by Hui Zhang
The Palace Museum in Beijing, also known as the Forbidden City, has tapped into a growing demand among younger consumers for stylish products with a twist on traditional Chinese cultural elements. Through a partnership with JD, the age-old brand has been able to more precisely target consumers and expand reach for its own products designed in this style, resulting in 100% sales growth in June year-on-year since the Forbidden City brand launched last year.
As part of the partnership, JD leveraged big data and market insights, as well as a huge ecosystem of brand partners to organize joint marketing promotions among different brands that share a similar traditional Chinese design style, including household daily use, furniture and building materials. These joint promotion efforts have driven traffic and sales for both the Forbidden City brand and the participating brands.
Additionally, JD offers a consumer base of loyal, high-income shoppers with strong consumption power, which is well suited for the Forbidden City’s consumer demographic. According to JD’s data, consumers who purchase the Forbidden City products are on average 26-35 years old, and mostly concentrated in Beijing, Guangdong province, and Sichuan province; with white-collar workers accounting for 84.81%.
The partnership has proved massively successful, with sales of the brand quadrupling year-on-year on both June 1st and 9th, and sales on June 18th reaching 12 times that of the same period last year. Among the Forbidden City products sold on JD, best-sellers include lipsticks, book lamps and cat-shaped cups.
During the holiday seasons, many consumers would buy Forbidden City products as gifts, due to their unique cultural designs and premium quality. One of the top priorities for gift givers is ensuring that the gift reaches the recipient in time. Leveraging the overall strength of its nationwide logistics network, JD makes it possible for consumers to receive products the same day or next day, which is essential during holidays such as New Year and Valentine’s Day.
In addition to other promotion efforts, JD and the Forbidden City organized several livestreams about Chinese culture through JD’s livestreaming platform during the pandemic to give consumers a taste of Chinese traditional culture without leaving home. On October 10th. JD invited a researcher from the Forbidden City to discuss interesting historical stories from almost 600 years ago. The Forbidden City was started to build in 1369.
JD first set up a special channel to sell culture-related products in 2018, including products from heritage brands with a long history, museum-affiliated products and art. Over 50% of the consumers buying such products were born after 1990, with more than 74% of them coming from 1st and 2nd tier cities in China. JD aims to continue efforts to bring traditional culture to people’s daily life by exploring cooperation with artists, museums, and other institutions.