Brands are getting on Line.
The Japanese social network this week added another lux brand to its roster and is drawing an increasing number of fashion and beauty brands all hoping for a bigger bite of Japanese millennials’ appetite for online shopping.
Michael Kors is the latest to climb on board, announcing its partnership with Line on Tuesday, and joins six other luxury brands on the app in Japan: Yves Saint Laurent, Vogue Japan, Coach, Burberry, Dior and Ralph Lauren.
As a smartphone-only app, Line allows retailers to send direct messages, coupons, promotions, and news to followers, and create customized stickers — a main feature of the app — to build brand awareness among its 218.4 million users.
Japan’s luxury goods market was valued at $26 billion last year, the second biggest globally after the U.S., and Line offers one way to get a foot in that market.
The app allows users to see official accounts from a number of different countries. In Japan’s case there are 1,495 official accounts. Of those, 44 are fashion brands, 26 are cosmetic companies, and seven are luxury brands.
The company also believes the stickers will push the brand into the social media landscape and it teamed up with Japanese illustrator Yurie Sekiya to create a character, DJ Michelle the Cat, which people can use in their messages.
Burberry, which uses Line to live-stream shows, also uses stickers to get its name and brand all over the platform.
It launched a pair of digital stickers — a bear and rabbit, dressed in the iconic Burberry trench coats and cashmere scarves.
Burberry used the launch of its partnership to live-stream its Prorsum womenswear show in London last year, allowing viewers in Japan to experience the show in real time. Some 100,000 people watched the live stream, which it says was about a third of its ‘friends’ on the network.