Many established brands struggle when it comes to connecting with China’s luxury-hungry Millennial and Gen Z consumers, held back by tradition and their reputation as brands for boomers. However, the success of 174-year-old Spanish luxury house Loewe in China proves it is possible to build a strong and loyal consumer base that transcends age.
Here are three ways less has meant more for Loewe:
1. Carefully curated online presence
Luxury brands have a tendency to jump on every platform in China, in some cases losing control of their brand image along the way. Loewe keeps its digital presence to a minimum, with official accounts on Weibo and WeChat only, maintaining control and a tight brand image.
Strictly ‘pop-up’, Loewe activate online with laser focus and restraint – short bursts of items, in limited numbers to buy. The ‘ILOEWEYOU’ 520 Day pop-up shop, held on WeChat, featured Loewe handbags, accessories, and perfumes paired with flower arrangements by hyped florist-come-lifestyle brand, The Beast.
Creative collaborations such as this are sure-fire viral hits with China’s younger consumers, who are showing interest in crossover products between different categories.
Limiting online availability (without discounting) means that Loewe maintains exclusivity, while also benefiting from its choice of on-trend collaborators.
2. Brand within a brand
For most brands, having a diffusion line signals lower prices and, in some cases, lower quality. Not in this case. Now in its fourth season, the Paula’s Ibiza line (an ode to the legendary 1970s Balearic boutique) has grown from a tiny capsule collection into a diversified Loewe offer complete with sunglasses, ready-to-wear and even its own perfume. It’s a brand within a brand that successfully appeals to China’s younger audience, without damaging the core brand in any way.
Paula’s has become a gateway for a younger audience to graduate to the flagship Loewe line.
3. Light Event Strategy
Loewe has benefited from a limited events footprint, rejecting the large-scale, KOL studded events taken by many luxe brands. Loewe has instead hosted occasional small-scale, exclusive parties in Beijing and Shanghai.
Like every other brand during the pandemic, Loewe has largely put a hold on the usual IRL events and instead taken a more timely, content-commerce approach to events.
This month, Loewe and Paula’s Ibiza perfectly aligned with the ongoing “cloud” trend in China through an on-and-offline music event in partnership with record label Modern Sky. Attendees and virtual viewers were able to reserve spots in the accompanying WeChat mini-program. Performers were clothed in head-to-toe Paula’s Ibiza outfits (available to purchase, of course).
Super-targeted and nimble, Loewe are aligning with young Chinese luxury shoppers in their own quietly confident way.
SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge? Get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org