On November 23rd, Stéphane Courqueux, Director IFOP Asia, talked about market research of consumers in China primarily focused on the luxury industry. Students from the MBA/Masters Luxury Brand Management took some time to listen in on some key findings presently and what to expect in the future.
IFOP Asia performs research in the field of FMCGs but also has a very specific expertise in luxury. Acting as a bridge between Western brands and Asian consumers, IFOP Asia has a unique understanding of the luxury market and consumers’ behavior towards luxury products and services, especially in China.
“All eyes are on China. Chinese consumers are now rescuing the business in the West” said Mr. Courqueux, emphasizing the potential growth for luxury brands in China. With an increase of 10.60% per year, the number of high net worth individuals will continue to attract luxury brands to China, raising the question “when will China be the 1st luxury consumer? “ According to Mr. Courqueux it will probably be around 2015. However, he added, “there is still some way to go until the market reaches maturity and sophistication”. Indeed, Chinese consumers are less loyal, logo lovers, impatient and looking forward to instant recognition so, in a country where the brand holds an overpowering position, how will smaller brands without a strong recognizable brand succeed?
Stéphane Courqueux also covered new challenges that will be faced by the industry in Asia such as whether luxury brands should go online and the future of foreigner brands - as China will more likely develop its own luxury brands. He also gave students some valuable tips for those wanting to operate in this highly demanding industry in Asia: “listen to your customers and make local adaptations, select the customers you want to address, be clear in your statement and positioning and connect with your customers.”
Whereas it would have been assumed that luxury brands could operate through a global strategy, once again it seems that recent presentations given by industry professionals confirm the fact that, when entering the Chinese market, brands have to adapt to local specificities to encounter success.