The Swiss jeweller and watchmaker raced ahead of the pack on Chinese digital platforms with its announcement of singer Roy Wang attending its opening day press conference.

Seen as the biggest industry event of the year, annual watch and jewellery exposition Baselworld brings together journalists, retailers and consumers from all around the globe. Naturally, making a splash is key for all participating brands – but that is easier said than done considering the amount of noise generated on media platforms during the period.

So how do brands stand out from the rest? Swiss jeweller and watchmaker Chopard seems to have found the answer, as data collected by the DLG China WOM Index shows. Based on data collected from Baidu search, WeChat and Weibo, the mobile tool offers a quick overview of luxury watch brands’ word-of-mouth performance in China. A snapshot from the press day of Baselworld shows that Chopard won out the other brands in terms of share of voice on these channels, by a long shot.

 

 

Generating Exposure

A quick search on the tool shows that just prior to the opening of Baselworld, Chopard announced that it would be inviting Chinese singer Roy Wang (of TF Boys fame) to its press conference on 22 March. Wang, who was also named in Time’s list of 30 Most Influential Teens in 2017, was slated to do a live streaming of the entire event. Given his huge fan base in China, much interest about the brand was generated on digital platforms in China. On 21 March, the brand’s share of voice on Baidu, WeChat and Weibo accounted for about 21.4% of the total (out of 23 Baselworld participating brands tracked by the China WOM Index).

The brand communicated about its commitment to sustainability at this conference, and pledged that as of July 2018, Chopard gold will be responsibly sourced artisanal freshly-mined gold from small-scale mines participating in the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), Fair-mined and Fairtrade schemes, or the RJC Chain of Custody gold (through Chopard’s partnership with RJC-certified refineries).

Besides Wang, Chopard also invited long-term supporters and Friends of the Brand Colin and Livia Firth, Julianne Moore, models and activists Arizona Muse and Noella Coursaris. However, it was Wang that generated the most exposure on Chinese digital platforms – indicating that in order to make an impact on a Chinese audience, leveraging relatable Chinese celebrities is key.

 

Image: Living It by Euro News

 

Leveraging Weibo

A quick look at the platform filters on the tool showed that the bulk of this came from Weibo, where the brand’s share of voice was the highest. On 21 March, the brand’s share of voice on Weibo hit a high of almost 60%. Interestingly, figures for the previous day, before the announcement of Wang’s appearance and schedule at Baselworld, was much lower at about 3% of the total. This points to the announcement of Wang’s participation in the press conference as the key driver of this increase in share of voice.

 

 

The brand’s performance on WeChat remained consistent at about 3% on both 20 and 21 March, indicating that Weibo is in fact the channel to communicate about celebrity and entertainment-related news. In contrast, WeChat appears to be favoured for more product-driven content. As such, brands that top the charts here are known for taking a more serious, product-driven approach to communicating about Baselworld. They include Rolex, Omega and Longines.

 

 

Do Buzz Volumes Drive Search?

While Chopard did well on Weibo with its use of a Chinese celebrity during its press conference, this did not quite translate in terms of Baidu search rankings. This raises the question of whether buzz volumes actually help to drive active interest in the brand. How then, can brands then better leverage this?

 

 

While celebrities undoubtedly drive exposure, it is important for brands to follow up from there so as to ensure that this will eventually create qualified leads and ultimately generate sales for the brand. That said, the quality of celebrity chosen is the first and most important step to achieving this and Chopard’s win with Wang – as displayed by the incredible results it garnered on Chinese social media – is as good a start as any.

“We are honoured that Chopard’s long lasting commitment towards sustainable luxury generated such a strong interest among the Chinese community. This very commitment has naturally driven Roy Wang’s interest for the Chopard Maison, to support our efforts towards sustainable luxury,” says the brand. “His huge popularity combined with his own commitment in the field of sustainability created a momentum that clearly raised awareness on Chopard as soon as we started to mention his support.”

 

Edit: The free trial for the China WOM Index ended after Baselworld. More updates about the tool will be released at a later date.


About the author

Lydianne Yap

Editor, China , Luxury Society

Lydianne Yap is the Editor, China, of Luxury Society. Previously based in Singapore at luxury lifestyle publication Prestige, Lydianne now creates China-related content across a broad range of topics. Experienced in dealing with both brands and consumers in the luxury industry, Lydianne is also Marketing & Communications Director at DLG China.