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Elite China: Luxury Consumer Behavior in China [Kindle Edition]

Pierre Xiao Lu
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

A ground-breaking exploration of the Chinese elite's consumption of luxury products and their attitudes toward luxury goods. Elite China identifies the Chinese luxury product consumers and the characteristics of their luxury consumption, explains the implications for luxury firms and marketers and most importantly, spells out strategies for international luxury brands and Chinese luxury brands to succeed in Chinese market.

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Elite China: Luxury Consumer Behavior in China is a handbook for fashion and luxury brands to better understand the China luxury market and the Chinese consumers. It provides a deep and detailed analysis from the historical, cultural, social, economical, marketing and consumer behavioral points of view.

Focusing on the melting–pot value system of the Chinese in the 21st century, Elite china illustrates consumption behavioral characteristics of this culturally rich but newly wealthy country toward luxury goods and luxury brands.

After gaining an understanding of luxury consumer behavior and segmentation based on psychographic factors, the author invites readers to make a "market visit" to the key Chinese cities for luxury goods and explains the specificities and differences for each region, such as consumer lifestyles and their special preferences.

the book concludes with effective marketing strategies for luxury professionals to improve their companies′ performance in China, not only for established brands, but also for new brands (whether international or Chinese) who want to succeed in this booming market for luxury goods.

From the Back Cover

"Pierre Xiao Lu′s analysis of the elite consumers of china stands alone in the field. he goes beyond the usual and frequently superficial, survey–based, reviews; seeking to anchor his analysis in a detailed examination of luxury consumption in the rich and complex history of Chinese culture and society. The result is a set of new and powerful insights into the evolutionary dynamics of China′s consumer market for luxury products and brands.It is a must for business executives interest in China′s rapidly expanding luxury consumer markets."
Yuwa Hedrick–Wong

"Pierre Xiao Lu provides groundbreaking evidence on how to succeed in the Chinese luxury market. His recommendations are based not only on sound consumer research but on historical and sociological data. Entrepreneurs and companies wishing to establish a presence in the Chinese market will learn from this book how to avoid costly commercial mistakes by developing retailing and communication strategies for luxury products that relate to the positive connotations of luxury within the Chinese culture."
Concetta Lanciaux

"As the Chinese luxury market becomes increasingly important, a discerning insight into the Chinese luxury consumer behavior is of utmost importance! Pierre Xiao Lu′s book is timely and strategically vital for those who wish to succeed in the world′s biggest market. The book is very inspiring, entertaining and enriching. It is well researched, argued, and supported by evidence. It links China′s past glorious days to its present and future as one of the most sophisticated luxury markets in the world. it is highly recommended to those who want to learn more, or update their knowledge of Chinese luxury consumers."
Michel Phan

"Elite China is a very timely and incisive book which forces the reader to go beyond conventional views of the Chinese market. Lu does a very good job of describing the fascination but also the ambivalence of Chinese consumers toward luxury brand and goods. The book is well documented and offers powerful insights and a wealth of practical recommendations. It is a great read."
Christian Pinson

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2845 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (27 Dec. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006RXL6UC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #336,287 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a good book, very detail 4 Feb. 2012
It's detailed in Chinese culture and consumer demographic characteristics, I would recommend readers who are looking for these two areas!And it gives clear suggestions on how to do luxury business in Chinese market.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmatched Insight for China Marketers 20 Nov. 2008
By Joshua Campbell - Published on
I am very pleased but surprised to be the first person to review this excellent book. Elite China is not only essential reading for the luxury marketer in The Middle Kingdom, but for China marketers specializing in any industry. Author Pierre Xiao Lu combines unique insight with research-based findings. Some aspects I would like to highlight that I feel the author covers better than any China-related business book I have read include:

- Demographic names, breakdowns and characteristics of all Chinese consumers born since 1949, including defining the actual size of each market and famous Chinese stars that epitomize that group.
- The most significant dynasties (Qin, Han, Tang, Ming etc.) and their specific influence on the culture and thinking of Chinese consumers, each broken down into an easily digestible half page. This section is also particularly useful for Western marketers that need to have at least a minimal understanding of Chinese culture and history. I would argue that understanding the culture and history is key to success in China and this section of Pierre Xiao Lu's book is a great start.
- Demographic information and regional differences between the most significant Chinese cities for marketers (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu etc.), particularly written in terms of luxury consumption habits, but also delving deeper.
- China luxury consumer group names and classifications, broken down into four key groups.
- China's storied history of luxury consumption that has been stymied for the past 150 years due to a variety of influences including Confucius and other philosophies / religions, colonialism by Western powers, the Cultural Revolution etc.
- Opportunities and strategies for both multinational luxury brands active in China, as well as providing a way forward for home-grown Chinese luxury brands.

China's rapidly expanding luxury market presents unmatched opportunities as it continues to grow and expand. I highly recommend Pierre Xiao Lu's work to achieve a better understanding of the implications.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timely research on Chinese consumers and their consumer behavior in the luxury market in China 18 May 2009
By Hubert Shea - Published on
After the 2008 financial hurricane, China has overtaken US to become the second largest luxury product market following Japan. Luxury product consumption in China totaled US$8.6 billion (25% of global market share) in 2008 and despite the recent economic downturn, luxury brand owners continue to expand their presence in this market.

This 6-chapter book is a study of luxury consumers in China. Professor Lu from Fudan University's School of Management in Shanghai refutes the widely-held perception that rich Chinese consumers flaunt their wealth to buy luxury products in order to elevate their social position. Besides, it is too arbitrary to view Chinese consumers in the luxury product market as homogenous in terms of buying habits and lifestyles in different Chinese regions.

Based on a large-scale survey of modern elite class (n=314) with similar demographic characteristics (aged between 21-35, university education, and office-based professionals) in four regional Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu) and overseas Chinese societies (Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan), this book suggests that luxury products have different connotative meanings to different groups within this consumer class (P.88). Luxury intellectuals and laggards are less conspicuously oriented that luxury followers and lovers. The former believes that luxury products represent heritage, aesthetic and emotional content, and sophisticated design and superb quality whereas the latter view luxury products a representation of personal wealth and social success. The survey findings also reveal that China is not a homogenous market due to geographical, cultural, and linguistic differences in different regions (P.109). The South and East China have more luxury followers than the North. For instance, Beijing is a city with a strong culture of fine arts and consumers care more about the history and culture which underpin those luxury products but in Shanghai, consumers have "blind faith in foreign things" (P.122) and they buy luxury products if they think that others want to have them too.

In this book, Professor Lu also introduces the long history of luxury culture in China (Chapter 1) and maintains that the modern elite class possesses homogeneous traits to those of the scholar-bureaucrats of ancient China (P.4). Moreover, he examines the melting-pot consumer value systems in China nowadays (P.36-64) and explains how different successful foreign (i.e. LVMH, Dunhill, Dior, PPR-Gucci, Prada, Remy Martin) and local (Shanghai Tang, NE Tiger) luxury brand owners have adopted different marketing strategies to expand their presence in China. The conclusion chapter recommends 10 possible marketing strategies in terms of product mix, retail outlets, brand positioning, talent recruitment, and market entry strategy to foreign and local brand owners in order to strength their competitiveness in the luxury market.

This book has its own limitations. First, the survey respondent profile does not include China's super (average age is 40 or above) and vulgar (without university education and factory-based entrepreneurs) rich who are frequent consumers of top-tier luxury brand products (Ferrari, Bentley, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Hermes) in China. They are the most affluent consumer group and have very strong purchasing power so that this survey cannot represent consumer behavior of all wealthy Chinese. 90% of the respondents contained in the survey earn more than RMB5,000 per month and they can be qualified as middle class and upper-middle class instead of lower-upper class (P.74) or super-rich in such first-tier Chinese cities as Shanghai and Beijing. Therefore, the representation of the so-called modern Chinese elite class in this study remains in question. Second, Professor Lu has attempted to associate consumer behavior of the modern Chinese elite with the long history of luxury lifestyle of scholar-bureaucrats in pre-1911 China in order to justify his proposition that the consumption of luxury products is a revival of Chinese traditional luxury product consumption habits that embrace cultural values, beauty, and refined lifestyle. It is quite difficult to support his proposition that those of the respondents contained in the survey buy luxury products because they love pursuing the lifestyle of scholar-bureaucrats in ancient China. Third, Professor Lu finds that Eemenegildo Zegna is the most popular brand of choice for senior government officials that lower-rank officials would like to imitate (P.29). This finding might reflect the prevalence of corruption in China because with a relatively low salary of most of the government officials as compared with people working in the private sector, it is difficult to imagine that they are target consumers of this top-notch Italian premium product.

Despite its limitations, this book is still relevant to luxury brand owners and marketers who wish to establish a presence in this sizeable and potential consumer market in China.
1.0 out of 5 stars Really Boring 14 Nov. 2012
By Catchy Phrases - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the Book much more a University Study where Professor Lu from the Fudan University's School of Management in Shanghai deploys a lot of Surveys, Statistics and Demographics.

The Section about how different luxury brands succeeded in building their Marketing presence in China, is very Academic. Maybe Too much. I was expecting a more vibrant text, with extraordinary examples to show us and a Medley of Amazing Strategies. I found the book, relevant to the Chinese Luxury Market, but I would recommend it only for a more Academic Approach.
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