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01. Dior’s beauty WeChat account offers users both AI-backed advice as well as person-to-person connection.

Dior has crafted a well-rounded customer experience through their Official Account and Mini Program suite.

Users looking for quick but detailed beauty advice can access Dior's AI-powered Skin I.D. Mini Program from its Official Account menu bar. Skin I.D. provides a skin report and suggestions after gathering some basic info and taking a photo. Users get a detailed skin report along with product suggestions. Shoppers can save and share their results and buy or request samples of the recommended products. Dior's Mini Program suite makes the process feel seamless as it's all done within the WeChat platform.

For more of a human touch, users can choose a consultant to connect with one-to-one based on their nearest boutique in a few simple steps:

  1. Select which Dior consultant you would like to meet from a list with their names and role (like “beautician” or “makeup artist”).
  2. Receive a request from WeChat Work to add that consultant as a contact, then start a chat with them.

The process gives the user more control over their appointment and allows them to chat with their consultant about specific beauty needs before they go. Pretty cool!

Dior's example shows just how rich the WeChat ecosystem is for luxury brands, and we love how customer-centric and convenient they've made these features! Luxury fashion has encouraged person-to-person interactions differently. For example, Burberry rewards shoppers with digital points when they interact with in-store sales associates. However it's done, connecting online and offline interactions, and rewarding both, is an excellent step forward in engagement. As Harvard Business Review reported earlier this month, "Chinese consumers have come to expect such a rich online brand experience. Failing to provide it, or being seen as having fallen behind, will doom a company in the market." We love seeing how brands like Dior and Burberry are meeting this challenge creatively on WeChat!

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02. Yves Saint Laurent brings together up-and-coming and big-name celebrities and bloggers for an authentic and chic WeChat campaign.

Yves Saint Laurent is bringing an especially authentic and personal style to WeChat. The brand has invited fashion bloggers and celebrities to give their stylistic take on its Solferino, Niki, and Maillon handbags in their March WeChat posts.

This is a delightful strategy of pulling together big-time and smaller-name influencers and celebrities alike. The eight fashion bloggers that YSL featured have followings ranging from about 200K to 4M!

Similarly, the five celebrities included both well-known icons like model Liu Wen 刘雯 and newcomers like singer Liu Lingzi 刘令姿, who just made her debut in the reality show Youth with You last summer. Other celebrities include Rosé, a Korean-New Zealand singer from girl group Blackpink who just debuted her first solo album in January 2021; Zhang Baijia 张柏嘉, Chinese actor first famous from her role in military drama "Spicy Female Soldier" in 2012, and who most recently starred in a crime suspense film, "The Soul"; and Wang Zixuan 王紫璇 (Cici Wang), Chinese actor who has won several awards for her 2017 role as Gu Ying in Tientsin Mystic (and who also has a popular lifestyle VLOG on Weibo).

The WeChat campaign shows each celeb/blogger posing with one of the bags using her unique style, with a tagline describing each, such as “free and easy as ever” and “new style, elegant always.” Some of the photos are professional, while others are selfies captured in the mirror or seem to be cut from larger pictures. It creates a rather authentic feel, that you're getting the thoughts and style of each person.

These bloggers, actors, and singers bring a chic, sleek, and yet also personal feel to the campaign, which we think is a wonderful combination. Luxury in China must find ways to genuinely connect with customers, and it seems that YSL has done it well. As one reader commented, "All my favorite artists, models, and actors!!! Yves Saint Laurent's vision is too good!!!"

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03. Berluti takes a bold step with singer Lu Keran 陆柯燃, as part of their menswear 2021 debut event.

In an exceptional move, Berluti featured Lu Keran 陆柯燃, a member of girl groups THE9 and Fanxy Red, in their 2021 Winter Series debut event.

The menswear show had appearances by four male artists and brand spokesperson Eddie Peng 彭于晏, yet no one captured attention like Lu, who sported a gradient-purple suit from the collection. The hashtag # Lu Keran gradient purple suit # on Weibo has 120 million views – about three times that of any of the other event-related hashtags!

Berluti's WeChat post that included Lu got 46% engagement, most of it coming from comments about the singer. One reader said, "Thanks again for the invitation from Berluti, as the only female star invited, Lu Keran’s unique female, handsome interpretation… [and] gradual purple shows low-key gorgeousness.”

This may seem somewhat surprising, as Lu has the fewest followers on Weibo of all six artists at the event. But perhaps much like the success of male KOLs in luxury beauty, Chinese consumers are eager to see brands partner with celebrities to exhibit style and individuality in a way that pushes against certain norms.

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04. As luxury is moving toward greater sustainability, Ralph Lauren celebrates Earth Day by relaunching The Earth Polo.

Sustainability is getting more traction in China and Ralph Lauren showed support by relaunching The Earth Polo on WeChat ahead of Earth Day.

The eco-friendly shirt, first launched in 2019, was re-introduced in RL’s April 20th WeChat post and Weibo account. The shirt is made of recycled plastic bottles and a water-conserving dying process. The brand also gave their readers “Design the Change” digital wallpapers and put forth their sustainability goals spanning the next decade.

Luxury is speeding in this direction: At this spring’s Shanghai Fashion Week, over 40% of attending brands were eco-conscious, and the event hosted a “Fashion in Circulation” exhibition. In June 2020, a report by Altiant found that 57% of affluent Chinese consumers planned to consume more sustainably following Covid-19 (compared to a 35% average in other surveyed countries).

The trend is in broader retail, too: during last year’s Singles’ Day shopping festival, over 200 million people participated in Alibaba’s Go Green campaign. AliResearch also reported that 380 million people bought eco-friendly products, nearly 75% of whom were under 40 years old.

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