Case study: Yu Mei, you a-mei-ze us – why brand is this label’s most valuable accessory
How do you take over the fashion world? With an impeccable product and faultless brand marketing. Luxury fashion brand Yu Mei is a Kiwi success story taking Australasia by storm.
Tracksuit data tells us they’re the only brand in their competitor set to have doubled their awareness across Australia in the past quarter. People are associating words like ‘quality’, ‘unique’ and ‘luxury’ with Yu Mei. They’re the brand in the hands of fashion forward young women, having seen the highest growth of awareness with Gen Zers among their competitors. Most recently, we’ve seen that people are turning their heads to look from Status Anxiety to Yu Mei.
Here is an inside look at how brand tracking has given Yu Mei an edge.
Tracksuit's timeline view shows the accelerated trajectory of Yu Mei's brand awareness, comparative to their core competitive set.
Practical, but do it with style
Jessie Wong, Founder of Yu Mei, had a simple vision rooted in utmost practicality.
All she wanted was “a bag that would carry everything I needed in a day, which was my laptop, lunch box, phone charger, makeup bag, an A3 visual diary and the kitchen sink.” Nobody, Jessie says, was considering what a modern woman needed to carry in a day. A handbag designed to be both fashionable and functional turned out to be the creative formula that makes Yu Mei so unique.
Taking unlikely combinations of utility and aesthetic, as well as luxury and sustainability – Jessie is fiercely proud of Yu Mei’s regenerative supply chain – make her understated luxury leather accessories surprising and different.
Add to this clever marketing, and Yu Mei has achieved the enviable result of simultaneously harnessing current demand and creating future demand. Now the brand is primed for to conquer the fashion world on both sides of the Tasman.
A Trans-Tasman power move
Jessie is savvy about branding. As Yu Mei expands into Australia, she knows the strength of the brand will power the expansion.
She reveals that their biggest marketing budgets are going toward brand building in Australia at the moment. Their journey is supported by the human-centred digital marketing team at Pilot. And of course, insights from Tracksuit.
"We love logging into Tracksuit to ensure that our digital marketing efforts are not only converting well now, but also creating future demand amongst our clients' target audience," says Tom Gibson, Partner at Pilot
Sales are easy enough to measure; brand is a different story. And Yu Mei’s team know that in order to make sure there is demand for their product in Australia, they need to track the brand. “We’ve spent a lot of time unpicking our brand and the proposition we’re taking into the market. Building brand is a big investment so it was important for us to find a tool with which we could track and measure our success and progress, over time – especially in a new market where we started from scratch. Tracksuit makes everything more tangible. We're able to measure brand health in one dashboard.”
These insights allow the team at Yu Mei to make smart decisions about the brand’s next steps.
“Tracksuit’s metrics are one of our key KPIs that impact our decision to open stores in a particular region. We will also take the data back to our wholesaler accounts and buyers and show them progress to help shape meaningful conversations,” says Jessie.
In the Yu Mei dashboard, shown above, we can see in the timeline tab that Yu Mei has been able to build future demand, while simultaneously capturing existing demand. This awareness trend line (the second from the top of the dashboard) tells the story of a brand which has been able to double its awareness in the last quarter, from 3.7% to 7.1% – a feat no other brand in their competitor set achieved in 2021 – and in parallel, convert these people into customers (shown as the darkest line at the bottom of the dashboard).
But why does this simultaneous growth, at either side of the marketing funnel, matter? Because we're seeing brands shift their priority from spending marketing budgets on brand to short-term performance marketing. This leads to sharp increases in the cost of acquiring customers because these brands haven't created awareness or salience in the mind of prospective customers, and are therefore finding it harder to find and convert new business.
Minimal design, maximum vision
After a “slow and steady” marketing over the past couple of pandemic years, Jessie and her team are ready to kick into higher gear.
“2022 is our year we’re we are doubling down. We have the data to make sound, strategic decisions.”
With advocacy and Australia-wide distribution at the hands of David Jones, Yu Mei is well placed to capture the demand they’re successfully creating.