Bastion China makes senior appointment ahead of peak Chinese shopping holidays
As we gear up for China’s major shopping holiday season, including Double 11 (Singles’ Day), Double 12 and Golden Week, we are proud to announce the appointment of Savannah Zhang to the role of Account Director.
Savannah will be responsible for overseeing client strategy and results across our mix of retail, property, luxury consumer and travel clients. Based in Melbourne, she will be integral to the expansion of our business as we help Australian brands tap into the sizeable local Chinese audience, and offshore Chinese market.
Born in China, Savannah has spent the past 12 years as an intercultural strategist and marketer working across education, government investment, hospitality and consumer brands in the United Kingdom, China, Hong Kong, Macau and Australia.
She says her mission is to help Australian clients better understand the Chinese audience and the opportunities China marketing can offer.
“The local Chinese community respects and loves the quality and status of many Australian brands, yet we are frustrated that many of these brands don’t speak to us directly,” she says.
“By considering the local Chinese community as a key segment, Australian brands not only become more multicultural, but they can also open up new revenue streams. I hope to help clients and Australian brands find the way to the opportunities in China marketing and demystify this often-confusing space.”
Despite the impact of COVID-19 border closures on international tourism, education and the daigou trade, at Bastion China we are optimistic about China marketing in Australia, with upcoming major Chinese shopping holidays providing key opportunities for Australian brands to move inventory and create a lasting relationship with the local and offshore Chinese community.
Bastion China Chief Executive Richard Chapman says there are 1.5m Chinese living in Australia but few brands understand how to communicate effectively with them.
“Chinese shopping holidays are a phenomenon that few Australian brands effectively leverage but can be just as impactful – if not more so – than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year these huge in-store and online shopping events should be a part of every brand’s COVID-19 bounce back strategy and a way to form a lasting relationship with Chinese consumers, who are generally overlooked by many Australian brands,” he says.
Golden Week kicks off the festivities with China’s National Day on October 1, celebrating the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Many Chinese spend a week travelling and shopping, generating $202 billion in retail, food and beverage sales in 2018 alone – a figure up 9.5 per cent year-on-year.
This year Golden Week also aligns with the lunar calendar’s mid-Autumn Festival, a key date in Chinese culture, often signified through the gifting of Moon cakes. This holiday offers premium and luxury brands an opportunity to send a culturally appropriate gift to their clients.
Then comes Singles’ Day Shopping Festival, also known as Double 11 – in 24 hours this mammoth shopping festival has been known to raise USD $43 million, while Tmall sales figures have shown women’s fashion brands can sell up to 65 times more units on Singles’ Day compared to an average day. It was started originally to celebrate singledom but has since eclipsed Black Friday in sales volumes after Alibaba started a shopping festival around it. Many retail brands have since created their own Singles’ Day promotions, including major Australian department stores.
Double 12 Shopping Festival is the last of the shopping sprees before the year ends. Created by leading e-commerce moguls Taobao and JD.com, Double 12 on December 12 is the sequel to Double 11, which offers a great chance for brands to compete in the final sprint for consumer attention ahead of Christmas and Lunar New Year sales.
Savannah says the local Chinese community participates in these shopping events albeit online and offshore, however there is a major opportunity for Australian brands to demonstrate their relevance and understanding with Chinese shopping holiday festivals and discounts.
“By celebrating Chinese cultural festivals and holidays, Australian brands become immediately more relevant to Chinese consumers and can open up new markets and revenue streams. Right now, not many brands are doing this and that those who do, will stand out,” Ms Zhang says.
“Brands should be looking at their Chinese marketing and retail promotion strategies. How will you leverage these key shopping events to grow this consumer segment? What does your presence on Chinese social media platforms WeChat, Xiaohongshu (RED), Douyin (TikTok) and Weibo look like?”
To find out how your brand can leverage these major festivals, give us a call or drop us a line.
Bastion China new leadership and impressive client roster in second year
Bastion China, in its second year of business this year, has recently appointed a new partner along with general manager and account executive; along with winning key clients in automotive, luxury and lifestyle industries including Ferrari, Audi, F1 Australian Grand Prix, and KORA Organics in the past 12 months.
Bastion China belongs to the Bastion Collective family as the expert Chinese marketing and communications agency, helping Australian companies to connect and engage with the China market.
Jane Lu has joined as the new partner along with Tao Sheng as general manager and Leon Sun as account executive.
Jane’s previous roles included Country Manager for Juwai, the largest real estate listing online platform in China, and enterprise manager at UWEI, a popular tourism platform that facilitates Australian businesses to connect with the growing Chinese speaking tourists market; working with clients including SeaLink and Skycity Casino.
Tao Sheng joins Bastion China with 11 years specialised China-Australia marketing experience covering digital, campaign marketing, events and activations. Tao led JR Duty Free to be the first in marketing to engage major Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo, in addition to piloting a China payment solution nationally on UnionPay, Alipay and WeChat Pay. He also successfully delivered revenue in the millions of dollars on a single day sales event targeting Chinese consumers.
Leon Sun, with a great international perspective having lived in China, Paris and Sydney, comes on board to support the team in executing strategies and campaigns for Bastion China’s clients.
Bastion China has offices in Sydney and Melbourne and has largely focused on designing customised, high-impact marketing campaigns for international brands wanting to better engage with Chinese consumers both in Australian and mainland China.
Partner Jane Lu said: “I’m very optimistic and excited about the future of Bastion China. I’m lucky in that I’ve inherited a great team and an agency that is a true market leader in Chinese marketing.”
Jane sees exciting potential for Australian businesses to broaden their consumer target, not only with the Chinese community in Australia, but with the wider market in mainland China.
“With China currently experiencing a significant growth phase, Bastion China is expanding its portfolio with the support of Bastion Collective by attracting emerging Chinese companies keen to explore opportunities in the international market.”
While there was scope for both countries to explore and benefit from increased bilateral partnerships, she said the language barrier and unfamiliar business environment often deterred companies from moving forward.
For Jane, bridging the cross-cultural divide between China and Australia is key to harnessing the enormous potential in both markets. That is where she sees Bastion China as having a pivotal role to play. “Entering a new country can be a very challenging endeavour. Being a new immigrant, I definitely see the struggle – whether from a personal perspective or from the clients I have worked with over the years,” she said. “So in this way, I think Bastion China is well positioned to help companies reveal their brand message and connect with the wider public.”
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