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Self-Expression and China’s Millennials

It’s no secret that China’s Millenials are a key force behind many of China’s key emerging trends. China’s Gen-Z are renowned for their confidence and are incredibly sophisticated in their shopping habits. It’s also widely accepted that they are luckier and more empowered than previous generations, and also willing to invest in their own unique identities. Fashion is a natural outlet for this type of self-expression. According to Bain, Millenials will account for an estimated 46% of China’s luxury market by 2025.
Notably, one of the fastest emerging fashion categories is street-wear. It’s impossible to miss, particularly on the streets of Shanghai, Chongqing, Nanjing and the likes. The streetwear trend has been catalysed in recent years following the 2017 airing of ‘The Rap of China’ on iQiyi. Its first episode garnered over 1.3 billion views and went on to pave the way for a new era of Chinese hip-hop and street fashion.

Enter YOHO!

One of the natural benefactors of the recent surging street-wear and hip-hop trend has been the team at Yoho!. Back in 2005, founder Liang Chao and his five-person team launched the first issue of Yoho! Magazine. Since then, the business has steadily become a media empire; adapting to countless developments and shifts in technology, culture and fashion. Nowadays, the Yoho! platform provides a comprehensive lifestyle aid for China’s young and hip.

As of October 2020, Yoho! comprises of:

  • Yoho! Magazine
  • Yoho! Now – Yoho!’s flagship app
  • Yoho! Boy and Yoho! Girl, each with their own categories:
    • Yoho! Video
    • Yoho! Fashion
    • Yoho! Sports
    • Yoho! Lifestyle
  • Yoho! Buy – an eCommerce platform
  • Yo’hood – a major industry fashion exposition
  • Yoho! Mars – a ‘Lonely Planet’ style travel and tourist platform
  • Yo! College – An education index for the biggest and most influential hype-brands in China

Key YOHO! Touchpoints & Popular Campaigns

As you can see, Yoho! Provides a lot of potential touchpoints where you can reach your millennial audiences. Today, we’ll explore just a few.

1. Articles

While Yoho! Articles cover a wide range of topics, many can be boiled down to the following categories:

  • new-release fashion and cosmetic products;
  • interviews with designers/entrepreneurs;
  • collaborations between artists and designers;
  • interesting ad campaigns and promotions;
  • pop up stores and expos;
  • KOL and celebrity photoshoots; as well as;
  • industry events such as skateboarding/motorcycle/BMX demos.
Yoho! articles

Our estimate is that each article receives on average 5,000 likes and are simultaneously shared on Yoho’s WeChat, WeChat Mini-Program and Weibo accounts to reach a broader audience.

It’s important to recognize that Yoho! discontinued their magazines and E-Zines back in 2014. As such, the primary location for article readership, as well as ad-placements are on the website / Yoho! Now application etc.

2. Collaborations with other Brands and Creatives

A recurring theme amongst YOHO! articles in recent months has been collaborations. More often than not, these are domestic partnerships between Chinese brands and up and coming Chinese artists, designers and entrepreneurs.

For instance, one of Yoho! Girl’s most recent articles showcases BVLGARI’s recent collaboration with rising Chinese designer YOON. YOON’s streetwear label Ambush has risen to prominence lately, following its uptake by rappers such as A$AP Rocky and Kanye West.

acne yoho! story

3. Yoho! College: Featured Brand Stories

Brand story showcases are perhaps the most obvious way brands gain recognition on Yoho!. Yo! College  features the growth and development stories (including timelines) of countless ‘hype’ brands. For example, their ‘A-list’ comprises of but is not limited to APC, A Bathing Ape, Acne Studios, Adidas, Alife, Anti Social Social Club, ASOS, Audi etc.
Take a gander at some of the College features here. Hot tip for our non-Chinese speaking readers: if you’re using Google Chrome, you can right click anywhere on the page and ‘translate’ it into English.

4. Yo'hood Exhibition

The recent, explosive growth of pop-up stores in China is no secret; coinciding with the massive uptake in popularity of experiential marketing. Pop-up events are especially popular amongst millennials. They support creative visions surrounding group-identity, whilst simultaneously nurturing and enabling individualism and self-expression. They provide countless backdrops for novel, photographable and livestream-worthy, shareable experiences. This makes them a melting pot for KOL and influencer activity. Furthermore, events with limited/scarce tickets are especially sought-after, in turn making the lucky few granted entry to feel especially unique and special.
YO’HOOD is Yoho!’s leading fashion exposition. Unlike the B2B-oriented tradeshows many western brands working in China are used to, YOHOOD is more like an experiential Pop-up store on steroids. Since 2013, YOHOOD has established itself as a major industry event where leading labels and retailers reveal, showcase and test their latest streetwear concepts.

5. Yoho! Buy

Yoho!’s popular eCommerce platform for men, women and even kids. Currently, the product listings are exclusively apparel, footwear, jewellery and accessories.
It’s also important to be wary that just like all major eCommerce platforms in China, Yoho! is now leveraging their position to create their own apparel. This is largely being achieved through collaborations with domestic KOLs, designers and labels. Notable recent collaborators include Lin Jun Jie 林俊杰, actor Yu Wen Le 余文乐, as well as brands Hood By Air, Joy Rich, KTZ, Marcelo Burlo.

6. Yoho! Flagship Stores

Yoho! launched their first flagship store in Nanjing several years ago. There are now several dozen across China; spanning categories well beyond just fashion. For example, they now operate a coffee chain under Yoho! Coffee as well as several plant stores under the Yoho! Greens banner. Yoho! plan to have 150 stores in operation across China by the end of 2021.

Yoho! Store

7. Yoho! Mars

Yoho! Mars is a travel platform. It contains suggestions and recommendations for most major capital cities across the globe, including Sydney and Melbourne. These include cultural centres, retailers, restaurants, bars and cafes etc. Each destination is ranked according to a popularity index ranging from 0 – 10,000.

Yoho! Mars

8. Community Forum

Finally, Yoho! offers a forum for their users to share and post anything. The forum itself as well as the user-interface is very similar to that of Little Red Book.

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