Gucci announced it is launching on the short video app platform Douyin — the Chinese version of TikTok. Kering’s crown jewel will follow Prada on to the platform, which is reported to have over 400 million daily users. Launched in 2016 by parent company Bytedance, Douyin is more advanced than its global counterpart, in particular in the area of e-commerce. The channel will see Gucci sharing brand legacy videos and stories to attract a teenage audience with money to spend. It’s hardly a surprise, then, to see an innovative luxury leader like Gucci move into this sector given its reliance on Chinese Gen Zers.
The Jing Take:
Gucci sales figures were shown to have plummeted in the latest financial report for Q1 in 2020 from Kering. Up until recently, Gucci had been on a seemingly unstoppable rise under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele. In reality, however, sales have been on a slight decline since late 2018. The appointment of Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta, alongside other exciting power moves at luxury brands outside Kering’s group, such as Prada and Louis Vuitton, have further distracted Gucci’s target market.
As for Douyin, it’s an organic expansion of Gucci’s precocious China strategy that aims to build and diversity its online community. While other luxury brands like Valentino and Marc Jacobs have announced collection launches for the e-game, Animal Crossing (currently unavailable in China), Gucci is leading the pack by opting to tap into the popularity of video and livestreaming in China. The move further illustrates that Gucci is willing to change in order to retain — and increase — consumers. The verdict? It should be a hit among its biggest fans — Chinese millennials and Gen Zers who love short-video formats.
The Jing Take reports on a leading piece of news while presenting our editorial team’s analysis of its key implications for the luxury industry. In this recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debates that sprout up on Chinese social media.