China’s post-90s children (those born after 1990) grew up more affluent, more educated, and better traveled than their parents did, often as the only child. Adding their tech savvy to this list of characteristics means that this this future group of consumers is particularly tricky to figure out for luxury marketers who need to break away from past successes and start anew to reach them.
On this week’s episode of Thoughtful China, Andrew Cai, president and CEO of Karl Lagerfeld Greater China, Elan Shou, managing director of public relations firms Ruder Finn, Hans Lopez-Vito, executive planning director of marketing agency BBDO Proximity, Kevin Lee, chief operating officer of youth market research group China Youthology, and Stephany Zoo, founding partner of marketing consultancy League X gather to talk about how to reach out to this future generation that will some day become the bulk of luxury brands’ businesses.
“They’re more focused on the product itself, compared to previous generations,” says Cai. He says that older generations either tend to buy local, and if they were to buy a brand name, it would be to prove something. Cai says that the right approach to this group involves marketing the right products via the right channels.
Lee thinks luxury needs to be refined to appeal to them—“They know what luxury is, they know what a good experience is,” he says. “It’s just not about more of it; it’s about what types of it.” He predicts that brands will not see China’s young consumers simply buying expensive products because of their high prices, unlike earlier generations. He adds, “It’s not to say also post-90s [consumers] will not be flashy; they will just know and choose what areas they want to be flashy on.”