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Chinese brands tap lucrative luxury market

10-08-2010 14:12 BJT

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In today's fifth and final episode of our special series on China's luxury market, CCTV reporter Zheng Junfeng finds out how could a Chinese luxury brand be successful.

China's wealthy elite are proving to be an unstoppable consumer force, boosting the global luxury goods sector through the financial crisis. And there's been one question on everyone's lips - what will it take for a truly Chinese luxury brand to find success?

Yang Lan is a renowned Chinese TV presenter, philanthropist and entrepreneur. Her latest project is the creation of her namesake jewelry range. Yang says it's not just a business, but an artistic expression of Chinese culture and heritage.

Yang Lan, Founder of Lan Jewelry said "...when I represented China at different occasions, Indians are wearing... Europeans are wearing.. where's our Chinese heritage..."

Yang Lan's jewelry range incorporates traditional Chinese design elements, with precious gemstones and metals sourced from all over the world. South African diamonds and jade from Burma sit alongside exquisite Chinese pearls. The range is priced between a few hundred, to several million U.S. dollars. And make no mistake - Lan Jewelry isn't content to be just another local brand.

Yang Lan said "...I am proud of our world class quality and design..."

World class quality and unique design are two important elements of true luxury. But will a made-in-China luxury brand impress the country's increasingly-savvy consumers? Many say they've never heard of any Chinese luxury brands.

Ms. Lu, Jinan resident said "I can hardly come up with any Chinese brands with history. "

Miss Pan, Jinan resident said "Chinese brands have done little in introducing China's culture and history."

Mr. Huo, Jinan resident said "I only hope if Chinese luxury brands were the best, and could sell overseas. "

Chinese local brands are trying to win a share of this lucrative market, how can they lure customers without history and heritage?

Yang Lan's marketing strategy is to use her own name, at least in the initial development stage for the one-year-old brand.

Yang Lan said "...gradually it will build its own identity..."

Bruno Lannes from consulting firm Bain & Company says a small number of Chinese brands are doing well in the domestic luxury sector. He says capitalizing on China's history and culture is a good strategy. But the key to attaining true luxury status, it seems, is time.

Bruno Lannes, Partner of Bain & Company said ".. it would take 200 years... half joke."

That's not a lesson lost on Yang Lan. She agrees her own brand needs time to cultivate and grow.

China's rich culture seems a fertile breeding ground for home-grown luxury. But as Europe's centuries-old brands can attest, luxury isn't something that can be rushed. And with over 5,000 years of history and heritage under its belt, it seems time is something China's got plenty of.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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