29 April 2021|Business Growth, Latest Posts
By Niccolò Ricci. China is where global luxury houses sought to bolster sales during the global pandemic as the Chinese luxury market experienced a growth of 50% in 2020. During the pandemic, the domestic luxury market in China grew significantly as travel restrictions inspired the average Chinese consumer to shop for products on their home turf. Now, more than ever, it is imperative for luxury brands to succeed in China if they want to maintain their global reach.
It was my father’s strategic and pioneering vision for the company which prompted Stefano Ricci to become the first luxury brand to enter the Chinese market in 1993. By opening his debut store in China, Stefano Ricci would catalyse the brand’s expansion on a truly global scale to include 15 boutiques in the Greater China area. Our brand is now dressing its third generation of Chinese clients and a new generation of millennials – delivering the ultimate luxury lifestyle experience for our clients.
There are three key elements to the strategic marketing of luxury products to Chinese consumers:
· An understanding of the Chinese custom and individuals’ interaction with the luxury market.
· Delivering products that meet Chinese consumer demands.
· Appropriate use of online marketing and e-commerce.
In order to attract the Chinese customer, it is essential to differentiate yourself from other global brands by delivering a high-quality product which is accompanied by a unique and exclusive customer service. Stefano Ricci has understood this and each customer is treated individually, often invited to uniquely spectacular and intimate events. They are consistently taken care of by the same dedicated personnel. An example of this personalised luxury experience has been the establishment of the Ricci member’s club in Shanghai, a private mansion available to Ricci’s most loyal clientele. This promotes customer loyalty and ensures that our brand will continue to grow with future generations over time.
Our clients are driven by an appreciation and desire for truly authentic, hand crafted, luxury products. Despite substantial global expansion, Stefano Ricci has maintained its commitment to a wholly Italian product and is a 100% family-owned company. Each Stefano Ricci product is designed and crafted within the Ricci headquarters produced using the highest quality sourced materials from Italy. The brand is steeped in tradition and continues to use antique hand looms in the Antico Setificio Fiorentino silk factory, in which the finest of fabrics have been produced for the world’s most important families since 1786. This dedication to traditional methods and time-honoured practices results in a truly authentic and uniquely Italian product, which has been pivotal to our success in the Chinese luxury market. Our clientele desire more than expensive luxury, they expect an artisanal piece of history, crafted by masters in their field. This calibre of product, and trusted heritage, have enabled Ricci to thrive and continue to expand in China and Asia.
An emphasis on personalised customer interaction is essential to what differentiates our product from other luxury brands, but as consumer perceptions are increasingly influenced by social media, it is also important to establish an online relationship with clients. Marketing and selling products on popular channels such as WeChat establish an easy communication platform with customers. Launching a flagship store on a leading e-commerce platform will also create more opportunities for consumers to purchase your products. Our main focus at Stefano Ricci, however, is maintaining a personal and intimate relationship with our clients which we also achieve by offering personal viewings online (whilst the pandemic restricts meetings in person). Authenticity, client relationships and an exceptional product are the key factors to making a rewarding debut as well as maintaining a sustainable presence in the Chinese market.
Author bio: Niccolò Ricci
Since 2007 Niccolò Ricci has been the CEO of STEFANO RICCI S.p.A., the family business founded by his father Stefano and his mother Claudia, where he gained his first experiences as a student worker in the mid-1990’s. Niccolò Ricci (Florence, 1977) graduated in Business Administration at the Carlo Cattaneo-Liuc University in 2001. He then partook in a long internship in the United States, working closely with the CEO of a department store in the luxury sector, dealing with logistics, layout, distribution, buying-sales and media relations. In 2003, he became head of the corporate plan for the development of new markets and control of STEFANO RICCI S.p.A. retail operations. Having taken over the reins of the operational group with the role of managing director (2007), in 2010 he was also appointed co-administrator of the Antico Setificio Fiorentino, a historical silk manufacturer operating continuously since 1786, acquired the year before by the company and relaunched with a focus on craftsmanship and the quality of materials. Niccolò Ricci has been a member of the Board of Directors of ICE Italy since 2016. In 2011 he was appointed Consigliere di Classico Italia and continues to serve in the present as the consortium’s Board of Directors Vice President. From 2011 to 2015 he was a council member of Confindustria Firenze with a mandate in internationalisation.
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