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How to market to wealthy Chinese millennials


Fuerdai, it’s about the status

Marketers need to understand that fuerdai are driven by ostentatious displays of wealth and status. However, with pockets lined fully with cash and little to no concern for just how much money they spend make them an ideal audience for luxury brands in China.


  • In order to market to these young consumers successfully, brands need to understand that in this instance it’s not so much about appealing to their hearts and moreso about speaking to their egos.
  • Making this market feel as if they are part of an exclusive club that is just for elites feeds their desire for status and as such VIP marketing is an instant turn-on


  • Porsche did this with it’s ‘Your VIP Day’ where customers that booked in for a service on a selected day could use WeChat to book a luxury treat and most importantly, share it with their friends and followers — and the ability to let everyone know they owned a Porsche.
  • Roger Dubuis also opted for a WeChat promotion which appealed to the Fuerdai’s extravagant aspirations, inviting users to choose between a variety of elite lifestyle choices such as, a yacht or sportscar. The assumption that they were accustomed to this level of luxury in their lives and had the ability to pay upwards of US$70,000 went straight to the heart of what matters most to this audience.


What ‘luxury’ means to this audience: In order to market successfully to this type of consumer, companies need to brand themselves and/or the products which they are trying to sell as elite, exclusive or extravagant. This will resonate most with the fuerdai as it appeals to their ego and their drive for gaining status and exclusivity.





Post-90s, it’s about the experience

The post-90’s generation of Chinese luxury consumers still has access to significant amounts of money, but want to differentiate themselves from the fuerdai. They want to be known as unique and thoughtful, and according to market research expert China Youthology, the post-90s audience seek a lifestyle which “includes both… material consumption and a growing cultural consumption. More importantly, [a] quality life must be built around personal choices and filled with one’s individual traits.”


  • Instead of giving customers what they need, luxury brands have to reflect what they want to say about themselves morally, spiritually and culturally. Above all, the post-90’s are looking for authenticity and a connection with how they live their lives.
  • British Airways and it’s “Flying the Nest” themed around a Chinese student who receives a surprise visit by her parents while studying in the UK.


  • It reflected on the myriad of emotions experienced by young people living far away in a culture entirely different from theirs, yearning for home and worrying about parents as well as wanting to experience and explore new ways of life. While the experience is luxury all the way (the student’s parents fly first class on British Airways, for example), ultimately for a post-90’s consumer it is more about that — it is about heart and home.


  • In direct contrast to Robert Dubuis’ campaign which focused on extravagant and expensive, Montblanc adopted an approach which appealed to the more spiritual and culturally invested aspect of its young audience.
  • They engaged Key Opinion Leader and astrological guru Uncle Alex to host a live streaming event to promote its Bohème collection. As part of the event, the audience was invited to type different keywords into the Montblanc WeChat account, each of which triggered a unique push message featuring the flower most associated with a specific Bohème spirit. Almost 2 million people watched the live broadcast, attracted not only by the prospect of a new luxury watch, but also by the opportunity to engage with a post-90s KOL who reflected both their demographic and their values.


What ‘luxury’ means to this audience: Luxury brands need to stand for something other than wealth and bragging value if they want to sell to this demographic. For the post-90’s generation of consumers, the traits of individuality, personality, honesty stand for far more than a flashy lifestyle ever would.




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