WeChat for Luxury Series: How to use WeChat for Beauty and Grooming Marketing

Perfume, makeup, skincare - how the Beauty industry can optimise WeChat to reach Chinese consumers

Following on from the launch of TONG’s Walpole WeChat Report 2020, we’ve broken down our data to give you an in-depth, sector-by-sector analysis.

After several years of astronomical growth, the Chinese beauty, cosmetics and grooming market is second only to the US in terms of size and maturity. Foreign brands continue to outperform domestic players, though several newcomers to the market have begun to climb the rankings. Taking inspiration from K- and J-beauty trends, brands such as Perfect Diary are innovating not only in terms of product range but also distribution and channel strategy. Beyond China’s core urban centres, demand for an ever wider range of products is fuelling growth among new customer demographics.

Regulatory changes around animal testing will open up the Chinese market to more British brands in 2020. Key growth areas for the coming year look set to be perfume, natural supplements and men’s skincare.

With so much growth anticipated in the beauty sector, it important for brands to build brand recognition in China. WeChat accounts for 47% of all time spent on mobile and has 1.1 billion daily users: needless to say, this app is vital for brands aiming to increase their digital presence in China. Our recent Walpole WeChat Report 2020 provides key insights into the digital presence of 197 British luxury brands on China’s most important social media channel. We’ve broken down the data from the report into sector-specific insights - read on for an insight into how luxury beauty brands are using WeChat.

Walpole Wechat Report 2020
Walpole Wechat Report 2020

Among Walpole members, Jo Malone London leads the pack in terms of its holistic and localised approach to the market. Since launching in China in 2014, Jo Malone has successfully pitched itself as the go-to perfume brand for everyday wear, outperforming many of the more established players. In a market where consumers favour lighter, fresher scents, Jo Malone’s emphasis on English country fragrance and British heritage in its marketing has performed well. In 2017, Jo Malone was the top-selling fragrance brand on Tmall’s Singles Day.

As part of Jo Malone’s 5/20 Campaign (China’s made up second Valentine’s Day) followers were encouraged to leave comments starting with “Hello Honey, there’s something I’d like to say to you...” to be in with a chance of winning a bottle of Honeysuckle & Davana scent. This post gained 39,000+ reads.

Jo Malone’S 520 Wechat Article A Case Study Of A Successful Wechat Campaign Source Walpole Wechat Report 2020 Tong Digital
Jo Malone’S 520 Wechat Article A Case Study Of A Successful Wechat Campaign Source Walpole Wechat Report 2020 Tong Digital

Another successful Jo Malone WeChat campaign was the launch of the new ‘The Blossoms’ range of fragrances. A departure from the brand’s typical monotone packaging, this campaign gave Jo Malone the chance to get creative with its WeChat posts. Beyond beautiful imagery, the brand employed sterling copywriting to evoke certain scenes in the minds of their readers in true poetic format.

Case Study Jo Malone “The Blossoms” Launch Campaign
Case Study Jo Malone “The Blossoms” Launch Campaign

Beyond Walpole, Armani Beauty was one of the first luxury brands to experiment with augmented reality (AR) as a way of engaging its Chinese audience. Hosted within their WeChat Mini Program, users were able to ‘try on’ different lipstick shades virtually from the comfort of their home. Once satisfied with the colour, consumers could then add that product to their basket and purchase using WeChat Pay for a seamless e-commerce experience.

Armani Beautys Wechat Mini Program
Armani Beautys Wechat Mini Program

A special mention also goes to Charlotte Tilbury for their work outside of WeChat – 2019 saw the launch of their Tmall store – and successful transition away from a reliance on resellers as a route to market.

If you’d like to learn more about scaling up your brand’s WeChat presence, please reach out and book a consultation with one of our China market specialists. To access the full Walpole WeChat Report 2020 datasets, download the report here.

This article is part of a series highlighting the key findings of the TONG Walpole WeChat Report 2020. Watch this space for our next posts and upcoming events, which will cover further sector-specific insights.

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