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Talks with Wenwen

Hi Wenwen, tell us a bit about your role? And what you do at Harrods?  
I’ve been with Harrods for almost two years.  I am the Marketing and Communications Manager for International Business Development and Global Communications team. I look after both strategic planning and implementation for all campaigns targeting international consumers; China and the Middle East market. 

 

What are the main changes you’ve seen during the Covid-19? The Chinese market has gone through different phases. The market was impacted by Covid-19 earlier than us in the UK and are on the road to fast recovery. None the less, social media and digital is a huge part of digital communications for the market. And that has not changed. WeChat and Weibo remain the tools our Chinese customers use with other new platforms taking up the market share, they are a huge part of their day-to-day. Last year, live-streaming was booming and became the preferred way to consume content.  

That’s why we curated The Harrods Studio during Shanghai Fashion Week. We curated a pop-up space with nine live-streaming programs over the course of three days. The project was a great success and we received amazing feedback.  

 

What have you been working on? 
Lots! It’s been very busy. Two key areas of focus I am going to share today is Chinese New Year and The Residence Shanghai. 

For the passing Chinese New Year, we’ve worked with our digital team to create an interactive game “The Green Magic” hosted on WeChat. In our lives, we all want to have some magical moments especially at the end of this unique year. With exceptional products, exquisite experiences and heritage, Harrods is a true Magic curator and we wanted to share good wishes with our customers for the New Year ahead. Embedding traditional fortune stick elements, we created a Harrods green magical Chinese New Year box following up from the ‘Harrods Wrapped’ Christmas campaign. The visual centre was a gift box in which lifestyle items are flowing out of it in a “magical way.”  This included, beautifully illustrated Chinese New Year traditional elements such as the fortune sticks, lanterns, fortune messages, our famous Harrods bear, and the gifting message on products including fashion, beauty and jewellery, etc. After entering the game, a Harrods fortune message will be revealed which ties into each product category.  

The game has received a huge amount of positive feedback from our audience and we saw users share their own fortune message poster across their social channels, and pass on the good fortune to their families and friends.  

The second focus is the Residence Shanghai. The Residence, Shanghai is a brand-new chapter for Harrods. Launched in December last year, The Residence is the first permanent private-shopping space in Shanghai. We aim to bring the world-famous Harrods service, exclusive experience and access to our clients in Shanghai.  
To support this from a marketing perspective, we have curated a great marketing programme, called ‘Communities of Passion.’ Essentially this is a series of quarterly client insight-driven category-led themes, which we use to curate a series of small scale events for our clients.  

Launching in Chinese New Year, the first one was called ‘Ceremonies of Taste’ filled with a sensory series of events celebrating the finest food, flavours and the art of entertaining. We created magical and unique experiences for our members. From a flower arrangement masterclass to a premium whisky tasting opportunity to reflect on the year’s achievements and successes.  

The rest of the series is yet to be revealed but it’s been lots of fun so far.  

 
What do you think the focus will be on year?  
This year, we will continue to look at ways to stay front of the mind of the Chinese audience until they can travel again and building our physical footprint with 'more exciting launches' to come.  

 
How have you seen the Art of the Possible delivered?  
Shanghai Fashion Week is the perfect example. As the world started becoming accustomed to working from home, at Harrods numerous agencies, stakeholders and teams brought to life the Harrods Studio across different time zones, languages and multiple communication platforms.  

From October 14th to 16th, we built three studios in the heart of Shanghai - The Middle House to broadcast nine live streams on trending topics driving the Shanghai Fashion Week, while also hosting industry panels, experiential “Green Rooms” and cocktail parties inviting industry leaders, top tier media, trend-setting KOLs & KOCs as well as our clients to celebrate the Shanghai Fashion Week.  

Planning a project of this magnitude, on the other side of the world, is a challenging task in normal circumstances - throw in a global pandemic and the situation becomes even trickier. Day by day the team faced new hurdles due to the constantly changed travel regulations. We continually planned for at least 3 eventualities at any one time, only able to do so by clear and effective communication with one another. Against all odds, and only through sheer determination and a huge team effort from everyone involved in the project, we were able to successfully get a team of 5 to Shanghai. People were surprised we came, but how could we not go. This is so important to us.  We completed a 14-day hotel quarantine with limited access to numerous elements. I wouldn’t be able to make it through without the constant check-in and the personal support from the team, late night check-in texts, movie recommendations and lots of fun GIFs on group WeChat.  

After the whole journey, it was so rewarding to see The Studio be brought to life and to see how well it resonated with our customers.It’s one of the many projects I am most proud to have worked in, it truly exemplified, ‘We are One’ and ‘We Strive to Exceed’.  

Without teamwork, none of this would have been possible.  

 

 

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