand on the app. According to the instructions shown on Coach’s WeChat page (Image 1 above), each participant can generate his or her unique barcode through Coach and share it with their friends who have not followed the account yet. Participants will gain 20 points if they succeed in getting one person to follow the account. Moreover, as long as the participant’s friends extract the barcode, the person can also earn 5 additional points for each new follower. The points that followers earn during the event are cumulative and can be used to redeem a cash coupon worth 300 RMB for a number of Coach’s signature products, ranging from passport covers, to crossbody bags and handbags.

It has become increasingly difficult for luxury brands to grow their audience on WeChat, so Coach is playing it smart here by leveraging the influence of their current followers to attract new ones. The event is also meant to be fun in order to engage with the followers and incentivize them to tap into their social network to support a brand they love.

3. WeChat x Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs): Bulgari

Bvlgari promotes a “see now, buy now” model for its Octo series featuring Chinese celebrity Kris Wu.

Riding on the wave of the recent Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show in Switzerland and the high popularity of Kris Wu, a Chinese celebrity, who attended the show with the brand, Bulgari launched a “see now, buy now” campaign on WeChat for the first time.

The official account published a WeChat post on March 24, documenting in detail the attendance by the Chinese KOL Kris Wu with Bulgari’s global CEO at the Baselworld Show. The post showed a number of pictures where Wu wore the latest version of the Octo Finissimo Automatic Watch. At the end of the post, readers can enter the WeChat store of the brand and pre-order the Octo series.

4. WeChat x Gamification: Hugo Boss

Bulgari promoted a “see now, buy now” model for its Octo series featuring Chinese celebrity Kris Wu.

During this past Christmas season, German luxury brand Hugo Boss used an interactive gift-hunting game to appeal to Chinese consumers and introduce its latest products. According to the digital agency Curiosity China, the brand created a virtual reality shopping experience on WeChat and players need to find the four parts of a new character named “Bossbot” in its virtual store to complete the game. Once completed, participants are directed to a page with pricing information, styling tips, and e-commerce links to Hugo Boss’s latest products.

5. WeChat x Moments Ads: Chanel

Chanel launched an ad campaign on WeChat’s Moments feed after WeChat upgraded the service.

WeChat has recently upgraded its Moment advertising by adding new features to the service. Many luxury brands, including Chanel, have been pioneers in placing advertising campaigns on WeChat’s Moments stream by promoting its 2017 Spring/Summer Ready-to-Wear Collection. The campaign shows up on the timelines of a targeted group of users, and interested viewers need to click on the image to watch the full commercial. The Chanel case features a 15-second video, several images of its latest products, and links to its online store.

6. WeChat x Philanthropy: Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton promoted its #makeapromise campaign on WeChat in tandem with its global initiative.

On January 14, two days after its global launch, the French luxury powerhouse brought its #makeapromise campaign in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to WeChat. Similar to its global initiative, the brand promises to donate US$200 for each Silver Lockit Jewelry item it sells to UNICEF, supporting kids in need.

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The WeChat post that promotes the campaign also features many Chinese celebrities who have shown their genuine support for the initiative and have called for the public’s attention to it. Those interested can click the link at the end of the post to visit the official site featuring the special-edition products, but they need to order the item online and pick it up in one of Louis Vuitton’s boutiques across the country.

Article originally published on Jing Daily

China | Influencers