Market opportunity assessment reports

Luxury retail service auditing

Luxury service training

Bespoke consumer events

The attraction of the Chinese market is its diversity and size. While market growth opportunities still exist for brands with strong investment capabilities to expand into the 2nd, 3rd and even 4th tier cities, an opportunity equally exists for affordable luxury brands to grow their popularity with the affluent and middle class with Chinese consumers. However the current slowing of the market growth requires an in depth understanding of the competitive landscape, and more thought as how to differentiate brand perceptions in order to maintain growth.

Market opportunity assessment reports

Over the next ten plus years, China probably offers luxury brands their largest growth potential. However, assessing that opportunity ideally requires an independent and unbiased approach, and should be based on strong current and historical local market knowledge. Often a brands local staff are heavily involved in the operations of the business and do not have the time to effectively apply to an assesment like this, and those working in Europe and the US may not possess the detailed local knowledge required to interpret and assess the data collected.

We at FDKG by comparison, are able to deliver both the detailed local knowledge and experience, and the independent and impartial approach required in order to deliver market opportunity assessments to luxury brands that review:

  • Market size and growth potential
  • Provides an analysis of the competitive landscape
  • The current business model and its performance
  • The target consumer, and their expectations
  • Future growth potential and the brand expansion landscape
  • The current retail store effectiveness

The changes in the market dynamics in 2012 have undoubtedly lead to a need to reevaluate positioning, expansion plans and consumer engagement ready for the next ten years of more controlled growth. For those brands with limited exposure in China, now could be the defining moment for their future, and a chance to take advantage of the period of consolidation that the larger and more well established brands have entered. The window of opportunity will not stay open for long, and assessing the options should be actioned very soon.

Examples of our work: • Retail market and business assessment

What many Chinese consumers want now, is not more glitzy stores, but staff who know, understand and care about the brand, and who can pass their enthusiasm onto them, appreciating that luxury is as much about service as it is about the product. The evolution in consumer knowledge and demands must be matched by an equivalent or superior evolution in the way brands interact with their customers in store and online. Investment in building more stores will not guarantee more customers, unless those whose job it is to communicate the values of the brand really appreciate that Chinese luxury consumers are smarter, have many more choices and are capable of making better informed decisions than they had in the past.

Luxury retail service auditing

In the past 18 months, Chinese luxury consumers have travelled overseas and identified that luxury service in China is considerably lower than that elsewhere in the world, yet they now still expect this service level or better back at home. As the market has become more competitive and consumers more selective, luxury brands have realized that in-store service is an area of great importance and differentiation.

Luxury service involves delivering an experience commensurate with the product and the price charged for it; it involves attention to detail and a demonstration of passion by store staff. The FDKG team all regularly mystery shop in luxury stores across all sectors to monitor service standards, and to report back on them at a general level. We also carry out brand specific mystery shopping on behalf of our clients.

For all brands operating in China, in-store service has become a major focus and a real challenge that we can help with. Our experience means that our staff clearly understand what great luxury service is and how it should be delivered.

We therefore provide the following specialist skills to our clients:

  • Regular mystery shopping visits to multiple stores
  • Pre and post training mystery shopping visits to evaluate the effectiveness of the training programme
  • Mystery shopping of your own and competitors stores, and an independent assessment of the comparative strengths and weaknesses of both
  • Advice as how to improve the delivery of luxury service in-store

Staff training thus far does not appear to have made the sort of changes to in-store luxury service that the management will have hoped for, why? Because luxury service training must be more about changing the attitude of retail staff, guiding them to them to identify and resolve the challenges they face, and create a culture that makes them feel that they are cared for and able to contribute to the retail team and the store. Fast track training will never provide sustainable growth, brands must face up to the fact that they need to focus on people development and make their staff proud of their employer and its values.

Luxury service training

Delivering luxury service in China has always been a challenge because of a generally weak service culture, and that staff working in luxury stores have very limited exposure to quality luxury service themselves. Luxury brands have known that to really differentiate themselves in the eyes of consumers as they become more sophisticated, they must make the brand experience more engaging of which luxury service is a key attribute.

Our unique experience in the Chinese luxury sector, through mystery shopping and regular interaction with luxury consumers enables us to deliver luxury service training unlike any other in China. Our approach involves working with luxury brands to implement a bespoke training programme that develops, empowers and motivates retail staff to learn through repetition and shadowing, and that is specifically tailored to the store, the team and the individuals that work there.

Our training releases an infectious passion in the staff, and a team spirit that then contributes to the luxury consumer experience in store, and creates a difference.

FDKG luxury service training programmes

  • Are tailored for the brand, the store and the team
  • Are 20% classroom and 80% in-store
  • Complete a cycle from initial assessment to final re-assessment
  • Include constant monitoring of individuals and the team both face to face and through mystery shopping

Bespoke consumer events

In previous years, many luxury brands in China have held many large-scale consumer parties and events as a method to reinforce brand status and build new connections. But now due to reduced market growth, limited budgets and greater consumer knowledge, such large and expensive activities are on the decline.

The alternative is to run more cost effective niche activities that bring consumers very close to the brand where its values and attributes can be better communicated. The objective is to keep key customers by treating them in the unique manner, and to activate them as truly valued brand ambassadors.

Our team has for a number of years run niche events and experiences for our clients. These activities are about special experiences, fine detail and communication of brand values; not marketing to the masses. Often they are used to introduce new and exclusive products or services to a select group of customers, or to demonstrate why a particular product is luxury through the materials or manufacturing process.

These events are run in a discrete venue, and typically involve

  • Meeting a designer or artisan
  • Learning how to select a type of product
  • Learning etiquette associated with a luxury lifestyle

Attendees walk away with a much stronger bond to the brand, greater knowledge about it, or about some other lifestyle values that then convert into greater loyalty and increased purchases, or recommendation to their peers.

Examples of our work: • Events