According to a recent study co-published by Bain and Altagamma, the luxury market in mainland China grew by 97 per cent (at constant exchange rates) in 2021 compared to 2019, the year before the COVID outbreak, while the second fastest recovering market – the Americas – grew by only 13 per cent. Without a doubt, the Chinese market has become the cornerstone for global luxury brands seeking consistent growth.
Localisation is required for brands to deepen their relationship with local consumers. However, for the luxury category, striking a balance between localisation and its global brand image can sometimes be a challenge. Yann Bozec, President of Tapestry Asia Pacific and President & Chief Executive Officer at Coach China, told Casey Hall, China Correspondent at The Business of Fashion, that this, however, has never been an issue for Coach. The American luxury label has not only been hosting runway shows more frequently in China in recent years, but has also long collaborated with Chinese creators to better engage local consumers while bringing Chinese culture and lifestyle to the Western stage, allowing the world to better understand this country's charms.
Bozec also discussed how communicating with consumers in today's digital environment has evolved. "When you are customer-centric, you want to be where your customers are," he explained. Coach was one of the first brands to launch a DTC channel on WeChat, as well as establish a presence on third-party marketplaces such as Tmall. It is now also tapping into social commerce on social platforms such as Douyin and RED, in order to meet the emerging needs of different audiences.
Being present across multiple channels can also aid in the development of a brand's digital infrastructure and database. According to Bozec, the traditional luxury industry was previously only capable of segmenting its users based on basic tags such as gender, place of residence, and income, and was far less sophisticated than the beauty and sportswear industries. Tapestry is now consolidating the consumer data it has gathered across various digital channels to refine user profiles across platforms, allowing for more targeted marketing activities.
Also covered in the conversation were topics related to Tapestry’s influencer strategy and its omnichannel approach in the Chinese market. Watch the full interview in the video below: