Red(Xiaohongshu) Marketing: Opportunities and Suggestions for Niche Bag Brands

Shilin Song Red/Xiaohongshu Marketing

RED (Xiaohongshu) is the Chinese equivalent of “Instagram,” where consumers look for new trends, OOTD (outfit of the day) ideas, and authentic reviews before buying a product. More than 70% of active users on Red are females, and 50% live in tier 1 and 2 cities. Therefore, Red is a not-to-miss platform for fashion bag brands. How to leverage Red (Xiaohongshu) for your marketing strategy?

Chinese marketing data & analytics company Endata (艺恩) recently published a Red Marketing Manual for Handbag Brands. So in this article, we will go through:

  • Overview of Fashion Bag Trends and Keywords on Red
  • Opportunities for Niche Handbag Brands
  • Our suggestions for fashion and handbag brands: how to get started and stand out from competitors 

Handbag Trends and Hot Keywords on Red (Xiaohongshu)

When it comes to handbags, Red users are brand-sensitive. 

According to Endata’s report on searches made from May 2021 to April 2022, the hottest keyword searches are about top international brands, luxury bags, and other premium brands. For example:

  • LV bags (491k searches, ranking No.3)
  • Chanel bags (423k searches, ranking No.4)
  • GUCCI bags (309k searches, ranking No.6)
  • Charles Keith bags (245k searches, ranking No.8)

For foreign brands in an early stage in China, brands need to establish a solid visual identity to stand out from competitors. Brands must also consider how the products can address consumers’ pain points. For example:

  • Is it easy to match?
  • Is it “photogenic”? 
  • Considering the color, design, material, etc., is it suitable for summer or winter?
  • Is it comfortable to go to work carrying a laptop? 
  • Is it more for holidays?

For a new foreign brand to succeed in China, you need to have a recognizable brand identity and design, actively engage with Chinese consumers, and cater to consumers’ needs.

Most Trendy Bag Brands on Red (Xiaohongshu)

Tier 1 and tier 2 foreign brands occupy the list of most trendy bag brands on Red regarding new mentions generated from 2021 May to 2022 April.

Red Xiaohongshu marketing trendy bag brands 2022

Healthy growth in social mentions can reflect a solid product-market fit in China. Engagement is also an important indicator of market interest, as potential buyers bookmark the content or ask questions before purchasing.

For new foreign brands entering China, we recommend building awareness and creating buzz by KOL (Key Opinion Leader) seeding. We can gather initial feedback from the influencers and keep improving our offer and performance.

Opportunities for Niche Bag Brands with Red (Xiaohongshu) Marketing

Besides consumers’ pursuit of well-known international luxury brands, Red users are also eager to discover niche brands.

For example, many independent designer handbag brands and other niche brands perform well on Red. Niche brands such as Bulgarian brand BY FAR, and domestic brand AMAZING SONG have higher average engagement than tier 1 international brands such as GUCCI.

Red xiaohongshu marketing trendy bag categories and opportunities for niche brands

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In terms of vertical, content about smaller products such as wallets and purses occupy 30% of the total bag category. 

Wallets and purses are usually cheaper than big bags, so consumers are more willing to try them. It’s also easier to create content and share it as a “plog” (Photo bLOG, meaning a blog primarily used to display photos.

Our Suggestions for bag brands for Red (Xiaohongshu) marketing

  • Foreign bag brands should consider the occasion and seasonality of Chinese consumers’ needs and define their potential hero products catering to these expectations. 
  • Brands should start creating some buzz by working with influencers months before an important sales event because the effect of seeding will take time to show. 
  • Chinese consumers are brand-sensitive when it comes to bags. Therefore, we must build solid branding with a recognizable design to succeed in China. 
  • There are opportunities for foreign niche bag brands, as Red users love to explore new trends and new brands. 

Looking for more about Red/Xiaohongshu marketing? You will find the below articles useful:

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