“China has transformed in the past decade to become the key luxury market with 20 million new consumers of luxury goods. Targeting these consumers and introducing them to wool presents a once in generation opportunity for the wool industry.”
Australian Wool Innovation CEO,
Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI) developed the China Luxury Program to re-introduce wool to new affluent consumers and reposition it as a contemporary, high-quality fibre for women. Using strategic partnerships, the program has helped revitalise this critical international market.
China is the most important luxury and quality apparel market for Australian wool. Wool is often misperceived as an old man’s fibre, hence the renewed focus to re-introduce wool to consumers in new market segments, including as a high-quality fibre for women where it is seen as stylish, elegant, tasteful and relevant to contemporary fashion.
In 2012, AWI invested $3.2 million over two years in the China Luxury Program, engaging several emerging designers to develop a range of luxury wool garments that would inspire consumers in this target segment. AWI launched marketing activities to enhance consumer perceptions of wool as a quality fibre, and to drive purchases of wool garments created by the partner designers. Specific activities included:
- Training and education support for partner designers
- A television series documenting the journey of six designers creating fashionable garments for selected celebrities (Chinese female role models)
- Media exposure for the television series
- Provision of information on wool attributes and tips for easy care
- Support for sales of designer ranges through pop-up stores
The China Luxury Program has an estimated benefit of up to $11.3 million to Australian growers in increased wool sales. This equates to a return of up to $3.80 on every dollar invested.
Benefits continue to flow to Australian woolgrowers with the program resulting in successfully developing new market segments of affluent Chinese consumers.
AWI continues demand-building programs in this vital market for Australian wool producers, partnering with existing global and local brands at the top end of the fashion apparel market.