TikTok vs Douyin: What luxury brands need to know

With TikTok now firmly entrenched in luxury’s marketing playbook, its Chinese counterpart, Douyin, is rising as one to watch. But brands should avoid a one-size-fits-all approach.

With TikTok boasting over 1 billion monthly active users and Douyin claiming 750 million, the ByteDance-owned short-form video apps are eclipsing their competitors.

But mastering the two platforms is a delicate dance. Douyin, China’s equivalent of TikTok, is emerging as a powerful force in its own right across the mainland, with its own Chinese cultural nuances and local consumer preferences.

To succeed on both channels, a copy-and-paste route isn’t an effective shortcut, marketing and communications specialist Federica Ingrosso tells Jing Daily, emphasizing that they are “two distinct entities that were created to serve different markets and audiences.”

Loewe, a master at harnessing the online zeitgeist, has adapted its efforts to suit the two channels.

On TikTok, the maison earned its stripes by aligning with Western Gen Z consumers’ infatuation with memes, algorithmic content, and internet culture.

Last December, the brand tapped TikTok sensation Adanna Duru, known for her viral videos of her speaking in the form of emojis, to recite ‘Loewe’ in the style of pictograms including a dolphin, ghost, and lizard. The clip has amassed over 5.7 million views. In another video, popular media personality Kristy Sarah – known for her chaotic product reviews – “rates” the sounds of different Loewe heels. Sarah’s video has been viewed over 11.2 million times.
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