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Vans’ WeChat Strategy to break into China

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By Published On: February 23, 20180 Comments

For Vans, breaking into the Chinese market means ensuring it is leveraging its WeChat strategy, and getting the balance between local and global content is vital.

When Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is banned, how does a brand find its social voice? For Vans, WeChat, the biggest social network in China, has been central to its marketing for the last decade. With China as a brilliant growth opportunity, Vans ensured that it could connect with its audience at a local level. Founded in 2011 and owned by Tencent, WeChat is headed towards 1 billion monthly active users. It is used for messaging (about 38 billion messages per day!) and contains mini apps where users play games, pay bills, book appointments or find local hangouts.

The WeChat platform allows Vans to publish organic content as well as paid advertising to appear in feeds and experiment with QR codes and in-app magazines. Nick Street, VP of integrated marketing for Vans, told Digiday that it’s actually easier to gain reach in China than in the US and Europe. He explains that Vans sees higher engagement on its live-streamed videos on WeChat than those in other markets posted on other forms of social media.

Vans WeChat Strategy

For those brands looking to break into emerging markets, there are plenty of lessons to learn from a company as successful as Vans. Obviously, consistency is key when you have a global presence. The identity of the brand is paramount. Yet, knowing your target audience is essential. Vans has to strike the right balance between portraying the core of a Western brand to an Asian market while also remaining relevant. This is where curated content, from both Chinese Vans’ customers and local creators, is vital to social strategy for the APAC region.

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