Chando market strategy

Chando: How this Chinese beauty brand continues to thrive in China’s rising beauty sector

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Chando is a Chinese beauty brand founded in 2001 by the International Beauty Group Garan. Since then, it has been consistently considered as one of the top players in the domestic beauty market. During T-mall’s 2019 11/11 event, Chando was the top-performing domestic beauty brand with a 498 Million Yuan sales revenue. This is the fourth time Chando has claimed the top-selling domestic beauty brand title in T-mall’s annual 11/11 promotional event. As China grows to become the world’s second-largest beauty market, it is important to gain a better understanding of how this Chinese beauty brand was able to achieve and maintain its dominance in an increasingly competitive market. Chando is one of the many rising Chinese domestic beauty brands which are worth learning from.

Chando's performance during Tmall's 2019 11/11 Event

Source: Jumeili, Chando’s performance during Tmall’s 2019 11/11 Event

Chando’s beginning: Strong “Local & Natural” branding

Chando’s brand DNA: The spirit of the Himalayas

A Brand’s DNA serves as an identification that inspires its vision, mission, and strategies. And for Chando, its brand’s DNA is the Himalayas. The Himalayan mountain range borders China and other Asian countries, and  is known for its precious and untainted natural resources. Chando features most of its ingredients from the Himalayas. In 2017, Chando announced that it has applied for 12 patents related to the Himalayas and has made various research progress in Himalayan glacier water, Himalayan plants, Himalayan minerals. Therefore, Chando’s close association with the Himalayas sets it up for a strong “Local & Natural” brand image. Since Chinese consumers prefer beauty products with eco-friendly and natural ingredients, Chando’s brand positioning appeals to Chinese consumers.

National branding appeals to Chinese consumers’ patriotic sentiments

Chando refers to itself as a “民族品牌” (National Brand), appealing to Chinese consumers’ strong patriotic sentiments. In fact, the company’s blueprint vision was to build China’s own world-class beauty brand. In 2009, Chando first entered the world stage as Expo 2010’s official Chinese beauty brand representative. Since 2012, Chando’s products have been included in welcome gifts for foreign guests attending the annual Boao Forum for Asia.

Recently in January 2020, Chando announced that it would be the official skincare provider for the Chinese women’s volleyball team. The Chinese women’s volleyball team’s figure has been symbolic for many generations of Chinese consumers for its perseverance and national spirit. The team has also received a lot of media exposure after its recent wins in the Olympics and World Cups. There is also a highly-anticipated movie called “夺冠” (Leap) that centers around the Chinese women’s volleyball team, which is to be released in theatre soon. Therefore, Chando’s recent partnership will continue to strengthen the brand’s national brand image among Chinese consumers.

Chando's Partnership with the Chinese Women's Volleyball Team

Source: Weibo, Chando’s Partnership with the Chinese Women’s Volleyball Team

Marketing campaigns targeting a younger audience

According to Kantar’s Brand ZTM data, from 2014 to 2016,  Chando was the only beauty brand that was placed in the top ten Chinese brands with the highest consumer loyalty among Chinese millennials. Chando has shown success in attracting the younger audience with its marketing campaigns through various channels.

Choice of young & trending KOLs

Chando has been able to attract young and trending KOLs since its early campaigns. Popular Chinese idols and actors such as TFBOYS, Ouyang Nana, Bai Yu, and Zhao Jin Mai have all been ambassadors. In Spring 2020, the variety show “Youth With You Season 2” gained extreme popularity with more than 1.8 billion views on the official streaming site Aiqiyi, and 9.2 million discussions under the Sina Weibo tag #青春有你2# (Youth with You Season 2). Chando was able to quickly recognize this opportunity and partnered with popular contestants from the show. The announcement weibo immediately gained support from the fans with more than 9 thousand shares, 150 thousand likes, and 3 thousand comments. Chando’s partnership choices reflect the company’s ability to follow the recent trends among the younger generations closely.

Effective WeChat branded content drives shares and follows

Chando is one of the first beauty brands to advertise branded content through WeChat’s Moments. In March 2018 for International Women’s Day, Chando published a three-minute video called “An Interview that No Men can Pass.”, shown below in the article.  In the video, five female interviewers asked male candidates questions such as “Will you be able to not have kids in the next three years” and “Will you need to take a break during your period?”. This branded content was meant to inspire further discussions around women’s equal rights in the workplace.

85% of the targeted viewers were female college students and female white-collar workers, while the rest were their male counterparts. Even though Chando’s logo only showed up for ten seconds in this 3-minute-long video, it was one of Chando’s most successful WeChat campaigns. Chando’s official WeChat account gained around ten thousand new followers during the campaign period. It is evident from this example that Chando is capable of engaging a young audience through branded content that promotes its brand values and encourages broader discussions.

Chando's 2018 International Women's Day Campaign - “An Interview that No Men can Pass”

 Source: Luxe.co, Chando’s 2018 International Women’s Day Campaign – “An Interview that No Men can Pass”

Partnership with e-sports shows and KOLs

According to Penguin Intelligence’s report, gaming is the top interest for China’s  Gen-Z, and the group has a strong willingness to consume products or services related to gaming. Immediately after Chando’s launch of men’s skincare products in 2018, it partnered with CrossFire, the world’s most-played video game by player count, to launch various marketing campaigns.

Chando was able to implant the product’s advertisement in the game’s equipment. It also was one of the sponsors for the 2018 CrossFire League Competition. The brand also collaborated with KOLs in the e-sports field to have customized promotions on social media platforms to introduce Chando products to e-sports fans.

Even though Chando’s Partnership with CrossFire mainly targeted male consumers, Chando has also been able to reach young female consumers through its sponsorship of the popular e-sport romance show called “亲爱的,热爱的” (Go! Go! Squid!). Data analysis from iResearch claims that this show was ranked among the top 10 for China’s Post 95 Generation’s favorite TV shows in 2019. Chando is working on building a strong brand presence among young consumers through these active E-Sport campaigns.

How Chando impliments private traffic marketing

Private traffic is a marketing method that is gaining popularity in China. It refers to the traffic that a brand can manage without interference or aid from a third party. This method is cost-efficient and effective in generating brand loyalty. Chando has started to use private traffic marketing via its WeChat account and its VIP WeChat groups.

Chando's WeChat Mini Program

Source: WeChat, Chando’s WeChat Mini Program

Channeling consumers to WeChat

Chando has set up a comprehensive WeChat mini-program and a linked WeChat official account for consumers and members. When potential consumers opens the mini-program, they will see a welcome banner inviting the guest to claim a membership card. The new user will only need to input basic information such as their names, birthday, and phone number before becoming a member. Afterward, the consumer can find coupons, claim product samples, and make orders via the mini-program interface. The WeChat mini program is also linked with the WeChat official account so consumers can see official campaigns and news, and vice versa. These functions are all tools incentivizing purchases and increasing brand loyalties.

Personalized Services through Mini Programs and VIP WeChat Groups

There are two main ways for Chando consumers to get customized services. First, there is a function via Chando’s mini-program, where members can receive a one-on-one consulting service with a customer service staff. Second, Chando has set up private VIP WeChat groups based on user location. When a potential consumer enters Chando’s physical stores, the greeters will encourage the individual to join the VIP WeChat group to get updates on promotions and new releases. Consumers are also invited to ask questions and provide feedback in these groups. This private traffic marketing method allows Chando to receive immediate feedback at a low cost while increasing customer loyalty. 

What we can learn from Chando’s market strategy

  • Chando has successfully established itself as a national beauty brand through its roots in the Himalayas and its choice of partnerships that appeal to patriotic sentiments. While Chinese patriotism is on the rise, it is wise for Chinese brands to leverage their national identity, and for foreign brands to find ways to relate to Chinese culture.
  • Chando’s Himalayan brand DNA signifies to Chinese consumers the quality and scarcity of the brand’s products, appealing to the current preference for organic and natural beauty products in China.
  • Chando launched many successful KOL marketing campaigns, combined with hot social topics and E-Sports, allowing it to attract young consumers.
  • Chando has embraced the increasingly popular and effective private traffic marketing efforts to encourage purchases and customer loyalty through its WeChat account and its VIP WeChat Groups.

Author: Lillian Xu 


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