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商业 - 2013财富全球论坛

中国:奢侈品牌新的试金石

Megan Barnett 2013年06月09日

在本周刚结束的财富全球论坛上,Gucci、巴黎世家等著名奢侈品牌的制造商开云集团CEO表示,越来越倾向于把中国视为服饰领域新创意的“试验基地”。由于中国消费者在年轻时就开始购买高端产品,他们一生购买奢侈品的时间将是美国和欧洲消费者的两倍。任何公司要想在全球市场取得成功,必须首先赢取中国消费者的心。

   Francois-Henri Pinault

    中国的消费者年轻又雄心勃勃,对未来充满希望。他们不怕失业,工资每年上涨10-15%。如果要找一个市场来做奢侈品制造商的产品“试金石”,还有哪里比中国更合适?

    本周五,法国奢侈品制造商开云集团(Kering,原名PPR)首席执行官弗朗克斯-亨利•皮诺特在成都的财富全球论坛上表示,开云旗下的品牌,包括古驰(Gucci)、Alexander McQueen、巴黎世家(Balenciaga)和Stella McCartney越来越倾向于把中国视为服饰领域新创意的“试验基地”。开云几年前进入中国市场。随着中国经济的腾飞,该公司的业务也实现了指数级增长:2005年中国有5家古驰专卖店,现在则有71家。

    皮诺特说:“奢侈品并非仅与欧洲有关。它是传统、文化以及工艺的结合。几百年来,中国文化对世界其他地区的影响一直都非常大。”而且,由于中国消费者在年轻时就开始购买高端产品,他们一生购买奢侈品的时间将是美国和欧洲消费者的两倍。

    这凸显了中国消费者在各行各业不断增长的影响力,不仅是奢侈品领域。对于任何想要在全球市场取得成功的公司来说,中国市场是它们必须首先攻克的阵地。这也是财富全球论坛本场分论坛的主题:赢在中国市场。

    与皮诺特同台发言的还有英国广告巨擘WPP集团首席执行官苏铭天爵士。WPP的营销和公关业务遍及全球,联合利华(Unilever)、宝洁(P&G)、福特(Ford)等重量级跨国公司都是它的客户。中国是WPP的第三大市场,仅次于美国和英国,而且正在快速增长。

    苏铭天注意到,外国品牌和中国本土品牌在中国市场的竞争正不断升温。前者刚刚进入中国时往往对本土市场了解甚少,定价颇高。而中国本土品牌的价格近年来正逐步上升,他们的显著优势在于更了解中国的消费者。

    苏铭天说:“外界经常把中国和廉价制造品以及山寨关联起来。事实并非如此。实际上,中国公司已经开始了解到品牌的重要性。”

    这意味着,要捕获13亿中国消费者的心,外国公司要更加努力。苏铭天强调,中国公司正在全球大肆收购,比如收购了美国最大的猪肉生产商,这种“走出去”的战略将会让全球市场争夺战变得更加激烈。他指出:“中国公司来势汹汹,不可小觑。”

    显然,全世界的公司都把中国市场视为一座潜在的金矿,但只有和快速变化的中国文化保持同步,才有机会获得成功。(财富中文网)

    译者:Charlie

    Chinese consumers are young, ambitious, and hopeful about the future. They have no fear of losing their jobs, and they get raises of 10%-15% each year. What better place for a luxury goods manufacturer to test its wares?

    Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering (formerly PPR), told an audience at the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China on Friday that his company's brands, which include Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, and Stella McCartney, are increasingly turning to China as a testing ground for new ideas in apparel and accessories. The luxury holding company has had a presence in China for years and it's grown exponentially as China's economy has exploded: In 2005, Gucci had 5 stores in China. Today it has 71.

    "Luxury is not about Europe," Pinault said. "Luxury is linked to tradition, culture, and craftsmanship. Chinese culture has been very influential in the rest of world for centuries." Moreover, because Chinese consumers are buying high-end products at such a young age, their lifetime in the luxury market is twice as long as Kering has seen it with U.S. and European customers.

    This underscores the growing power of the Chinese consumer across all industries, not just luxury. To succeed in the global market, companies must first succeed in China. The theme of this panel was how to achieve that success.

    Pinault was joined on the stage by Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of the British advertising giant WPP, which owns marketing and public relations agencies around the globe and counts multinational giants like Unilever, P&G and Ford among its clients. China is WPP's third-largest market behind the U.S. and the U.K., and it's growing fast.

    Sorrell has observed a heated battleground in China between foreign brands, which often enter the country with very little knowledge of the local markets and at a high price point, and the increasingly important Chinese brands. China's own brands are gradually climbing up in price, and they have the distinct advantage of having the awareness of the Chinese consumer.

    "There is a mythology that China is about cheap manufacturing and stealing intellectual property," Sorrell said. "That's not the reality. The reality is that Chinese companies are beginning to understand the importance of branding."

    That means it will be harder for foreign companies to capture the hearts of the 1.3 billion Chinese consumers. Sorrell emphasized that China's acquisition strategy -- Chinese companies are buying up firms all over the world, including America's largest pork producer -- is only going to exacerbate this battle for global market share in all industries. "Chinese companies are going to be very aggressive," he said.

    China's market is clearly seen as a potential gold mine for companies all over the globe, but only those that can keep up with its fast-changing culture will have any chance of winning.

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