Je Joue: Marketing Sex Positivity in China
Creating Consistent Brand Guidelines For The Chinese Market
The adult toy industry is booming in China. Sex toys have become a mainstay of everyday life in this previously conservative country - most convenience stores now stock vibrators near the till! What’s more, the market is expected to surpass $9 billion by 2020. Luxury sex toy brand Je Joue, the lovechild of innovative British design and sexy French attitude, wanted to develop their social commerce presence in China, to give more Chinese consumers the opportunity to explore self-love. Given that the domestic female sex toy market in China has yet to reach its full potential, Je Joue is in an excellent position to attract consumers.
Je Joue’s main challenge was a common one. Having been present in China for several years, it had amassed a number of partners and distributors in the market. Each local partner was using a different - and therefore inconsistent - set of branding. Indeed some of their design choices were quite bizarre. Je Joue had a clear idea of what they wanted to do - create consistent, effective brand guidelines and brand assets that could be used by all distributors to maintain a uniform brand identity. They just needed someone with a strong understanding of China to help them achieve this. That’s where we came in.
Using their deep knowledge of the Chinese market, our team of account managers first created an in-depth market research report for Je Joue. This focused on Je Joue’s competitors and how the brand is currently positioned against them. We also conducted a deep dive into consumer preferences and trends. Our research showed that the majority of China’s adult toy consumers are under the age of 34, and come from Eastern provinces, where income per capita is higher and progressive views are more commonplace.
Sex positivity is at the heart of Je Joue’s core value proposition, as their branding emphasises self-love, encourages positive attitudes towards sex and introduces new experiences to all sexualities and genders. We were keen to position the brand in a similar way in China, with a brand strategy that communicated these values. Many of Je Joue’s competitors in China and around the world market themselves in an overly sexual, masculine way, meaning consumers looking for a premium product marketed tastefully were being underserved.
When crafting Je Joue’s Chinese strategic guidelines, we were sure to emphasise its unique brand story and values. Supplementing industry-leading desk research with in-market focus groups, we developed a competitive brand positioning strategy that would position Je Joue using colourful and modern design, with gender-neutral language in order to convey premium quality. Our guidelines for content were based around consistency with Je Joue’s personality in the UK, whilst adapting to Chinese consumer needs for clearer explanations of products.
Having formulated a clear market strategy, TONG created a ‘Brand Bible’ of visual and tonal assets that could be repurposed by Je Joue’s Chinese distributors. This would ensure consistency across different iterations of the brand’s presence in China. These new brand guidelines and assets cemented Je Joue’s positioning as a premium sex-positive brand and moved away from some distributors’ use of over-sexualised promotional material.
Taking into account Chinese customers’ preference for beautifully designed product detail pages, we also created e-commerce product pages for Je Joue’s whole Chinese product range. These included specific product descriptions and FAQs to give consumers the chance to get to know the product. These brand assets were created specifically for the Chinese market and allowed Je Joue to ensure their brand identity was consistent across distribution channels.
From the WeChat article showcased above (from the TONG x Je Joue Tone of Voice Guide) you can see the overall image for Chinese consumers we curated: colourful and modern, with gender-neutral language. Our focus for design is a vivid gradient colour palette derived from Je Joue's theme, with colour and creatives based on consistent layout across products to create visual impact. We ensure content is consistent with Je Joue’s personality in the U.K. – elegantly naughty, gender-neutral, and sex-positive. Our design aim is to clearly and eloquently showcase product benefits and convey premium quality.