Fashion brands

Xiaohongshu: a new route to China for international fashion brands

With a large community of consumer-driven users always on the lookout for new experiences and new items, Xiaohongshu is a key partner in marrying the Chinese consumer with international brands that are sometimes hard to obtain, even if they are not still available in China.

This was the case for the Bulgarian luxury brand By Far. Although they haven’t had an official presence in China before, their shoulder bags have become popular with Chinese consumers, which the brand discovered largely through word of mouth on Xiaohongshu.

“Xiaohongshu has always been a living showcase for people to present their findings and share their thoughts on the world, which often sparks new relationships between emerging brands and the Chinese consumer,” says Valentina Ignatova, co-founder and CMO at By Far.

Ignatova notes that “the many content creators living on Xiaohongshu” helped By Far grow and establish brand awareness even before it entered China. Today, there are more than 10,000 organic posts on Xiaohongshu mentioning By Far, indicating strong brand echo and recognition. After its first flagship store in Los Angeles, the brand intends to open its second flagship store in Shanghai later this year.

“For brands with a strategic plan towards the Chinese consumer, Xiaohongshu, with its perception as a cradle of supernova products and services, is still the best tool to deliver their messages,” says Ignatova.

The power of word of mouth

Feedback from Chinese consumers via organic user-generated content on Xiaohongshu may also surprise established international brands. Swiss watchmaker Longines discovered Chinese consumer interest in one of its particular products via the platform, leading the brand to adjust its product lineup in China.

The brand’s “Prima Luna” model was launched more than 10 years ago but never really found its footing in the mainland China market until Xiaohongshu users made it an “it” product. “. In 2019, a number of Chinese consumers bought the Prima Luna in shopping destinations such as Dubai, Hong Kong and Macau and shared photos on the platform.

Word of mouth quickly spread and Chinese shoppers started looking for the product elsewhere, with some even contacting Longines China to ask why the Prima Luna could not be found in-store or at its official flagship store Tmall. Longines quickly introduced the model to the market and launched an interactive online campaign for Xiaohongshu users at the end of 2020. Featuring Chinese actor, singer and Longline brand ambassador Zhao Liying’s gift recommendation video , the campaign had an above-average click-through rate. assess.

Harnessing trends for the Chinese consumer

Xiaohongshu’s large consumer community gives brands the chance to test new things in the Chinese market through the platform, extending to trends like the metaverse. This explains why By Far was ready to launch its first NFT on Xiaohongshu. On July 15, the brand rolled out its limited-edition NFT project to celebrate the upcoming Qixi Festival, Chinese Valentine’s Day. The brand released exclusive virtual pendants that could be purchased from July 27 to August 7 and displayed on Xiaohongshu’s R-Space virtual space.

Throughout its journey, from assessing emerging consumer interest, to branding and marketing campaigns, to tapping into the latest trends, Xiaohongshu has accompanied By Far, demonstrating how the platform is capable of offer a unique solution to Western and international brands trying to crack the Chinese market.

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