Collaborations can strengthen and refresh the narrative. In 2020, Tommy Hilfiger collaborated with rapper Vava and singer Ma Boqian to create a limited edition blind box. Improbable collaborations add to the playful narrative sense: In 2020, Karl Lagerfeld and Tsingtao Brewery created a Blind Box as part of their joint Night Owl Muse series. In China, blind boxes have also been launched by the CCTV variety show, National Treasure, which celebrates the country’s cultural heritage.
However, there are concerns that the blind box phenomenon in China could exploit the consumer. In early 2021, the China Consumers Association pointed out how the consumption of blind boxes has gambling attributes. The Chengdu Municipal Market Monitoring Bureau of Sichuan Province called for the transparency of blind lotteries. including telling consumers the likelihood of winning limited edition products.
Luxury fashion enthusiast Xia Xia Becky points out that the concept of blind boxes has been around for centuries. “Blind boxes existed in Japan in ancient times. The leftover fabrics were sold at random, with even gold fabrics [included], which were seen as symbols of luck and blessing.
If this element of magic and emotional connectivity can be injected into the luxury blind box concept, the possibilities are endless. France-based brand marketing consultant Ivy Yu says the luxury blind box’s target customer isn’t necessarily the wealthy consumer. Blind boxes, she says, have the potential “to expand the customer base and at the same time attract a wave of public attention.”
In China, consumers who like blind boxes are certainly engaged. Tmall reports that nearly 200,000 buyers spend more than 20,000 ueans ($ 3,133) per year on blind boxes. It remains to be seen whether the bullish blind box market growth forecast turns out to be true, but a significant number of Chinese consumers are currently still enthralled with the concept.
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