Cross-brand collaborations are fast becoming an essential tactic for companies in China. They help brands connect with new audiences, increase brand awareness, and showcase their willingness to push new boundaries.
Also, cross-brand collaborations are particularly effective in activating Gen Z buyers, helping attract younger audiences to participate and engage on social media.
In addition, brands that combine KOL marketing in China and work with KOLs to generate more brand awareness for their marketing campaigns, especially in the fashion, luxury, and beauty industries.
So, with that said, let’s take a look at some exciting and successful cross-brand campaigns? Hopefully, they’ll provide you with some inspiration and ideas on targeting Gen Z in China!
In this article you’ll learn…
BELLE’s creative cross-brand collaborations helps reach new consumers.
BeLLe International owns more than ten shoe brands, including BELLE, STACCATO, TATA, 73Hours, TEENMIX, and BASTO, and has proved particularly effective at attracting young customers through its novel and interesting campaign launches.
Here are a few examples:
- TEENMIX co-branded with the popular IP Chi-bi Maruko, incorporating the classic elements of Maruko into its shoe collection.
- TATA co-branded with the game IP “Mr. Love: Queen’s Choice”, enabling them to tap into the mobile game player audience.
- SENDA co-branded with SAFS (Shanghai Animation Film Studio), launching the series “Creates Havoc in Heaven”.
- STACCATO joined up with CASC (China Aerospace), launching a series of limited cross-collaboration SHINING INTO SPACE shoes and bags.
In April 2021, BeLLe launched a collaboration with SpongeBob SquarePants. Firstly, the brand released a video of spokesperson Li Yuchun to announce the partnership and sale of co-branded products. SpongeBob’s voice actor Chen Hao was also invited to present the original unpacking video. Pop Star Zhang Xiaofei also released a teaser article on Weibo. Subsequently, Belle opened a co-branded pop-up store in Shenzhen, attracting KOLs from Weibo and Xiaohongshu to post and showcase the co-branded outfits, attracting many young consumers.
Using our China KOL Analytics Platform, we can see that BeLLe (keyword: Spongebob Squarepants) promoted the campaign primarily on Weibo, RED, and Bilibili. 7 of the Top 10 KOLs were top KOLs on Weibo (ranked by MIV®) with most of the content posted around visiting the BeLLe flash store in Shenzhen.
It is worth mentioning that the video released by Bilibili KOL @六月小miumiu received more than 4,000 likes and nearly 70,000 clicks, in which the theme is imitating different characters dressing in Spongebob Squarepants. The other video that was well-received was also on the topic of daily wear tutorials, and these two videos contributed nearly 10% of the campaign’s total MIV®.
This cross-brand collaboration product was first launched on Juhuasuan Happy Gathering Day (a Chinese e-commerce shopping day) and the sales on the first day ranked top 3 throughout the year, next only to the 618 and Double 11 Shopping festivals, and the number of sales doubled from Happy Gathering Day in 2021.
Beauty brands x Chines bubble tea brands
As early as 2018, the Chinese bubble tea brand HEYTEA and L’Oréal Paris launched a joint lipstick gift box – a collaboration warmly welcomed by Chinese consumers.
Subsequently, MARIE DALGAR also looked to follow suit, collaborating with HEYTEA and launching a special gift box. LELECHA also launched “Bilberry Lazy Tea” and “Green Tea Bilberry Mask” together with beauty brand CHANDO. Similarly, Estée Lauder joined forces with tea brand NAYUKI to launch a new “hello sister” gift box, which contains two new product coupons for NAYUKI and two customized Estée Lauder lipsticks.
In April 2020, Fenty Beauty, a cosmetics brand founded by singer Rihanna, had not yet opened offline stores on the mainland. So when it collaborated with Chinese bubble tea brand Heytea to promote its new Checks Out cream blush collection, it successfully attracted Millennials and Gen Z who “rely on bubble tea to survive”, and the collaboration became a hot talking point on Weibo.
Using our China KOL Analytics Platform, we can see that from April 29 to June 25 2020, Fenty Beauty (keyword: HEYTEA) was mentioned by 48 KOLs in 55 articles on Weibo, RED, Douyin, and other platforms, and the engagement reached 72,000, creating a Media Impact Value™ of 1.76 million RMB.
Among them, RED KOL @晚安奈奈, Weibo KOL @周小晨kiki, WeChat KOL @澄澄ok的, @Nancy时尚笔记, etc. have been widely shared and discussed on social media platforms.
Luxury Brands entering the Metaverse
French luxury brand Balenciaga and Italian luxury brand Moncler successively cooperated with “Fortnite” – a widely popular Free-to Play online game developed by American video game company Epic Games.
Balenciaga designed new clothes for the game’s most popular characters, including backpacks, scarves, and other accessories. They also opened an in-game retail store to display the new clothes on virtual billboards. Balenciaga also launched a limited-edition physical clothing line consisting of a series of hats, T-shirts, hoodies, and jackets. Moncler released a set of virtual costumes and accessories in the game’s item store.
Last year, Gucci and Roblox also teamed up for a virtual exhibition. Players on Roblox can buy digital models of Gucci products with a small amount of in-game currency.
Prada cooperates with ski brands amid the “Winter Olympic Games” upsurge
The emergence of ski fever in the past two years has made luxury brands aim at the ski market. Taking advantage of the Winter Olympics, Prada opened a “Prada on Ice” limited-time store in Beijing to release its exclusive Winter Olympics series.
The new collection – Prada Linea Rossa – saw the brand collaborate with professional ski brands Faction Skis and ASPENX to innovate ski apparel products. During the Winter Olympics, 24-year-old American snowboarder Julia Marino won the silver medal in the Ladies’ Slopestyle Final on a Prada snowboard, and the brand successfully gained attention.
Again, using our China KOL Analytics Platform, Prada (keyword: skiing) was mentioned by 85 KOLs in 108 posts on Weibo, RED, Douyin, and other social media platforms creating a MIV® of 4.4 million RMB.
In this marketing campaign, KOLs contributed nearly half of the MIV® via WeChat, with 40% of posts being published by top KOLs. The top KOL @AvaFoo本人 published two posts, which received a total of 200,000 views and 25,000 Likes, with an engagement rate of 24.38‰, ranking second in MIV®.