As China’s most popular mobile messaging app, WeChat has quickly developed a host of technological capabilities that allow brands to create sophisticated “mini-apps” for interactive marketing campaigns. Many global luxury brands with WeChat accounts have recognized the value of these capabilities, and have used them in a variety of creative ways to encourage user engagement and sharing. As part of Jing Daily’s newly published “Luxury on WeChat” report, we rounded up some of the key trends featured in WeChat luxury campaigns. Look below for our list of the top four, and download our report for more case studies and information.
Mobile “parallel social events”
Luxury and fashion brands’ star-studded parties and runway shows are no longer just for celebrities and VIPs now that WeChat offers the opportunity to create interactive “parallel social events” through the app. Examples of this strategy include Michael Kors’ WeChat promotions of the brand’s Shanghai “Jet Set” party and fashion show and Burberry’s “London to Shanghai” mini-app, which allowed users to gain a 360-degree view of the brand’s “London to Shanghai” event while participating in additional interactive activities.
O2O marketing (Online-to-offline) has been a major buzzword in the global ad industry this year, but it’s especially relevant to luxury brands that want to encourage customers to receive a high-quality in-store experience. Many luxury brands have used WeChat’s technology to both encourage WeChat followers to visit a store or event and encourage in-store customers to follow their account. For example, Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer incorporated WeChat marketing into its “La Maison” touring exhibition when it hit Beijing in the spring of 2014 by featuring a special mobile game that users could play by scanning codes and answering questions as they walked through the exhibit. Participants with correct answer were awarded a prize at the end of the exhibit.
With a prediction that China will have 266 million gamers by 2015, mobile gaming is big business in China. As a result, many brands have utilized WeChat’s technological features to incorporate gamification into their marketing campaigns. Branded mobile games are not just for mass-market brands such as Pepsi or Nike, however: many luxury, fashion, and beauty brands have embraced the trend as well. For example, Kate Spade recently featured a game for Mid-Autumn Festival in which users could write a wish on a virtual flying lantern and send it off into the sky (the practice is common in China during the holiday), while Swiss watchmaker Tissot created a game for users to “wind” a watch on the screen by spinning their smartphones clockwise as quickly as they could.
Unlike social media platform Weibo’s emphasis on viral sharing, the main strength of WeChat is its 1:1 sharing structure aimed at close friends and family. Many brands have utilized elements of Chinese culture to encourage sharing: Swiss watchmaker Piaget created a special app for users to compose a three-line poem and send to loved ones, while American fashion and leather goods brand Coach created an app for users to send virtual hongbao (special red envelopes with money given to friends and relatives on special occasions) for Chinese New Year.
To read more case studies featuring details on each of these types of campaigns as well as expert insights on best practices for setting up and promoting a luxury brand account on WeChat, visit our report download page here.