Facing an increasingly saturated market and turbulent economic state in China, many luxury brands are looking to unleash their marketing resources to residents in second- and third-tier cities. This includes the prestigious luxury house Hermès. On July 19, the brand debuted a WeChat Mini Program, presenting its craftmanship for new fans in Xiamen to learn about.
This is a strategic move, starting from the choice of location. Located by the coastline, Xiamen was designated as one of the country’s special economic zones. It’s become a shopping hub for luxury lovers (according to a report by consultancy firm KPMG and TNS Research International, more than 11,500 millionaires live there) that have yet to reach the same level of sophistication as consumers in top tier Chinese cities. For brands, more importantly, this is an opportunity to educate this growing consumer base more on their brand.
Enter the latest WeChat Mini Program, named Hermès at Work, which is a digital tool for consumers to register for an exclusive Hermès event from July 26 to 30. At the event, fans can get a first-hand, behind-the-scenes look at Hermès products being made by craftsman, and getting a rare glimpse of how an idea transforms into an actual product. The event is set inside of the brand’s boutique store, in Wan Xiang shopping mall, a go-to destination for luxury shopping with more than 30 top-tier brands.
The Mini Program not only offers customers a peek into Hermès craftsmanship, but it’s also an interactive game where fans can guess which tools are used to make their iconic scarfs and handbags. Through selecting multiple tools, and by reading about their usage, fans can conceptualize the work goes into making the product. For example, it can take up to 600 hours of work to produce 30 colors of a print. Once both answers are correct, the customer receives a badge to “prove” their knowledge and potential to become a craftsman. In the meantime, customers can also sign up for a free viewing at the event of a documentary that was produced by Frédéric Laffont. The film covers some of the global craftsmen and techniques they use to make Hermès products.
After four days of publishing, the post garnered 8,959 pageviews and more than 41 likes. This past May, Hermès hosted a two-day flash sale pop-up store at Shanghai’s Cha House for its perfume, and WeChat was the digital resource to drive visitors to offline events. Both events reinforced the brand’s promise to the Chinese consumers and continued to deliver enjoyable and educational in-person experiences crafted by Hermès.
Given the above, it appears that Hermès new digital strategy is working. In the latest second-quarter earnings release, Hermès said that it posted a double-digit rise in sales — thanks, in part, to China.