The program included:
An overview of the Global Chinese consumer opportunity by Michael Zakkour from Technomic Asia. Michael reviewed how quickly the Chinese demographic is changing: coming from a time when make-up was regarded as vain and decadent and women literally rubbed sandpaper on their lips to give them some color to a time when China is arguably the most important luxury market in the world. All of this happened in less than 40 years! Today Michael encourages brands to examine four key points for China success: how China integrates into your global strategy, reinventing your supply chain to satisfy China demand and minimize taxes and duties, adapting your e-commerce and digital strategy to China’s unique landscape and adjusting your brand positioning to meet Chinese demand and preferences.
Attracting Chinese Lifestyle Spending by Renee Hartmann from China Luxury Advisors. Renee examined four key drivers of Chinese overseas lifestyle spending: tourism, overseas education for children, business and partial emigration. She provided an overview of the underlying motivation for each audience as well as strategic and tactical recommendations for brands to better reach these audiences. Money is being exported from China by wealthy individuals at a faster rate than ever before, and is quietly being invested in key lifestyle areas such as real estate, high value items such as gold and diamonds, wine, art and lifestyle pursuits such as private jets, boats and other high ticket items. While the majority of investment is happening in key global cities such as New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris, we are starting to see increased investment in new locations such as Minnesota, thanks to business investment, active local government incentives and education opportunities.
Insights into the Chinese Luxury Consumer by Professor Pierre Xiao Lu. Professor Lu examined the underlying motivation among Chinese consumers to seek and purchase luxury goods, telling tales of his experiences escorting high net worth Chinese consumers throughout Europe. He spoke about Chinese luxury consumers’ affinity for the European lifestyle and luxury brands and discussed how American luxury brands can best position themselves given the long history that European luxury firms have had in China.
A panel of Chinese students studying in the US provided insights into their social media habits, influence they have on their friends and family and their own decision making process.
Trends in purchases of US real estate by Chinese buyers with Sotheby’s top New York brokers Nikki Fields and Kevin Brown. Nikki and Kevin shared their extensive experience focusing on Chinese buyers from property choices to negotiation tactics and decision making processes. Nikki and Kevin also discussed the desire for Chinese buyers to have a turn-key American lifestyle upon purchasing the home.
An overview of Chinese demand for fine art by Michael Plummer of Artvest. Michael demonstrated the demand for Chinese traditional art by Chinese purchasers, some of which are setting record prices for the highest prices paid for any art in an auction, as well as the growing demand for Chinese modern art by Chinese buyers. Michael also discussed the purchase preferences of Chinese buyers — the vast majority of whom prefer buying at auction rather than in individual sales.
A discussion on China market entry for a jewelry company with Kim Hoedeman of Royal Asscher Diamonds. Kim shared their experiences entering the market with their distribution partner, Sparkle Roll, how they have adapted their design to local tastes and preferences and how having the right China partner can make all the difference.
Examples of China market product and brand localization in the wine industry by Simon Cousins of Illuminant. Simon illustrated how brands should adapt their name, brand position and packaging to the local market and reviewed examples of how he has done this with several wine companies. China remains a market where brands can reinvent themselves if they understand local preferences.
Andria Chang from Affinity China shared real life experiences with affluent Chinese travelers by reviewing Affinity China’s curated experiences with high net worth Chinese consumers as well as shared real life preferences and requests from Affinity China members.
Chiu-Ti Jansen from YUE Magazine shared insights and examples of targeting Chinese travelers via their newly launched magazine targeted towards Chinese travelers in New York.
And finally, attendees sampled a pre-release of Yao Ming’s Napa Valley Cabarnet and Tetra wine from Premier Pacific Vineyards.
It was a full day of deep insights giving attendees a unique and holistic perspective on the Chinese luxury lifestyle aspirations. We look forward to our next event in the fall of 2012!