Paper: Chinese Luxury Consumers Setting Global Trends

Chinese Market Maturing Rapidly As Consumers Become More Sophisticated, According To 21st Century News Group’s “Deluxe Report”

As tastes mature, Chinese luxury consumers are becoming increasingly brand loyal, particularly in segments such as spirits and automobiles (Graphic: China Daily)

As tastes mature, Chinese luxury consumers are becoming increasingly brand loyal, particularly in segments such as spirits and automobiles (Graphic: China Daily)

China Daily writes today on a new survey published last week by the Chinese business newspaper 21st Century Business Herald, which projects that the Chinese luxury consumer will increasingly contribute to global luxury trends as consumers in more developed markets think twice before dropping their cash on high-end products. Though the report does not go into much detail about issues that could pop up in the medium to long term, such as the effects of luxury fatigue in China’s largest top-tier markets or the ascendancy of domestic Chinese luxury brands, it does give a good overview of what China’s luxury consumer is buying, how loyal he or she is to a handful of top companies, and which companies are reaching this market most effectively through their advertising and outreach initiatives.

From China Daily:

The report, released last Tuesday, shows a shift in Chinese consumers’ attitudes to luxury purchases, one that has seen them graduate from mindlessly chasing fashion to making far more informed choices – and even beginning to set international trends. In the long-run, says the report, the move to a more mature and knowledge-based consumption pattern in the luxury sector will add to its vitality and sustainability. The questionnaire, designed by Ipsos, analyzed a wide range of the target group’s defining characteristics, including industry preferences, purchase motivation, lifestyle choices and social standing. The raw data was subsequently analyzed by the Fudan-Bocconi team.

Professor Lu Xiao, head of the team and an expert in luxury brand management, interviewed scores of participants in randomly selected focus groups. The qualitative data sourced via these interviews, combined with a detailed analysis of the respondents’ opinions, allowed the professor to deliver in-depth insights into the sector.

Alongside the report, the favorite brands of the business people surveyed have also been announced. The results show that the China Minsheng Banking Corp was the only Chinese mainland homegrown brand to make the list. Commenting on the initiative, the event’s organizers said: “The essence of any luxury brand lies in the historical values it embodies. These values need to be continuously nurtured in order to retain their aspirational appeal across all cultural boundaries.”

The findings of the 21st Century Business Herald survey seem to confirm the data of other luxury surveys completed earlier this year by Bain & Co. and McKinsey, both of which are bullish about the prospects for China’s luxury market in coming years, as the middle class continues to grow and younger buyers who are more comfortable with consumption emerge.