Vladimir Djurovic is the CEO of Labbrand
Based in Shanghai since 2000, Vladimir Djurovic, CEO of Labbrand, is a leading specialist in the Chinese and Asian markets. As a guest of our webinar series for the Digital Show*, he sat down to share with us some of his first post-pandemic insights.
You’re quite an informed observer of the international and in particular the Chinese market, via Labbrand, your company. Can you tell us about your business?
Labbrand was launched in 2005 with a focus on developing names and taglines for international brands, who have to use the Chinese alphabet in their translations. We quickly extended our activity to include research into the Chinese and Asian markets and consumers. Today we’re one of the leading consulting agencies, with an offer that spans brand positioning and roll-out strategy, design, digital innovation and customer-experience management.
How has this market evolved over the course of 2020, which has been such an unusual year? What has changed? What are the new consumer desires?
While e-commerce existed in China before the pandemic, it has become even more widespread over the past few years, with a 15% increase in 2020. It’ s also worth noting the massive growth of social commerce, with dedicated mini-programs on Wechat, livestreaming,… All this contributes to building an economy driven by influencers and fosters the creation of new brands. The desires of the Chinese have also shifted, with the emergence of two major preoccupations – health and the environment – which are leading them to envision changing their behaviors. These new aspirations represent new opportunities for brands. In fashion, we saw the success of the Louis Vuitton fashion show in Shanghai last summer, which featured a travelling collection, with items that can be transformed, integrating the concept of recycling. Lastly, as it’s become more difficult to travel outside China, the consumption of high-end products is growing more local, which benefits the Chinese luxury industry. This has given rise to a real step-up in creativity, a desire to innovate and be more of a pioneer, with the emergence of new brands in the beauty world in particular. Truly innovative brands such as Perfect Diary, GirlCult and others are exploring new aesthetic codes and a different relationship with femininity.
In 2025 the Chinese market is expected to become the world’s largest fashion market. What opportunities do you see in that?
I think it’s interesting to build – or strengthen – your brand with a Chinese-style strategy based on three pillars. The first is to build a community with a real rallying force. The second involves multiplying collaborations – with the public, with other brands – to make up for any weaknesses and retain a fast response time, which is crucial. Lastly, it is vital to propose experiences to help the brand establish itself as an integral lifestyle element in the lives of its customers.
What can a brand do to keep pace with its new markets? What changes need to be made?
It’ s important to build teams with young local talent as well as Chinese entrepreneurs and influencers who will know how to implement these strategies. In terms of digital sales, the brand’s positioning has to be crystal clear, with an impeccable and distinguishing customer experience. A brand’s transformation should strive to eliminate the walls between sales, marketing, customer relations and product and service innovation. Everything should be guided by one key rule – to offer collections that will appeal to younger consumers, who are looking for surprises and storytelling. Digital technology makes all this possible…
* For more information, register now to watch our Digital Talk, “The experience of the Chinese model and its impact on brands”, Thursday February 18th at 10am, during the Première Vision Paris Digital Show.
Featuring Vladimir Djurovic, and Luc Buono, Founder & Creative Director, Luc Buono Consulting hosted by journalist Karine Porret.