Shanghai Tang – Case Study
With regard to the problem of the lack of a creative director, we suggest a variety of solutions. Firstly, considering that the coordination of six designers have a vital importance in order to give compactness and homogeneity to the collections, the presence of a creative director is essential. Given the increasingly influential economic crisis , we realize that hiring a new creative director can be a huge responsibility, so we think it could be useful to make each new collection in collaboration with a famous designer from the world of luxury, as other fashion companies do. In fact, by hiring a designer who is well known and recognizable – by all types of customers in every country – not just the collection could boast a prestigious designer brand , but also would create attractiveness for new potential customers. Having a creative director would also solve the communication problems between designers and management, as a single creative director would be useful to mediate between the groups.
On one hand, the creative director could explain the collection to the management and, on the other hand, the management could redirect designers’ creations if they do not fully comply with the guidelines of the company without having misunderstanding. Finally , another valuable support to the lack of a permanent head designer may be working with cool hunters established in every country where Shanghai Tang has stores. It’s important that the mktg and retail department give correct guideline to the cool hunter in order to catch the newest style that can be joined with the chinese brand. That way, designers could have a reliable and useful feedback of the various styles and materials trends in each single country.
Another issue identified during the analysis of the Shanghai Tang case, is that the company needs a customer loyalty management in the European Union and USA. We believe that the main solution is to create different communication and experience activities based on customer segmentation. With regard to customers from 20 to 25 years old, we suggest to create a specific newsletter campaign with information and images of the top sellers (i.e. cashmere and silk sweaters, hard goods, pens or home furnishing), subsequently creating a dedicated online event, in order to lure young consumers to interact with the product and the Chinese culture . Furthermore, we suggest the launch of a mobile application through which, in a preset date, computerized sketches of the new collection are displayed and let young customers create their own custom look. This kind of activity could permit to understand the new generations’ trends according to Shanghai Tang collection. With concern to 26 to 45 years old consumers, we believe that a personal shopper service and made to order service might be useful solutions in order to have their loyalty giving them specific services that only luxury brands do. In fact, that way they can get the most out of their luxury buying experience. To finish, we also suggest the creation of events during which the can purchase new collections in advance, generally the day before the collections are officially out in stores.
The last problem we highlighted concerns how to increase the number of customers in the mainland China market . First, we believe that the most relevant issue is a survey amongst customers on the Shanghai Tang brand perception and the 5 luxury brands in their top-of-mind, in order to analyze the competitors that the company has to face in the future. Considered that the mainland China market is completely missing customers between 20 and 25 years old, our opinion is that the company should absolutely organize in-store events in collaboration with most influent chinese bloggers. During these events, shootings to be posted on the blog should take place and the bloggers serves as personal shopper, too. Moreover, Shanghai Tang may realize contests in which young customers are invited to take a picture of themselves wearing their favorite collection piece and subsequently post the photos on the fashion’s website.
The aim of the project is that the author of the most voted photo will win Shanghai Tang’s creation. With regard to the customers between 36 and 45 years old, our idea is to create in-store events in collaboration with major fashion magazines (i.e. Vogue China), during which the editors of the magazine and a professional photographer of the magazine will give the opportunity to customers to be photographed wearing an outfit of their choice and receive a free professional photo back. Fashion editors will also stand as personal shoppers, increasing the shopping experience value. Another service that we consider essential to increase the Chinese clientele is “made to order”, given that our analysis enlightens that the Chinese market demand for Westernization is not fully satisfied by Shanghai Tang designers. Finally, our suggestion is to create a newsletter dedicated to strengthen the perception of the brand and its essential characteristic of Chinese-ness. Our suggestion is to re-segment customers by the income generated in their purchase, in order to understand which customer categories impact most on Shanghai Tang’s revenue and then you can pamper them by creating, for example, VIP cluster and give them personalized services, just as luxury customers deserve.