The brand previously worked with a local boutique agency for PR but focused on media relations.
Jeff Wang, VP of consumer practice at Weber Shandwick's Beijing office told Campaign Asia-Pacific that the client has big expansion plans in the China market. Duties will include traditional PR, but a focus will be on strengthening activities on social platforms, especially weibo; maintaining relationships with key opinion leaders; and providing business insights into China's luxury market.
Wang said the challenge for Ferragamo Parfums in China is that “the perfume market category there is very cluttered with most of top international brands like Chanel, Boss, Gucci having market presence in the country and have been very proactive and innovative in carrying out their marketing".
He cited the example of Burberry, which has been very creative and was an early user of WeChat, weibo and live broadcasting. The brand recently carried out a live broadcast on WeChat for its London Fashion Show last week to engage its Chinese fans.
Wang also pointed out that Ferragamo Parfums were not as well established and well-known as their shoes in China. The range lags in brand awarness, he said, and lacks what he described as a "hero product" like Chanel's No5 or CK's One.
According to Wang, the price tage for Ferragamo perfumes range from US$49 (RMB300) to over US$163 (RMB1000) with core customers being females over the age of 30 who appreciate quality and an elegant lifestyle. Incanto, an entry level brand, caters to younger female consumers.
Unlike most luxury clients in China which have their headquarters in Shanghai, Wang added that their primary focus will be driven from the Beijing office, as the Chinese capital has a stronger media hub in the country.
In a statement, Luciano Bertinelli, CEO of Ferragamo Parfums, said he believes Weber Shandwick’s experience and creative solutions will play a crucial role in developing the brand's PR strategy in the Chinese market.
Fendi, Mont Blanc, Coach, World Gold Council are among some of Weber Shandwick China’s current retainer clients in the luxury consumer goods category.