The following is an excerpt from Jing Daily’s market report “The Secrets of Selling Hard Luxury to Chinese Generation Z”. Comprising 73 pages of market research, interviews with industry insiders and brand executives, and revenue-driving consumer insights, the report is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand – and effectively achieve – the next generation of luxury watch and jewelry buyers in China. . Get your copy today on our Reports page.
Globally, Gen Z’s growing environmental consciousness is leading them to demand more from brands than previous generations, even millennials. According to a December 2019 survey by First Insight, the majority of Gen Z consumers prefer to buy sustainable brands and are willing to spend 10% more on sustainable products. Another 2020 survey by consultancy DoSomething found that 75% of Gen Z respondents wanted evidence that brands ensured employee and consumer safety, with DoSomething noting: “If [brands] are not genuine, Gen Z will be the first to raise a red flag.
In China, opinions are mixed on the extent to which sustainability and environmentalism drive the buying decisions of Chinese Gen Zers. A 2019 survey by consultancy OC&C of 15,500 respondents from nine countries found that 25% of Gen Zers surveyed in China were more concerned about eco-friendly consumption, nearly double the global average. by 13%.
However, interest in sustainable products is very uneven among young Chinese consumers, with the main focus on segments such as food and beverage, beauty and skincare, both of which have experienced numerous high-profile product safety controversies over the past decade.
As Jessie Lee, senior strategy consultant at OrgHive, told Jing Daily, “[Gen Z’s] the move towards conscious consumerism is mainly driven by their health concerns with safe, natural and/or organic materials due to the plethora of counterfeiting scandals in China in previous years. Eager to boost their sustainability credentials, a growing number of luxury brands are now encouraging the use of recycled materials, efforts to reduce their carbon footprint or general environmental awareness in China.
An example is the 2021 “Trees” eco-friendly exhibition organized by the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in collaboration with the Shanghai Power Station of Art, which included more than 200 multidisciplinary works of art by 30 artists from around the world and featured a live panel discussion via Cartier’s Weibo and WeChat accounts. While the campaign’s hashtags, #MyTree and #TreeExhibition, generated more than 11 million mentions combined, the event only generated modest traffic on Cartier’s social media. However, the audience reaction has been generally positive, indicating that this type of event is attracting the attention of Chinese Millennials and Gen Z.
According to a sustainability report from Impact Hub Shanghai, China’s young green consumers remain somewhat elusive, with 71% of respondents saying they want to support sustainable products, but only 29% having purchased them. The survey noted that other factors – primarily good design, high quality and durability, and overall e-commerce experience – were also at the forefront of consumer concerns.
In the luxury segment, interest in sustainability is growing among Gen Z and is evident in more and more consumers holding luxury brands accountable for their environmental impact. According to Carson Chan, “I have to say that the change in sustainability is something Gen Z are paying attention to. brands are beginning to implement RJC (Responsible Jewelery Council) and Fairmined guidelines when producing high-end watches and jewelry.
One of the brands taking this approach is Milan-based Pomellato. As CEO Sabina Belli notes, “Sustainability is a topic that has gained traction in China and we emphasize that our jewelry is made from 100% responsible gold,” adding that Pomellato is also a member of the RJC.
Get your copy of “Secrets of Hard Selling Luxury to Chinese Gen Z” today on our Reports page.