China Luxury Market Campaign well received

4 June 2012

Targeting the modern and affluent Chinese woman, The Woolmark Company’s China Luxury Market Campaign educates consumers about the premium credentials and provenance of Australian Merino wool.

A pop-up store was set up in Shanghai’s SOGO department store as part of the China Luxury Market Campaign
A pop-up store was set up in Shanghai’s SOGO department store as part of the China Luxury Market Campaign .

The luxury market in China is booming. It is currently the second-largest luxury market in the world and is growing at an annual rate of 18 per cent. The market size is predicted to surpass the USA by 2015 and embraces a luxury consumer who is becoming increasingly sophisticated and focuses on the values of a brand.

Following the success of The Woolmark Company’s 2010 Gold Woolmark Campaign, which focused on the market for premium menswear products in China, the China Luxury Market Campaign focuses on the rapidly expanding Chinese women’s wear segment. Using several media channels and in-store promotions the campaign aims to reinforce the premium values of Australian Merino wool.

At the heart of the campaign was a documentary series called Beauty Mission, in which 10 fashion designers from leading Chinese brands were brought to Australia to learn about Australian Merino and use its story to inspire their new creations.

The six-part documentary series filmed by the China Business Network (CBN) gave each of the 10 designers a mission: to create a beautiful woollen garment for a chosen Chinese celebrity.

Being successful, sophisticated and well educated, the collections needed to be of premium quality – a perfect fit for Australian Merino wool.

The designers came from leading Chinese brands JNBY, Icicle, Eachway, White Collar, Zukka and Exception and were brought on a tour to Australia to find inspiration for their Merino wool creations (see the December 2011 edition of Beyond the Bale). Each of these participating brands has also made a commitment to increase their Australian Merino wool consumption by 5 per cent in Autumn/Winter 2011/2012 and by 30 per cent for Autumn/Winter 2012/2013.

The style of the series was fast-paced and fun, whilst being educational. While on tour the designers took part in on-farm duties such as shearing and mustering and the documentary paid particular attention to women working on farms. This campaign allowed for a harmonious relationship to develop between Australian woolgrowers and top Chinese designers, presenting the world’s most prestigious fibre and using it to tell stories of inspiring women working on the land.

China Country Manager Xiao-Ya Wei said the campaign’s target audience represents wool’s lost consumer.

“We haven’t been able to inspire women anywhere in the world for 30 years. In China she is a new breed, therefore making China a new market,” Ms Wei said.

“The campaign reaches out to the affluent Chinese woman living in the cities and is
20 to 45 years old. We took an educative approach to speaking to this consumer, rather than a hard sell.

“The 10 designers, through their tour of regional Australia, were able to explore the concepts of history, provenance, heritage and craftsmanship and in doing so explore the substance behind their product.” 

Another aspect of the China Luxury Market Campaign was a pop-up store constructed in Shanghai’s SOGO department store, which featured garments by the 10 designers. The store was open in the lead-up to Chinese New Year, which is the country’s prime retails selling season. Additionally, the product was driven through 1100 points of sale.