Roadshow: China Debrief
Last week, we kicked off our Asian roadshow and embarked to China, where we had an absolutely pleasant welcome and a delightful experience. The response we received for Arianee was very positive, the conversations were engaging and the knowledge gained was priceless. In this article, we’ll give a debrief of our trip to China and share some key takeaways.
Our visit to China was from June 13th to June 16th and our representatives included:
Emmanuelle Collet, Marketing (Myself)
Luc Jodet, Business Architecture
Gregory Pouy, Brand Evangelist
Our three main goals from this China visit were to raise awareness of problems that exist in the luxury industry, educate people on how Arianee can solve these problems, and grow our Chinese community. We met an abundance of journalists, investors, fund managers, and luxury brand representatives that were all curious to learn more about what Arianee has to offer.
We took advantage of our time in China by giving interviews to as many Chinese media outlets as we could connect with, such as Chainew Information and Coinvoice. We also had the privilege of attending the ChinaConnect conference and the FrenchFounders Retail & Luxury Executive Dinner, and both were a great success!
Wednesday, June 13th
We began our first day in China by having breakfast with the organizer of the ChinaConnect conference, where we learned about the structure of the event and some of the attendees. In the afternoon, we had coffee with Alvin FOO, managing director of Reprise China (IPG Group, CN) where we exchanged ideas and gained an understanding of current state of both blockchain technology and the luxury market in China.
We took advantage of the extra time we had in Shanghai by exploring the city and getting a feel for the culture. We visited some luxury stores and I might have gone a small shopping spree of my own!
Thursday, June 14th
We attended the FrenchFounders executive dinner titled “How Blockchain will Impact Luxury Retail” where we were given the opportunity to present the Arianee Protocol. We were able to discuss topics such as the impact that blockchain technologies can potentially have on the luxury industry.
Attendees to this exclusive dinner included executives from Hermes China, Chanel Fashion China and Piaget China, who all showed a great interest in Arianee’s real life application. We were able to gain a deeper understanding of some of the things they were looking for, such as the ability to connect with owners. We were met with a flurry of questions that we answered as thoroughly as we could, receiving a great response from our audience. And yes, the food was delicious!
Luc, Greg and Emmanuelle discussing Arianee at the FrenchFounders meetup
Friday, June 15th
Greg and I attended the ChinaConnect conference in Lifung Plaza Explorium. This event’s purpose was simply to connect people involved in the blockchain space for a mutual benefit. The individuals and institutional representatives we met and the conversations we had enabled us to get a much firmer grasp of the Chinese luxury market, as well as learn more about blockchain applications in general.
Credit: China Connect
Greg and Emmanuelle interviewing with Alvin and Aidaa from China Connect
We came to understand that the millennial generation has recently emerged as the primary consumer for luxury goods in China. We were informed that this younger generation has preferred using digital outlets such as brand websites to purchase the majority, if not all, of their luxury assets. We were told that a fresh new project such as Arianee has arrived at the perfect time, where the Chinese luxury market is just starting to pick up steam for the first time in a while.
While Greg and I were at China Connect, Luc was off pitching to investors, including two of China’s largest funds. He was able to gauge their interests and explain to them exactly how our protocol works. Luc believes that by accurately answering these investors’ highly technical questions, he was able to reinforce the notion that Arianee’s team has experienced professionals on it.
Saturday, June 16th
During our last full day in China, we had coffee and conducted interviews with journalists from Chainew Information and Coinvoice, in an effort to reach more Chinese people and build our community in China. In the afternoon, we took it easy and networked with some colleagues from Agora, who are working on a blockchain-based digital voting solution for governments and organizations.
Greg, Luc and Emmanuelle having breakfast with Chinese journalists
We were very eager to get to China and what we learned afterwards
We decided to kick off our roadshow in China due to the many opportunities that we saw in this region related to the luxury industry. China is a main manufacturing powerhouse for hundreds of luxury brands all across the world. If Arianee’s aims to record product life-cycles, many of those life cycles begin here.
The luxury industry is steadily growing in China, mainly due to millennials. In fact, the Chinese market experienced an approximate 20% increase in sales last year after almost a decade of stagnation! Brands have been allocating somewhere around 40%-50% of their marketing budget towards digital advertising in an effort to target millennials, using platforms such as Chinese social media giant WeChat. After learning about this trend in China, we realized Arianee can provide brands with a secondary communication channel to effectively target their existing customers with new product releases, promotions and invitations.
Although there is a new group of young, knowledgeable Chinese consumers emerging in the luxury space, they are entering the space with a strong concern over the authenticity of the products they are purchasing. Because of this, the majority will stay away from purchasing goods anywhere else other than the brand’s store or website, let alone on an aftermarket website selling pre-owned luxury goods. Arianee can eliminate this fear entirely through its proof-of-authenticity protocol, where products are verified through the blockchain and granted digital authenticity certificates.
China has established a culture of being open to experimenting with new innovative technologies to enhance their customers’ experience. Digital investments by brands have skyrocketed in an effort to achieve the utmost level of exclusivity. Arianee fits this criteria so perfectly, as a unique and innovative digital environment connecting owners and brands, that we had to pay China a visit as soon as we can. We were very excited about the possibilities of potential partnerships and brands signing up for proof-of-concepts. Much to our delight, we made major progress and established partnerships to be announced in the very near future.