GroupM China and CIC identify ‘Luxury Voice’ in Chinese Social Media

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Home > Archives 2011 >
GroupM China and CIC identify ‘Luxury Voice’ in Chinese Social Media
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 00:00

Shanghai, Aug. 10, 2011- A collaborative research effort by GroupM Knowledge China and CIC has unveiled Chinese consumers’ behavior and interests in interacting with luxury brands in China. Using the foremost social media analytical technologies to collect over 2.7 million consumer comments in the Chinese social media arena, the research findings help advertisers in the luxury industry to navigate the complex culture and fragmented landscape of China’s digital space, and to effectively participate in the conversation.

“It has been estimated that China will command some 20% share of the global consumption of luxury goods by 2015. Fuelling this lust for luxury is China’s ever growing population of multi-millionaires. The 2011 GroupM Knowledge-Hurun Wealth Report revealed that there were 960,000 people in China with a personal fortune in excess of RMB 10 million in 2010 - an increase of nearly 10% over the previous year. Without a doubt, China has become a most attractive market for luxury brands,” said Lucy Zhang, Futures Director, GroupM Knowledge.
 Thus, it is crucial to find a voice in complement with the brand’s core values and personality on China's most influential and effective platform.

Some topline findings:

Louis Vuitton - Most Buzzed Brand in BBS
The first stage in developing an appropriate voice to engage the online conversation is to listen. By listening to the buzz, brands can decode consumer attitudes. On the traditional digital haven for Chinese luxury fans, online message boards (BBS), Louis Vuitton is number one for buzz, followed by Chanel and Gucci.

On Microblog (Weibo), Chanel is the Most Buzzed Brand, Burberry is the Most Engaged
Microblog provides all brands a platform to initiate a more active conversation with consumers. Within the fashion industry, Chanel is most mentioned brand among Chinese microbloggers. There were 593,075 mentions of Chanel from January to May in 2011. However, Burberry turns out to be the most engaging brand on weibo, with 43,001 re-tweets and 5,320 comments in the same period.

Luxury Buzz and the 80/20 Rule
The luxury category follows Pareto’s Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule that the top 20% of netizens contribute to 80% of the content in related topics. These influencers drive the conversation and their sphere of influence could be leveraged by brands to set trends among consumers. The research has uncovered four character profiles amongst the influencers: the Shopaholic, Style Guru, Fashionista and Brand Fan.

Showing-off as Top Buzz Driver
A ‘shai‘ culture has evolved with the development of the luxury market in the digital world, and is mentioned in 90% of the conversations on brands. Essentially, to ‘shai‘ is to show-off your good taste and purchasing power.

Chinese Consumers are ‘in the Show’
Currently, Chinese netizens can be considered ’in the show‘ phase of enjoying luxury brands. That is to say, consumers are ready and willing to show off their purchasing power but they still lack the know-how to leverage brands to create a stylish and sophisticated lifestyle.
Discovering a Voice on Weibo:
Naturally, the content of tweets has to resonate with the brand’s followers to generate interest and engagement. The research reveals that ‘product introductions’, ‘offline fashion events’ and ‘celebrity or designer’s commentary’ are the most popular subjects for luxury brands. For fashion brands like Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, the content of their tweets are mostly on fashion events and celebrities, while watch brands like IWC and Longines prefer to share category knowledge.


“An essential requirement for understanding the wealthy elite in China is to understand how they influence and are influenced by the massive, unique, fragmented and dynamic social media landscape in China. By listening to their consumers’ talk about luxury and understanding China’s online cultural context, luxury brands can develop a more impactful communications strategy, including leveraging a luxury voice on Weibo (microblog), which resonates with their consumers in meaningful and appropriate way.” commented Sam Flemming, Founder and Chairman, CIC.


GroupM China
GroupM is WPP’s consolidated media investment management operation, serving as the parent company to agencies including Kinetic, Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare.

GroupM is the global number one media investment management group.

GroupM employs more than a thousand people in eight cities across China. With total media billings in excess of USD 4 billion (RECMA: 2010 Definitive), GroupM is China’s top media communications group and the industry’s biggest investor in syndicated and proprietary media research and optimization tool development.

GroupM Knowledge
GroupM Knowledge is GroupM’s think tank and knowledge management arm in China. This unit is responsible for industry-wide thought leadership research, exploring issues affecting the media industry in China, working with syndicated research suppliers, and managing the Group’s proprietary tools, research and systems. The unit also manages a media consultancy, advising clients with specific media research requirements.

Media Contact:
Swee Lynn Chong
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Tel: +8621 2307 7701

CIC is China's leading social business intelligence provider. CIC enables businesses to fully leverage the power of social media and (Internet Word of Mouth) IWOM intelligence across the organization. Since coining the term IWOM in 2004, CIC has pioneered the industry to help companies meet their social media marketing and social business needs by providing customized research, consulting services, syndicated reports, as well as technical solutions and platforms all via an objective, third party perspective. In addition to helping companies leverage social media intelligence for more informed decisions, CIC is monetizing the social business industry in China by creating an integrated social business support system.

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