Thursday, 2 September 2010

Luxury Brands & Corporate Social Responsibility in China- philanthropy, or good public relations? 2/9/10

As the MO Down has already touched on in the past few weeks, China is set to become the world’s largest consumer of luxury goods by the year 2015. As far as the Chinese market is concerned, brands may be forced to, quite literally, help people eat, or be eaten.

Luxury brands will need to compete to assert themselves in this increasingly lucrative market, and it will be interesting to see how they realise the image potential that lies in their CSR. Personal philanthropy is all the rage for the Chinese elite at the moment, and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of corporate generosity- or lack thereof.

A survey of 1100 shoppers in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, conducted by Albatross Global Solutions and Ruder Finn Asia, found that CSR would influence brand loyalty in 2/3 cases. This seems a golden opportunity for brands to capitalise on doing good. The ‘nouveau riche’ of China are indulging in luxury brands and flaunting their status to distinguish themselves, but are likewise under enormous social pressure to be charitable. As luxury, status and charity become inextricably linked in China, luxury brands will be scrutinised, and perhaps crazy, for not following suit.

Several luxury brands have already showed initiative- Bulgari released a ‘save the children’ charity ring, and Gucci have switched to environmentally friendly packaging. See It seems that the title of most charitable luxury brand may become a coveted one- May the best man win!

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1 comment:

Jing Daily said...

Great article! We recently reported on this as well, and along with CSR, personal philanthropy should become a growing trend. Visible charitable giving will be a characteristic of the country's "new nobility" as they begin to use this channel to show the public their contributions to society and distinguish themselves among their peers. As Nels Frye presciently told Jing Daily earlier this year, in the months and years ahead, “Charity [in China] will become one of the main subjects of conversation and it will start to be a loss of face for anyone with any money not to be giving.”

Who's behind the MO DOWN

Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury,