Chanel or Louis Vuitton? Who’s the Weibo Champion?

During our last guest post in Market Me China we analyzed how a ‘made in Italy’ brand like Bottega Veneta made its move into China, and how the brand is continuously seeking a clear understanding of the Chinese consumer to create an emotional connection with them. The findings were so interesting that there was a need to continue on analyzing Western brands and their performance on Weibo, but this time we change the spotlight on  two of the most recognized luxury French brands in China, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Famous from their heritage, these two French brands have been smart and brilliant innovators to win a place among the Chinese consumers preferences, this can be seen not only on the streets with Chinese consumers carrying the iconic 2.55 Chanel handbag or wearing some item with the traditional Louis Vuitton monogram, but also in the Chinese digital media scene.

Chanel Chinese element2

Chanel has overtaken Louis Vuitton in China

Back in June of this year there was a big buzz about the rank published by the Digital Luxury Group stating that Chanel overtook Louis Vuitton as the most digitally “sought-after” fashion brand in China.  According to the publication Chanel strategy is to have a measured approach to China expansion aiming to remain exclusive, while Louis Vuitton on the other hand has become overexposed.

Taking as a starting point the affirmation that Chanel has overtaken Louis Vuitton, we decided to drill down on Fashionbi Weibo Reports. Selecting a time frame for July of this year (a month after the news was released), the purpose was to discover if this affirmation will also match for the brands performance on Weibo, the most popular Chinese microblogging website.

Let’s take a look at the findings and start wit the Brand Activity registered for the two brands in the selected period. According to Fashionbi Weibo Report, Chanel did 13 official Weibo posts and 0 reposts, while Louis Vuitton’s Activity shows 24 official Weibo posts and 5 reposts.

Now let’s see how many reactions they were able to get from the users, in this case the winner is Louis Vuitton with 556 comments while Chanel had 299 comments in total. On the other hand in terms of reposts Chanel takes the crown with 3366 shares, while Louis Vuitton only reached to 2366.

Moreover we wanted to know how many followers the two brands had by the end of the period, Chanel 568566  again was beating Louis Vuitton and its 457402 followers. However, let’s face it the number of followers that a luxury brand has on Weibo does not translate to an active and engaging group of followers.

Ok, but now you must be wondering in terms of activity and engagement on Weibo for the two French brands, who is the real winner?  It can be determined only by looking at the Weibo Impact , which is an overview of the average reactions made by the followers per Weibo post of the brand.  According to the reports, the winner is Chanel scoring an Impact of 82.98 average reactions per action, versus 42.93 scored by Louis Vuitton’s.

Finally we can say that in terms of Weibo performance, the affirmation about ‘Chanel has overtaken Louis Vuitton in China’ is now confirmed. Our research shows that Chanel’s followers are truly engaging with the brand, it can be seen on its Weibo Impact and also in the high number of re-shares that its activity gained.

How is it possible that the first global brand joining Weibo as it was Louis Vuitton is loosing its power to engage people? One word: content !

Different from Louis Vuitton, is that Chanel is constantly posting video content where they focus on the craftsmanship of the products in France, allowing followers to experience a real look into the French culture. The same can be appreciated looking back at the brands timeline when they decided to open a Weibo account to promote Culture, through its exhibition at Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Another important difference that gives Chanel an advantage versus Louis Vuitton is the beauty products range. The brand’s beauty products are very popular among Chinese consumers , as a result Chanel promotes them through different content in the Weibo page

To conclude it can be said that Louis Vuitton needs to change the content strategy for Weibo, to a different one that can make their voice heard online and increase the awareness, acceptance and the buzz generated through it.  On the other hand Chanel will still facing the challenge to maintain the right balance generating revenue and keeping the rarity and perception of exclusiveness that it has today among Chinese consumers.

Many thanks to Fashionbi for another insightful article on the performance of Chanel and Louis Vuitton when using the Weibo social media platform in China.

Contact us for a chat on how your brand can use Weibo for your marketing needs.


Contribution by Marivi Avalos Monarrez, Marketing Manager at Fashionbi. Fashionbi is the world leader in Digital Marketing Optimization for the Fashion and Luxury industry. Fashionbi empowers and enables fashion digital marketers to take smart decisions on their website, mobile, and social media.