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Insight of the Day: China’s new luxury marketing frontier: Mysticism

The growing interest in astrology, divination, and superstition in China is leading to a fascinating trend: consumers are attributing fantastical powers to luxury goods. This trend is fueled by:

  • Social Media: Platforms like Weibo, Douyin, and Xiaohongshu are rife with discussions about esoteric beliefs, amplifying the perceived power of these luxury items.

  • Economic Downturn: Young people, seeking ways to cope with stress and uncertainty, are drawn to the hope and luck promised by these beliefs.

  • Cultural Zeitgeist: There's a revival of traditional Chinese beliefs and practices, creating a fertile ground for "metaphysical" marketing.

Brands are capitalizing on this trend through "mystical marketing":

  • Gucci: Publishes monthly horoscopes and pushes related products.

  • Dior: Leverages the butterfly motif, associated with wealth and good fortune in Feng Shui.

  • Van Cleef & Arpels: Promotes its four-leaf clover design as a symbol of luck.

This trend raises several questions:

  • Ethical Concerns: Is it ethical for brands to exploit superstitions for profit?

  • Efficacy: Does mystical marketing actually work? Does it lead to increased sales?

  • Longevity: Is this trend sustainable, or will it fade as quickly as it emerged?

In conclusion:

The trend of ascribing fantastical powers to luxury goods is a fascinating intersection of consumerism, superstition, and marketing. While it presents opportunities for brands to connect with consumers on a deeper level, it also raises ethical concerns and questions about its long-term viability. As consumers become more discerning, brands will need to tread carefully to avoid alienating their audience.

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