BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK


Community-based Marketing Strategies

The idea of community marketing originated from booming social media platforms, then the strategy become widely adopted within the fashion industry, its massive influence and spreadability also brings new inspiration to the real estate industry.

It is exactly this community-minded strategy that made the lobbies of Ace so special, because at the inception of each location, according to Bisordi, they were aiming for a club scene as exciting as the legendary Studio54, instead of what you normally expect form a regular hotel lobby.

The whole lobby can get as crazy as possible, though Ace is about hotel, it can also be a trendy shooting location for fashion magazines, a cool venue for parties, an office for startup CEOs, a pop-up gallery for artists. On social media, you can see A-list celebrities and fashion opinion leaders such as Lady Gaga, Celine Dion staying at Ace Hotel and participating in hotel activities, making the hotel a magic field of headlines and hot topics.

In Shanghai, we also have our own place where different communities gravitate towards, that is the newly opened TX Huaihai Youth Power Center. At the end of June, a Chinese fashion platform INXX STREET Lab launched an eight-day multi-brand pop-up event called "聚海之波”, where they brought fifteen brands across clothing, fashion, tea

beverage, personal care. Along with the brands were their followers, more than 1,000 Shanghai fashionistas came for the opening ceremony.

Fans and followers are becoming the most valuable asset, transforming stores into physical social platforms, posing challenges to the traditional operation and valuation system of commercial real estate. Therefore, developers and operators should walk an extra mile to attract different communities when they are creating the right tenant mix, after all, people are what differentiate a mere building from an authentic place.

Moving form Recruiting to Nurturing Businesses

For the longest time, fashion and real estate has been solely interacting as tenant and landlord, this tunnel vision trap has caused segregation and hindered collaboration between the two industries, leading to higher communication and transaction costs. Some innovative players in the real estate community are trying to escape this “narrow street” of competing viciously for tenants and starting to move towards incubation and collaboration. Likewise, fashion industry is also trying to get more involved in real estate to become less subjugated to rent. Especially after 2020, fashion and real estate should definitely work closer to build collective resilience.

 

Though not just aiming for that, Tungsten Partners have been doing the “right thing”, their holdings include businesses in real estate, hospitality, fashion, art & media, consumer products, beverage, and design. Among their investments, Bisordi mentioned a special brand called YALI Made in China, though small, its significance lies in customer loyalty. No matter where YALI would go in the future, the tribe of people the brand has surrounded itself with will certainly follow, which is of great value for any real estate project.