Fashion brands

Singles Day: Chinese fashion brands are eclipsing the rest

We recently analyzed social media data from China to determine which fashion brands generated the most buzz on Singles Day 2021. Analysis found that Chinese people are increasingly interested in brands national Chinese. A still little-known Chinese brand managed to generate by far the most buzz at the biggest shopping party in the world.

As in previous years, Chinese e-commerce platforms celebrated record sales after Singles Day. Combined Alibaba and JD Sales Hit $ 139 Billion – an increase of 35% over one year.

One of the important product categories on Singles Day in terms of sales volume is fashion. A survey found that most Chinese consumers who plan to spend money on Singles Day are more interested in fashion-related offers.

Against this background, we at TD Reply, a Berlin-based marketing and innovation consultancy, researched which fashion brands could attract the most attention or “buzz” among Chinese internet users.

Buzz represents the number of brand mentions in online discussions on social media, e-commerce and other platforms. The share of buzz for all relevant brands in a category reveals which brands are getting the most attention compared to the competition. This metric can be a viable first indicator for brand awareness and sales success, which is especially true in the context of shopping vacations.

We studied the share of buzz of fashion brands in the premium segment (clothing, footwear and accessories brands, excluding cosmetics brands) on the most important Chinese social media and e-commerce platforms. Based on this analysis, we ranked the top ten fashion brands that garnered the most attention on Singles Day in China.

The down jacket brand outperforms the competition

Although little known in the West, the Chinese brand Bosideng managed to attract the most attention by far, with a buzz share of 36.2%. In China, the brand is mainly known for its down jackets. The significant portion of Bosideng’s buzz is clearly reflected in the brand’s sales figures. During this year’s Singles Day, Bosideng became the Top-selling fashion brand on China’s largest B2C sales platform, Tmall (part of Alibaba Group). Compared to last year, it reportedly set a new sales record with total sales of over 2 billion yuan across all channels.

Gucci is the second most discussed brand (18.2% buzz share). Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning (4.5%) ranks third. Interestingly, a total of four Chinese fashion brands are on the list. Besides Bosideng and Li-Ning, Chinese sunglasses brand Bolon (1.9%, 8th position) and Chinese sportswear brand Anta Sports (1.4%, 10th position) are also in the top ten. Chinese brands are the source of 48.1% of the buzz across all brands. Italian brands follow with a 29.5% share of the total buzz.

Chinese generation Z favors national brands

These results reflect a long-term trend: domestic brands are gaining popularity in China. A similar analysis we conducted last year (focusing on auto brands) showed that in China, domestic brands are already outperforming their Western competitors in terms of buzz. A growing acceptance of Chinese brands among Chinese Gen Z could be at least partly responsible for this trend.

A recent white paper published by the Berlin streetwear platform Highsnobiety together with TD Reply takes a closer look at this phenomenon.

Young Chinese are much more patriotic when it comes to national brands than their parents were. For them, it is crucial that a brand is firmly anchored in the Chinese cultural context, or at least shows a particularly high understanding of local cultural codes.

This is obviously something difficult for Western brands to achieve, but it is not impossible either. For example, we have noticed that Gucci and Louis Vuitton are greeted with a very positive response from Chinese youth, and thoughtful and culturally resonant marketing activities are a big part of the whole story. Both brands are also in the top ten, despite their luxury prices.

Anja Kielmann, Senior Manager at TD Reply.