Hong Kong's retail sales in 2021 showed signs of improvement as the city's pandemic situation started to stablise. According to the figures from the government's census and statistics department, the value of total retail sales in November 2021, provisionally estimated at HK$30.7 billion (US$3.94 billion), increased by 7.1% compared with the same month in 2020. For the first 11 months of 2021 taken together, it was provisionally estimated that the value of total retail sales increased by 8.3% compared with the same period in 2020.
Online sales were gaining popularity too. Of the total retail sales value in November 2021, online sales accounted for 11.2%. The value of online retail sales in that month, provisionally estimated at HK$3.4 billion (US$436 million), increased by 27.6% compared with the same month in 2020.
As the retail industry is one of Hong Kong's major economic sectors, we turned to the results of our Marketing Excellence Awards 2021 Hong Kong to find out who our judges thought were the five brands in Hong Kong acing their marketing efforts in this space. We've listed our top 5 winners alphabetically. Our list of brands below won over our independent panel of high-calibre, client-side marketers not only by displaying the work they have done, but also through their efforts to engage customers.
American Eagle Outfitters Hong Kong
American Eagle Outfitters Hong Kong launched the "Real Good Together" campaign last year which was aimed at introducing its "Real Good" collection, a series of sustainably made products highlighting the brand's commitment to using sustainable raw materials, as well as using less water and energy. To promote the collection, the brand understood that it needed the right ambassadors who embodied its passion and decided to collaborate with the likes of Alfred Hui, Alina Lee and Panther Chan who were known for their commitments to environmental organisations.
Ambassadors such as Alfred Hui and Panther Chan, along with guests and influencers, participated in a series of activities to enhance awareness of the campaign. The brand also offered Instagram filters and a badge station to further engage customers.
American Eagle Outfitters also designed a series of workshops for audiences to learn more about its mission, products and fabrics. By collaborating with local designer Angus Tsui, the brand enabled customers to make custom tote bags out of pre-loved AE jeans. The workshops also allow participants to know more about American Eagle's sustainability mission and Real Good products. After receiving positive feedback, American Eagle ultimately launched the Real Good Experiential Hub located at its flagship store in Central. To celebrate the launch of the hub, American Eagle collaborated with Tsui to create a 15-piece collection made entirely out of preloved AE jeans.
In the “365 Taste of Home Kong” campaign, the company wanted to take action to help restaurants recover, and bring people together amid the pandemic. The first part of the campaign was to collect recipes from local families and put the stories into a social cookbook.
With more than 100 quality recipes and stories received, Coca-Cola selected the best three entries. Afterwhich, celebrities visited their kitchens and filmed the stories. The company also celebrated restaurants across the city, showed appreciation and support to all of its restaurant partners, and gave them a helping hand amid the pandemic. Coca-Cola partnered with more than 300 local restaurants and celebrated the unsung heroes behind the scenes.
At the same time, it invited Hong Kong-ers to support the restaurants, and help them boost their business, together with Coca-Cola. Additionally, a loyalty programme was launched to engage customers. They were also invited to join a programme to support all Coca-Cola partner restaurants, collect stamps after every meal, and redeem a free can of Coca-Cola or other beverages.
foodpanda Hong Kong
Foodpanda Hong Kong's campaign "More Than Just Food" (點只搵食咁簡單) achieved great success last year. The company was aimed at engaging the audience, safeguarding its position in the market in the long run.
It used the term "to make a living" in Cantonese (搵食) as the main theme of the campaign. The brand collaborated with actor and comedian Dayo Wong in a 100-second video, who delivered a simple yet important message: There is something more than just putting food on the table in our lives. After which, he advised that we should choose a way of life that we most desire.
Wong also asked several questions in the video, such as whether we really had no choices in our lives, or we just considered earning a living to be a priority. After asking the questions, Wong further elaborated that foodpanda Hong Kong had evolved from delivering just food to becoming a one-stop platform that delivers everything customers need in their daily lives.
The campaign reached out to the audience through online and offline touchpoints, such as banners, MTR stations and OOH screens. To create deeper engagement, foodpanda Hong Kong also developed content in partnership with viuTV, inviting actress Helen To to be a courier for foodpanda Hong Kong for a day. By showcasing To's hardship of earning a living, foodpanda Hong Kong hoped to associate the campaign idea with the brand in a more emotional way.
K11 Concepts' campaign K11 "MUSEA’s Sanitisation Robots Waltz Through the Pandemic" was aimed at regaining customer confidence and easing public concern after a COVID-19 case was detected at K11 MUSEA.
A video campaign was created and uploaded onto online platforms such as its social media, website and app, in addition to offline channels such as in-mall screens. The video showcased the brand's heightened sanitisation strategies; conveyed the message that K11 MUSEA was the safest place in town; and present a positive, cheerful and humourous message to regain confidence among the public.
The video depicted the robots performing a waltz at the atrium of the mall, exemplifying that resilience was a core part of the K11 brand.
The entire campaign took only 48 hours from ideation to rollout. After closing for six days, over a hundred citizens queued up outside the main entrance of K11 MUSEA before its reopening on 6 March 2021.
Sun Hung Kai Real Estate (Sales And Leasing) Agency
The campaign "Harbour North Purple Flower Galore" attracted the eyeballs of the judges of the Marketing Excellence Awards. It was aimed at engaging the target audience through entertaining events in town to raise the mall’s popularity, and drive footfall and sales in the shopping mall. The campaign successfully evoked the memories of travel by bringing photogenic travel destinations to the mall and offering immersive experiences during the daytime and at night.
For example, as Japan is one of the most preferred travel destinations among Hongkongers, Harbour North replicated the Kawachi Wisteria Garden in Fukuoka in the mall. To further engage visitors, the mall built a Wisteria Tunnel on the mall’s lawn area which was certified by the Fukuoka Prefectural Government Hong Kong Office.
Meanwhile, the mall also collaborated with Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong to offer exclusive purple products and encourage shopping in the mall. Harbour North said more than 40,000 participants registered to enter the Wisteria Tunnel, and it had to roll out measures to control traffic. Also, during the campaign period, the mall’s overall sales increased by over 200% compared with the pre-campaign period.
(Photo courtesy: 123RF)
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