Chinese consumers had an extra-long Golden Week Holiday this year, from October 1 to 8, as the National Day public holiday coincided with the Mid-Autumn Festival. The eight-day long vacation represents a key opportunity for luxury brands to capture the attention of Chinese consumers who increasingly favor celebrating it by travel.
According to Jing Travel, it is estimated that around 700 million Chinese tourists will be traveling domestically and internationally this year; a steady increase from 593 million tourists the previous year. Moreover, China’s National Tourism Administration (CNTA) forecasted that China could see the travel-related spending reach 600 billion yuan (90 billion) during the Golden Week period.
Chinese travelers are known for their rigorous research before taking a trip, exploring travel aspects like where to go and what to purchase—and WeChat, the country's uncontested top social media app, plays a significant role in the process.
Luxury brands' official WeChat accounts serve as an important information channel to influence Chinese travelers' purchasing decisions during their trips. The quality of luxury brands' WeChat campaigns before the Golden Week, thus, is crucial, as it is highly likely to shape and affect consumers' decisions on what to purchase.
Taking into consideration the above industry trend, along with pageviews* (those with the most and the least), originality and creativity, and level of engagement, Jing Daily selected this week's winners and losers of luxury brands' WeChat marketing campaigns.
The German luxury fashion brand Hugo Boss wins the 'king status' this week for three consecutive WeChat posts published about the Golden Week holiday. Each post introduces several popular destinations among Chinese travelers in Europe, Asia, and mainland China and informs readers of where to find Hugo Boss's retail stores at each location.
The brand also highlighted specific sale information, which is of great interest to Chinese consumers. The brand wrote that “some full-price stores will enjoy off-duty price,” and emphasized the buzzword 'off-duty'. At the end of each post, Hugo Boss also encouraged readers to share the discount information with their friends and family.
Hugo Boss's WeChat posts indicate that the brand understands its customers. In the post introducing various European destinations, it wrote “I believe you have already made a travel plan for the Golden Week. If Europe happens to be your destination, you should click 'read more' below to receive the exclusive gifts at our retail stores upon your visit.” The rest of the post also lists the store addresses and suggests popular tourist spots nearby.
The Golden Week's offerings by Coach's mainland stores. Photo: WeChat
Coach's WeChat campaign on the Golden Week was published three days before the official start of the holiday. The campaign includes a detailed guide on how to give back to the brand's loyal Chinese customers for their generous support in the past. Like Hugo Boss, Coach's readers can collect a wide variety of gifts and discounts depending on the locations (including domestic Chinese cities, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, and Sydney) they travel to. In addition, each offering has a clear written guideline on how to use it, such as the amount of money they need to spend to achieve a gold card membership and what to do if the discount does not work.
What we liked most about Furla’s Golden Week campaign is how the brand took advantage of consumers' travel habits to engage with them. Furla asked its followers to send their Furla style during their holiday trip and then planned to award the best ones with gifts. For those participants who were not awarded, they would receive a small keychain if they made a purchase over 3,000 RMB (about 452) either online or offline. The followers can also gain access to a list of Furla's nearby stores by messaging their travel destinations to the brand's WeChat account.
Stuart Weitzman celebrates the Golden Week holiday in a series of styles featuring four different types of footwear, each representing a vacation mood. The post was published a week before the holiday and had linked to its Chinese e-commerce site. However, the campaign did not offer any information about the physical stores, which kills the possibility for Chinese consumers to purchase the aforementioned shoes at an offline location during the trip.
We couldn’t say no to Tod’s brand ambassador Liu Shishi's beautiful pictures, but we were curious about where she shot them and how we could get our hands on them. Like Stuart Weitzman, the post offers links to buy the items on the Tod’s Chinese e-commerce site but offers no information on the physical retail stores for the travelers.
Kate Spade's Golden Week WeChat campaign offers styling tips on how to dress up with Kate Spade from head to toe based on different traveling scenarios (such as an art museum or a book shop). However, the brand should note that beautiful pictures are not enough to motivate Chinese consumers to buy items. They seek information on available gifts, discount and membership benefits. Golden Week is also an opportune time to encourage more sign-ups to Kate Spade's WeChat membership program by offering them exclusive deals, which Kate Spade failed to address in its campaign.
*We derived our data on pageviews from the WeChat industry monitoring software Curio Eye, which monitors over 1,000 accounts in 15 different industries. Our pageviews report is based exclusively on data from this monitoring tool. While some brands have multiple accounts on Curio Eye, not all of them may currently be monitored.
**A WeChat account can be categorized as either a service account or a subscription account. A service account allows the brand to publish four times per month and to focus more on customer service, whereas a subscription account focuses on providing content and allows the brand to publish once a day. Because each brand may have more than one WeChat account, in this series we specify the type of account on which the campaign was published.