Balancing the Bling in China
In China, people are trying to show their social status and the big spenders always look for the next trendy thing to buy. Their tastes are changing fast with a growing segment of fashion-savvy Chinese tempers its interest in overt bling. During the 2009 global recession, sales of luxury goods in China grew by 16%. China is a significant market, and some observers argue that customer sophistication is an evolutionary process that takes time rather than an overnight transformation.
While the evolving tastes in China are directly proportional to the status and wealth, the Chinese consumers are eager to become more cultured as fast as possible. In general, the Chinese have an acquisitive desire which isn’t about radiating refinement. Their interest in flamboyant luxury is primarily tempered by the desire to appear cultured.
In Beijing and Shanghai, bling is a factor that conveys social messages. These cues are displayed in discreet ways: access to rare cognac, opulent fabrics, and owning a Picasso. This trend means that luxury brands have to focus and re-engineer their plans for reaching the vast and quickly evolving luxury consumer.
Luxury players are finding a balance of exclusion and exclusion. The primary goal is to reach many segments of the Chinese market, but a risk lingers that if the brand reaches too many consumers, it could lose exclusivity. Thus, brands are using slow and calculated expansion strategies.
The result of this approach i…
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