Luxury Watches Compete in China
Pateck Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, IWC, Piaget, Cartier, Jaeger LeCoultre, Relex and Girard-Perregaux are the top ten luxury watch manufacturers ranked in the China market. Nowadays, it is inevitable to talk about the topic of luxury and as the soon-to-be top one luxury market in the world, China is doomed to be a brand new focus of luxury marketers. This year, Blancpain launched the world’s first watch depicting the Chinese lunar calendar, which means with this watch, a family with a new-born baby does not need to find a psychic to tell the baby’s horoscope. The watch can do it for them. This gesture of specifically catering to the Chinese people’s need is a big sign of targeting.
Celebrity Endorsement and Soft Marketing
Another commonly used strategy to get close to the China market is celebrity endorsement, using Chinese stars of course. According to the research result given by the market research company Synovate, rich Asian people like to purchase luxury with obvious visual logos and high brand awareness. So the brand popularity becomes a key factor in Chinese people’s purchasing decisions. Thus Chinese faces are well needed to be associated with these brands developing in China. Certainly in addition, the character of those chosen celebrity needs to go with the product itself, but sometimes this requirement is hard to be met, which is a reason why some brands choose not to go this way. “Not any single star can represent the noble quality of the brand.” One watch collector commented. Soft marketing is what some very big brands favor to use. Although they do not sign any celebrity to specifically represent their brands, they ask celebrities to be guests at their brand events, sponsor film festivals, or plant ads in films in order to enhance the brand publicity. In this years’ Cannes Film Festival, two Chinese film stars Chen Kun and Qing Hao were wearing Dior wrist watches. What’s more, many other Chinese film stars were wearing luxury watches too: Zhou Xun with Channel, Gong Li with Louis Vuitton, and Liangchao Wei with Cartier. These are all parts of the soft marketing effort made by luxury watch brands. It is obvious to see soft marketing has become the sustainable marketing strategy widely used by luxury watch manufacturers to better compete in the China market.