China’s fertile digital land has witnessed the innovation and growth of many social platforms, including RED, also known as Xiaohongshu or Little Red Book. Started out as an online sharing community mainly focused on beauty and cosmetics, RED, in the midst of their high-speed growth, is now expanding to include male fashion, food, travelling categories. An increasing number of celebrities and KOLs are joining RED to share their lives and point out their favorite beauty and fashion products, which makes it a promising platform for brands to build their presence.
Currently, RED has over 90 million users with the majority being post-90s and millennials. Let’s take a deeper look at RED using our 4 Facets of Brand Positioning and see how this unique ‘red-hot’ platform creates social value for its users.
Truth: The Shift of Power to Consumers
The high-quality UGC (user-generated content) on RED is what attracts users. They are encouraged to share recommendations based on their own user experience of products to peers with similar interests and lifestyles. When more and more people start doing the same thing, a community is formed.
Unlike other social platforms, content on RED is also more informative and detailed, making content more authentic and useful for the audience. The quality of conversations and engagement driven by posts are much higher on RED. Rather than only a “good”, “I like it”, users will ask more detailed queries about the products in order to explore if these products are truly a fit for them.
Lately, more and more celebrities are joining RED to recommend their cosmetics, outfits while displaying their lifestyles. The platform makes these celebrities accessible for regular people. As within RED, they are no longer remote stars far away from our normal life but real people who are using the same products with us.
Last but certainly not the least, RED provides the convenience to buy the products directly within its own online store. When you desire a product which you just saw recommended by others, just click the tag on the post and buy it immediately without going to another e-commerce platform!
Vision: Create the World’s Best Lifestyles at Your Fingertips
RED aims to shape itself to a “book” where everyone can write and read the world’s best lifestyles at their fingertips. A clever nod to the Little Red Book used during the Cultural Revolution as a code of conduct, RED can be seen as the perfect representation of the new social conduct of China. With the rapid digital growth and the boom of social media platforms, digital communities where people communicate and share their ideas have become the new norm. Users of RED are not only the beneficial owners but also the broadcasters who bring all good lifestyles and products from all over the world.
Universe: The Trust Economy
If you are familiar with RED, you have encountered the words 种草(seeding), 长草(growing) and 拔草(weeding), which best describe the process how people interact with this platform.
种草 (Seeding): When a person is “seeding” he or she recommends and shares a product, which piques the audience interest in an instance. Their immediate reaction is “Oh, I like this”.
长草 (Growing): Of course, making a purchase decision depending only on a single post is not enough. Thus, users continue to read related feeds often placed right under the initial post to explore others’ comments and opinions on the product. Sometimes users conclude that the product may not be the best fit, while sometimes their desire to purchase grows.
拔草 (Weeding): After “growing”, people eventually buy the product on RED, which is coined “weeding”. The actual product may be below expectations, but at least the users have “weeded” the excitement for this product. If they happen to be satisfied with the product, the audience can become a “seeder” themselves by sharing the experience of using the product on the platform. Thus, seeding begins, and the cycle starts again.
Personality: Your Personal Stylist
RED is the ultimate stylist who picks and recommends the most suitable fashion, beauty and lifestyle products based on a user’s unique style and preferences. Its recommendation system generates results based on each user’s search history, disseminating different trends as well as personal taste to bring the best style to its users. As everyone’s dream personal stylist, RED is trendy and reliable, with the latest information about the hottest trends off the runway and understands the needs and interests of each user thoroughly.
Conclusion: A New Way to Shop
With its mirage of images resembling mood boards, original content including photo reviews and video tutorials, and e-commerce capabilities, RED is said to be the combination of Pinterest, Instagram and Amazon. But even that fails to encapsulate the one-of-a-kind platform that RED is. Centralized around the trust economy, the platform ultimately understands that e-commerce can and should be a conversation where people interact with one another. The pivot away from the two-dimensional buyer-seller relationship and towards the social sharing community has proven to be a successful strategy for the young and nascent brand.