In January 2017, Scottish leather handbag brand, Strathberry, partnered with top Chinese fashion blogger, Mr. Bags, by launching a Chinese New Year themed range. The series was released globally. As reported by ifeng.com, all 400 limited edition bags sold out within the first three hours, with the most popular bags, MC NANP, selling out within the first minute. The month after, Mr. Bags worked with Givenchy to promote their 2016 handbag line ‘Horizon’ which featured 80 limited edition bags, costing RMB14,9000 (USD 2164) each. The exclusive range were snapped up within 12 minutes of being released online.
At the start of May, Burberry invited Mr. Bags for an exclusive launch of their limited color handbag DK88 on WeChat. The bag was also released in the US the same day. The limited color handbag selected by Mr. Bags is called ‘Bright Toffee’. There are four other colors available on Burberry’s official WeChat store.
As Mr. Bags mentioned in his WeChat article: “The two words that can truly make handbag aficionados, or ‘stans’, truly excited are new releases and limited edition.” A WeChat article titled “What Is the Mr. Bags X Burberry limited color” received almost 70,000 unique views. Although the actual sales results are not revealed, the limited color edition handbags (RMB18.500 or USD 2687) were sold out a long time ago.
In April, Mr Bags started the warm up promotion by introducing Burberry’s D88 handbag on his Weibo account.
As part of the WeChat promotion campaign, Burberry also designed a WeChat game that uses the shake function of smartphones. The game, with each shake, reveals a new bag color along with a description on the character of the person that is doing the shaking. For example, those who pick pink are ‘passionate’ and ‘optimistic,’ while blue lovers are ‘gentle, delicate, elegant, and quiet.’
After selecting the color and clicking on the key icon underneath, users can make the online payment by using Alipay, WeChat payment and UnionPay to purchase the goods on Burberry’s WeChat store.
To increase its influence, Mr Bags also invited fans to share the campaign article and send a print screen to him for a lucky draw.
Who is Mr. Bags
Mr. Bags’s name is Liang Tao. He has a master’s degree from Columbia University and is one of the most influential fashion blogger/KOL in China, with more than 2.89 million fans on Weibo and over 1.09m active followers on WeChat (according to Newrank search). Two articles posted (from a total of five) have achieved over 100,000 unique views over seven days (May 2nd to May 9th) and a WeChat post usually reaches on average of 83.462.3 unique views.
Source: Newsrank search
During the interview with Business of Fashion, Mr. Bags said the purpose of his blog is to share useful information with his friends. Starting in 2011, he created his first Mr. Bags social media account on Renren.com, and become very popular quickly. His first article reached over 1,000 shares and was titled “Those beautiful but affordable bags“ and discussed luxury handbags priced below RMB10,000.
In 2016, Mr. Bags was the first Asian blogger to be invited to the Victoria’s Secret show in Paris. In January 2017, Exane BNP Paribas’ released a report called “The Shopping Guide: Bloggers in China “ and Mr. Bags ranked number three after two other fashion bloggers, Gogoboi and Dipsy.
The top 10 fashion bloggers ranked by Exane BNP Paribas based on their number of Weibo followers. (Source: Luxury society.com)
According to an ifeng.com report , Mr Bags promoted Longchamp and collectively sold over 1,000 LE PLIAGE® CUIR handbags, achieving RMB 4 million sales. This is close to half a year’s sales made by the Longchamp Shanghai flagship store.
In 2016, Dior promoted the Lady Dior bags on WeChat to commemorate the upcoming Qixi Festival, the Chinese equivalent to Valentine’s Day. The pink-colored bag would have been available online until Thursday at a price of 28,000 yuan ($ 4,217), however all 200 handbags were sold out within few hours on the first day of the marketing campaign. Over a 12 hour period, Mr, Bags’s fans bought 110 of them. Based on RewardStyle’s data, during peak time, Mr. Bags is able to achieve over USD 1 million sales for e-commerce sites.