Chinese Fragrance Label To Summer Leads Mid-Autumn Festival Marketing

Overview

Homegrown fragrance brand To Summer has joined hands with Tmall Heybox, the e-commerce platform’s gateway for consumers to keep updated about product releases. The label released two Mid-Autumn Festival limited-edition gift sets called “Osmanthus Rabbit” exclusively on the marketplace, which also celebrated the grand opening of the Tmall flagship store.

In addition to the product launch, the two parties created a digital space called “Golden Autumn Garden,” where online users can explore the brand’s oriental aesthetics immersively while having access to its first NFT piece — the Osmanthus Rabbit named “Guanguan,” inspired by the jade rabbit in Eastern mythology.

To Summer released rabbit-shaped candles to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. Photo: To Summer

Netizen Reaction

The limited-edition rabbit-shaped scented candle impressed Chinese shoppers when the campaign photos were released on To Summer’s social channels. Below the official announcement post on WeChat, almost all users commented that the modeling “looks so cute” and the representation of both rabbits and the moon echo greatly with the Mid-Autumn Festival vibe. There were over 300 UGC posts mentioning the special campaign within one week, which is a substantial number for a DTC brand. 

Verdict

Though China’s niche fragrance market is still developing, the competition is fierce as newcomers emerge one after another. Local players such as Documents and Melt Season have built up brand awareness among the younger generations by investing heavily in distribution and marketing. 

Beijing-based To Summer was founded in 2018 and announced its A-round financing the year after, with investors including IDG Capital and ZhenFund. Over the past four years, its products are usually in low stock or sold out immediately due to a special rule: releases are dropped at 8 p.m. every Thursday night in a very limited amount. This approach does not discourage customers; instead, the brand has cultivated a loyal community that is willing to wait for purchases. According to data from local research firm GrowthBox, To Summer’s annual sales in 2021 surpassed $20 million (143 million RMB). 

Since the beginning of this year, To Summer has accelerated its offline and online expansion. In addition to the five standalone stores located in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, it is available on Lane Crawford and Net-A-Porter China. And now, with the launch on Tmall, the fragrance disruptor’s online channels will be significantly elevated. However, it also means customers will have easier access to its products. Will its desirability be diluted without the lure of scarcity?

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