Taylor Swift Lyrics Solve China
- July 24th, 2015
- in Ecommerce
Taylor Swift will soon be selling signature apparel online in China.
Entering the China market is a bold move for a multinational corporation, let alone a 25-year-old chanteuse.
No doubt she and her marketing team are getting a lot of advice on the associated risks. Fortunately, the answers to the most salient challenges are already contained in her song lyrics.
Challenge: Government Censorship of Messaging
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny, rumors fly
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
– Blank Space
Apparently, some of Swift’s China-exclusive duds will read, “T.S. 1989”.
Is there something significant about the Year of Our Taylor’s birth? What could “T.S.” stand for besides “Taylor Swift” …“TeamSpeak”, the VoIP software?
We don’t know, and rest assured not one Chinese millennial in a million does, either. As long as Taylor doesn’t start wishing the Dalai Lama a happy birthday on Twitter, she should be safe from government scrutiny. This is the mecca of random English on a shirt, after all.
Had the CCP an official ministry to address western media propaganda via Swift lyrics, a spokeswoman might well respond, acapella:
You say it’s in the past
And drive straight ahead
You think I’m gonna hate you now
‘Cause you still don’t know what I never said
-I Wish You Would
Challenge: Partnering with 3rd Party Retailer JD.com
You’re the kind of reckless that should send me running
But I kinda know that I won’t get far
– Sparks Fly
Maybe it’s an exaggeration to label JD as “reckless”, but standing toe-to-toe against Alibaba and matching its moves (vendor model, cross border site in Hong Kong) isn’t necessarily the most prudent positioning.
Swift’s recklessness in choosing partners is well and self-documented, however. Although she’ll have a flagship store on JD.com, there will be little she can do against resellers who get her merch and flog it as they wish on JD.hk, the cross border site.
But where can the hapless Swift run? It’s not like Alibaba has anything resembling an easy, transparent process for clearing out grey and black market sellers.
At least our Taylor is growing up, in choosing the partner with China’s most reliable 3PL services baked right into the relationship.
I was screaming, “long live all the magic we made”
And bring on all the pretenders
I’m not afraid
Good for you, Taylor – don’t be afraid. Fear is the mind killer. Now, those pretenders have their wiles. There’s the ol’ Hong Kong shim sham referenced above, and they’re already selling your stuff on Taobao.
But you’ve got built in protection. You’re as much a part of the purchase as the clothes. No offense.
Your core demographic will want the clothes from your official site, especially with all the community building, loyalty programming, autographed-pic-giving you’re going to build into the offering.
Right, you’re gonna build it into the offering?
Any real fans buying your merch on Taobao right now do so because they have no other choice. Remember, no Chinese consumer without prior head trauma ever bought a Gucci bag on Taobao for 200RMB thinking it was the real deal.
And the RFID tags? Smart. Tech is your data-driven ally for solving China. Use it wisely, and soon you and Jack Ma will be crooning a duet on the Spring Festival Gala, Kenny & Dolly style:
Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
– Shake It Off
Challenge: The Ever Shifting China eCommerce Landscape
Like any great love, it keeps you guessing
Like any real love, it’s ever-changing
Like any true love, it drives you crazy
– Welcome to New York
Welcome to China online, Taylor. You’ve got your next album to work on, but your marketing team, like so many others, has no doubt spent time wishing there were some magic bullet with which to pop China’s most cash-swollen parts and mop up the revenue.
The answer to solve China isn’t in any platform – the scene is simply changing too quickly. For example, niche platforms are eating into JD and Alibaba growth.
Rather, the answer is in the real love you speak sing of. We’re global consumers, Taylor; we can smell the stinky cologne of a cynical marketing team a mile off. We want you, sans chopsticks! Keep it real, keep the realness coming, and the counterfeiters don’t stand a chance.
They never saw it coming
You hit the ground running
And now you’re onto something, I, I, I say
-Sweeter Than Fiction