Urban professional females have always been a key consumer demographic in China with huge buying powers, especially to luxury brands. Mop, China’s leading online community for pop culture stories and gossips, pulled together a report comparing the digital life of two very different types of professional women in Beijing. Depite a focus on digital experiences, the report reveals a more interesting story of their different lifestyles and brand experiences such as different motivations for purchases, different pathways to purchases, etc. (Given similar years of working experiences, the fact that one woman looks much younger than the other is also interesting…). Also noteworthy is the prevalence of premium foreign brands and the sense of pride in what they possess.
The report covers a typical day in life between a white-collar woman working at CBD Beijing and a professional IT woman working at Zhongguancun Beijing (an IT hub located in Beijing’s Haidian District, which is often referred to as “China’s Silicon Valley).
Editor’s notes: They may come from different cities and receive different education. Now they live in the same city now, yet a woman working at CBD Beijing and a women working at Zhongguancun Beijing are seen as very different animals. It’s not a difference between “rich, fair, pretty” and “loser”, but rather a difference between two distinct groups of female professionals. They embrace different lifestyles and crave for different digital products.
Profession: Real estate
Working experiences: 8 years
Has a wide spectrum of hobbies; loves the crowd and hates any restrictions.
Profession: Website outreach
Working experiences: 6 years
Loves to be a homebody – would sit if don’t have to stand, would lie down if don’t have to sit.
Getting up in the morning
CBD woman: Stayed up too late last night and cannot get up. Has to set up multiple alarms. Loves to sleep naked, so no picture shown.
IT woman: Also has a hard time getting up but since lives very close to company, can afford to stay in bed a little longer. Work starts at 9:30 am and usually won’t get up until 9 am.
CBD womam: Much more premium and luxury brands, mostly brought directly in the US. [Brands include Fresh, Dior, Estee Launder, DHC, Borghese, L'Occitane and Marc Jacobs]
IT woman: Less high-end brands and more practical, such as four different types of toothpastes with different functions. [Brands include Olay, L’Oreal, Lancome, Kiehl's, Nuxe, Avene, Adidas, and L’Occitane. Though many of the products are not necessarily cheaper than those of the CBD woman, the two show very different beauty product preferences.]
CBD woman: Usually doesn’t eat breakfast but for the sake of this report, takes out her Germany-imported cereal that she rarely eats. Usually reads some tabloid news or gossip. Occasionally goes to Netease News (a popular news portal in China that is best know for its interesting viewer comments).
IT woman: McDonald’s plus Netease News. Cheap and clean. Convenience is why she chooses the combo.
CBD woman: In the business of commercial real estate. Usually shows up around Dayuecheng (a huge shopping complex in Xidan, Beijing that has office space, retail stores, restaurants and entertainment.) and the Place (A shopping+office complex famous for its arch ceiling made of LCD screens). Various coffee shops are where she works, which the editor says he is jealous of [Which is also an interesting point to note].
CBD woman: Lunch has to be at someplace of character and style. Must not downgrade even if eating alone. Therefore, service locator apps with CPS functions are very important.
IT woman: What for lunch is the biggest problem of the day! Usually calls KFC delivery, Pizza Hut delivery, etc. No time for lunch at all during busy days. Or a quick run to the Subway downstairs.
Downtime at work
CBD woman: Not all things are possible with coffee, but nothing is possible without coffee. When men are on the lookout for hot girls…you know, there are always many hot guys around the Place.
IT woman: Also drinks coffee, but it’s rare to have any downtime during work. So rather read books or comic books alone [on a digital device that doesn’t look like an iPad].
CBD woman: iPhone 4S is the only possible choice for cellphones. Hers was brought by a friends from Canada and sent back. When iPhone 4S was first launched, it looked very cool holding one – she would chat with Siri on streets.
IT woman: A white Samsung Galaxy Note. It’s thin and has longer battery life, much better than Apple products. While it includes many very useful business functions, it keeps good style at the same time.
CBD woman: No cameras. Handbag alone is heavy enough. iPhone 4S meets all her photo-shooting needs such as uploading to Weibo or Qzone (Two of China’s most popular social networking sites. The former is a Twitter-like service and the latter is a MSN Space equivalent).
IT woman: Panasonic GF5, the brand’s latest model. It was recommended by a digital gadgets site. It shoots high-quality pictures and allows touch-screen control. Very practical. The LCD screen looks much better than earlier models, too.
Go to work
CBD woman: Owns a car [Audi]. Taking the subway with high-heals on is never gonna happen.
IT woman: Walk to home every day. Lives right across the street. No need to drive.
CBD woman: If real estate is the day job, then shopping is the second job. What else a woman can do except shopping?
IT woman: Has hard time getting up during work days but has equally hard time keep sleeping during weekends. That’s the problem. So exercises are the best thing to do. Taking a sports-friendly MP3 player and doing exercises outside is very good for health.
CBD woman: Life is short so why live a bitter life? Needs to have as much fun as possible, as long as it’s within the boundaries of law. Everybody should be like this.
IT woman: Stays at home…but with a style such as Wii, DOTA, Texas hold’em. It’s leisure and fitness all at once.
What’s in their bags
CBD woman: A purse, a laptop (Mac Air?), some jeweler, a cell phone, a mirror, a lip balm, a pen and a notebook.
IT woman: A purse, a mini laptop (Asus netbook?), a cell phone, an ID card, an extra battery for cell phone, beauty products, a U Shield (security device for making online transactions with credit cards) and a camera.
The day by brand encounters