Premium Aussie baby brand expands into China

One of Australia’s oldest premium baby and toddler clothing brands, Marquise, has decided to launch into China in order to expand its reach and find new audiences for its product ranges.

Established in 1932, owner Daniel Hershan says the time is right to explore new markets.

“For the first 10 years of our ownership of Marquise, we focused heavily on rebranding and making the product appeal to all ages, developing and launching new and fresh products, looking for new ways to expand our market share and increasing confidence in the brand,” he explains.

“With our market continuing to grow in Australia, and with a few inquiries from China, we decided to explore the idea of launching into China. New markets can be challenging and can involve a lot of money to enter.”

Lots of specialist Chinese marketing companies are spruiking their services in Australia, offering to help Australian businesses sell their products into China. Many charge high prices and achieve low results. In fact, many prey on Australian businesses by promising amazing sales results in China, but leave their Australian business clients heavily out of pocket and with no export sales.

To make sure this didn’t happen with Marquise, Hershan decided to work with Dr Mathew McDougall, a leading China market expert.

“The truth is, it is harder than just 'launching' into China―it is a regulated market, they speak another language and they already rule the 'low cost' manufacturing world,” says Hershan.

McDougall developed a strategy to launch into China with minimal cost leveraging a D2C (daigou-to-consumer) approach and working with the local Australian Chinese community to build brand presence back in China.

He launched WeChat eMarketplace earlier this year called DaigouSales.com. The D2C marketplace is supported with comprehensive daigou-specific marketing activities and events. Further, this platform provides Australian-based warehousing and logistics to enable overnight shipments of Australian products to China.

The platform, leveraging the ‘daigou’ market―Chinese speaking people who buy on behalf of friends, family and others back in China―is often the only way a brand can cost effectively create a market back in China.

“Launching into the Chinese market can be tough,” McDougall explains. “DaigouSales.com has created an easy pathway for Australian businesses to launch their products into China and with little capital and minimal risk.

“Chinese consumers love Australian products, especially skincare products, food, mother and baby goods, and wool and health and wellness supplements. 

“It is great to see such an iconic brand like Marquise launch into the Chinese market. It’s a perfect fit all round. All I can say is, launching into China is now easier than people think and Australian businesses need to get moving before their competitors do.”

By Marion Gerritsen