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APM Monaco in China: digital marketing and integrated logistics to build hype and enhance sales

APM Monaco has recently been gaining more popularity thanks to its strategy in the Chinese market. The company may be less well-known in Europe, but in China, APM Monaco is a prominent name for the country’s large number of consumers. The brand was created in 1982 in Monaco by Ariane Prette and her son Philippe; the initials of the entrepreneur becoming the name of the company.

In 2012, the APM Monaco was registered in China, and by 2019, they filed for a listing on Hong Kong’s HKEX main board. It is hard to underestimate the importance of the Chinese market for the brand: in 2020, Mainland China accounted for 57.2% of their global sales.

According to the firm, “chic, fashion, and smile” are in the creation, production, communication, distribution, and the relationship they have with their internal teams and APM lovers around the world. The brand specializes in producing elegant jewelry at more affordable prices than the luxury sector, while keeping the same high quality.

APM Monaco in China: its business model

Apart from focusing on keeping high quality in their production and trying to create more individual styles, the company also pays attention to frequently updating their collection. The brand designs and produces a new collection each month, the new line typically consisting of 40-50 pieces. Every new line is inspired by the specific topic, which also forms each social media campaign and all marketing strategies connected to a line. Sometimes the firm even creates themed music playlists to accompany the campaigns.

APM Monaco in China
Source: APM Monaco, Yummy campaign, 2022

They also place a lot of emphasis on their customer service, being welcoming and supportive, building trustworthy relationships with buyers. With each product, clients acquire 2-year full warranty, professional cleaning, and lifetime repair to maintain jewels.

Moreover, they value sustainability. The Wonderland Program encourages clients to bring previously bought APM items back to stores to allow the company to recycle them: they melt the old jewelleries and create new ones. Like other brands in China, APM Monaco is attempting to capture value-driven customers through increasing sustainability. 

APM Monaco in China: Digital development and KOLs

Companies have different approaches to brand localization in China, but APM’s strategy showed to be a success. According to the APM Monaco’s leader, Philippe Prette, the company can be considered as a half-Chinese company, because of the importance of China for the brand’s growth. To him, 3 main strategies mattered for developing in China: product innovation, high quality, and the focus on in-store experience. Stores are an important element in supporting the brand’s atmosphere, as is developing strong relations with clients both online and offline.

In China, APM Monaco relies on digital development so much that it is officially considered a technology company instead of a production company: they manage a team of 70 people that operate big data, and this results in very advanced technology used by the firm. This lets the company build a better integrated system of logistics and production, especially in product replenishment. Because of this, for example, the company is able to sell all of its items without putting them on sale.

A crucial marketing element for the company is the implementation of KOL marketing strategies in China. Themed collaborations with international and Chinese celebrities have increased the brand’s visibility: from Rihanna and Chiara Ferragni to Fan Bingbing and Zhou Xun.

APM Monaco in China
Source: Facebook, APM Monaco. Zhou Xun at Huading awards, styled with APM Monaco

APM Monaco’s digital marketing strategy in China

The brand’s online presence plays an important role in its growth: digital marketing in China is crucial for businesses. APM Monaco focuses a lot on e-commerce and increasing direct-to-consumers sales. By 2021, its online sales accounted for 15.7% of total sales, and the proportion of sales through its online stores (Tmall, Jingdong, Xiaohongshu, Douyin, WeChat and other third-party platforms) jumped from 5.1% to 12%.

One of the main reasons for the success of APM Monaco in China was their focus on combining the online and offline channels for selling their products: most of their consumers are Millennials and Gen Z, people spending a lot of time online. For example, according to McKinsey’s 2021 survey, a large number of Chinese Gen Z prefer to browse products online and later buy them in stores.

APM Monaco in China
Data source: McKinsey, Designed by Daxue Consulting, Omni-channel decisions of Chinese Gen Z Consumers, 2021

By 2021, APM Monaco boasted approximately 3.5 million Taobao fans, 2.9 million brand account fans, 983,000 WeChat fans, 759,000 Weibo fans, 175,000 Douyin fans and 30,000 Xiaohongshu fans. Social media indeed boosts the company’s sales: for example, WeChat allows ordering inside the app and receiving the product in a few hours in-store.

What consumers think of APM Monaco’s themed campaigns

The brand’s approach to the marketing of their product lines makes the brand special in the public’s eyes. For example, APM Monaco’s latest campaign, called “Yummy”, is a tribute to the firm’s 40-year anniversary. The company wanted to choose a special theme for this occasion which could unite all of the APM consumers through evoking childhood memories (or attracting children’s attention).

APM Monaco in China
Source: Xiaohongshu, APM Monaco, 2023

The posts from the company were all dedicated to the campaign at the time of its release, and were matching a clear style that corresponded with the line. Netizens gave positive responses to the campaign, demonstrating their usage of the jewelry and tagging the company.

APM Monaco’s success in the Chinese market

  • APM Monaco has become a very prominent firm in China, offering high-quality jewelry at a more affordable price than luxury brands
  • Its attention to digital trends and ability to increase its online sales have given it a lot popularity in China
  • Carefully formed campaigns with particular styles have been an advantage in capturing attention online
  • Well-defined logistics allow the firm to sell all of its products and keep prices stable

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