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Xiaohongshu and Fakeme throw shade at outdated trends

When you think of sunglasses you often think of summer. While this has resulted in a clear peak and off-peak season for the industry, evolving trends and consumer needs are disrupting the status quo. In China young people are increasingly wearing sunglasses not just for sun protection, but also as a fashion statement.

Less an accessory and more an extension of their own sense of self, these consumers are wearing sunglasses to cope with the pressures of employment and work; they use them as a stylish vehicle to conceal their emotions, switch moods, and pursue fashion, regardless of the season. Data from Xiaohongshu, one of China’s leading social commerce platforms, They tapped into Xiaohongshu’s showed a 418% increase in searches for sunglasses in the category from February to April 2023.

This group of individuals is young, beauty-conscious, refined, and predominantly female, and they are using Xiaohongshu at a higher concentration compared to other platforms. This new trend is changing the industry dramatically, and it has helped Fakeme, a niche sunglasses brand from South Korea, achieve business growth through content marketing and subsequent conversions on Xiaohongshu.

Fakeme developed a deep understanding of this trend and tapped into the emotional needs of contemporary youth as a starting point for their brand expansion.

How can a niche sunglasses brand with an average unit price of nearly a thousand yuan (circa £100) successfully sell on Xiaohongshu? Fakeme, with a limited budget compared to established sunglasses brands, took a different approach. They implemented and effective off-peak season marketing strategy based on precise insights from Xiaohongshu.

Fakeme created a new formula for sunglasses by considering the intersection of people, needs, and products. This allowed for different styles of sunglasses, positioned as fashion accessories over their primary use of sun protection, to seamlessly integrate into the daily lives of Xiaohongshu users throughout the year. Combined with Xiaohongshu’s closed-loop instant conversion capabilities, Fakeme achieved both brand awareness and sales growth. Sales revenue skyrocketed from millions to tens of millions, achieving a remarkable 116% growth against the off-peak season.

The brand leveraged Xiaohongshu’s content ecosystem to precisely convey product selling points to different target audiences and utilised the platform’s instant conversion capabilities to harvest immediate results. This broke the conventional belief among brands that Xiaohongshu is only suitable for product seeding and brand building, achieving a win for both brand and platform alike.

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