Working in a highly competitive fiber market that’s been pressured by the global pandemic’s economic fallout, wool fiber and fabric companies and organizations are taking actions to promote their products.
Australian Wool Innovation’s (AWI) The Woolmark Company has teamed up with Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai to launch its first brand campaign in China, aiming to turn its prestigious merino wool into a coveted winter fiber for 2020.
With a population of more than 1.4 billion, China represents an opportunity for attract consumers who are increasingly sophisticated and demanding of a quality upgrade thanks to the rise of e-commerce and the proliferation of brand choices, AWI said.
“At AWI, we predicted China’s economy would be first to bounce back from the disruption caused by Covid-19,” AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said. “They are Australian wool’s biggest and most important customer. The time is right to promote our wool to a market that is both willing and able to buy wool in large amounts. Sadly, that is not the case in other key Northern Hemisphere markets. AWI is monitoring economic conditions in Europe and North America and will not be marketing in those markets until there is sustained evidence of economic improvement.”
The China campaign’s marketing strategy is built around a content-commerce model that focuses on driving purchasing intent at a time when this season’s sell-through is critically important for the future of the industry, McCullough noted.
The campaign is a debut for the Merino Sisters, the first branded IP in Woolmark history. In three humorously curt interviews, consumers can learn about the superiority of Merino sheep genes and the unparalleled benefits of “Merino: the Treasure Wool.”
“For beef, there’s Kobe beef; for roses, there are Damask roses; for sparkling wine, there’s Champagne,” Tree Chan, creative director from W+K Shanghai, said. “We want to make merino wool the most prestigious and respected family of wool for people in China.”
The content is live on China’s No.1 e-commerce site, Tmall. The campaign has generated more than 230 million impressions and 9.9 million video views with the teaser post by notable celebrity Loura Lou achieving 2 million views in less than 24 hours on Weibo.
The Merino sisters also appeared in Tmall’s live-streaming sales rooms for surprise visits and endorsements, generating over 750,000 engagements.
Also focusing on Australian merino wool, ABMT has launched an in-stock program featuring its merino wool-based products, as well as its certified organic cotton-based textiles.
ABMT is a vertically integrated manufacturer best known for its wool-based fabrics. From research to testing to production to distribution, ABMT implements sustainable and responsible practices at all levels of its operations.
“We’re clearly known for creating unrivaled wool and wool blends,” Julian Collins, sales manager at ABMT, said. “But we’ve also spent years applying our profound understanding of organic materials to generate some of the world’s finest cotton, and we’re proud to say we’ve been doing it all right here in Melbourne, (Australia). At the end of the day, we want our new and existing customers to feel something they’ve never felt when it comes to this staple fiber.”
To give global customers access to the in-stock program, ABMT is working through its trusted partner Concept III, a U.S.-based textile sourcing firm known for its high standards in evaluating mills and manufacturers.
“ABMT is a worldwide leader in natural fibers, so it’s no surprise their certified organic cotton products are just as remarkable as their wools,” Chris Parkes, president of Concept III, said. “Having all these organic cotton innovations on hand and in stock is a game changer.”
Located in Melbourne and Shanghai, ABMT delivers innovative natural fiber circular knits. The company prides itself on its record in significantly lowering the environmental impact normally associated with textile manufacturing and also for its use of sustainable products and practices.
Working closely with mills located throughout the world, Concept III sources, develops and produces new fabric-based solutions for consumer apparel brands. Its partners include innovators such as Dry-Tex, Kingwhale and ABMT. Concept III has offices in North America and Europe.