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The Strategy of Hermes in France and China


Hermes is a luxury company that was started in 1837 by a person called Hermes. It is based in France and it is one of the few companies that boast of handcrafted collections of clothes, leather accessories especially bags, watches, perfumes and even jewellery. In France, it is a well-known company as it has been there for almost two centuries now. This is the complete opposite of the scenario in China where the brand is only familiar to some people because it offers quality products. Now, China has a very strong economy and let us not mention its large population. For this reason, if Hermes can tap into the different market segments and critically analyze the demographics and psychographics of this country, it will revolutionize its market share in China and potentially many other countries worldwide. It is therefore true to say that China has the potential of changing the market share possession of Hermes for the better.


Hermes brand has established itself as a luxury brand that does not overproduce its products therefore ending up spasming the market with numerous products. It only produces a certain number of clothing, leather bags and other accessories, jewellery like silver, scarves, both masculine and feminine perfumes, watches, neck ties and even footwear. The brand claims that most of these goods are handcrafted. Handcrafted goods signify attention to details and high quality as opposed to mass production of goods. Hermes International was founded in 1837 in France by a man called Hermes. Until now, the Hermes family own the largest shares of the company.

Hermes International has collaborated with a few key famous brand names in the recent past with the 2015 collaboration with Apple that led to the production of Apple Watch being the most luxurious of all. It partnered with Apple again in 2019 to produce a number of products. It has also partnered with Tuareg for a long period to aid them in the making of the silverware products. In France, Hermes International can be argued to be a household name as it has been up and running for almost 200 years. In China, the popularity is not that pronounced due to the competition from other famous brands like Gucci that produces their products in masses. This goes against the handcrafted attention to details of Hermes brand. This essay will look at the comparison between the marketing policies and other market segmentation of France and China.

Hermes in France

As we have already established, Hermes International is a brand based in France.

Cultural values

The cultural values of France is geared more towards classic leather and things like that. French people ooze sophistication and class and this is evident in every of their endeavours from their language, their food substances to their elegant dressing. They value beauty in its simplest form and they take pride in their heritage as a people. Hermes was founded with these cultural values in mind considering the founder was a Frenchman. The importance of family is highly pronounced in this country. Its predominant religion is Catholicism, and therefore organization is their strong suit. With respect to these cultural values, Hermes International satisfies most of them and it is one of the reasons why it is popular in France. The use of sophistication in the handcrafting of its bags, watches, scarves and silverware is an important milestone in the satisfaction of the French customers.

Target Market

Just as we have analyzed the cultural values of France, the target market depends mainly on the cultural values of that particular society. For instance, the love for family simply tells us that any product that fits the whole family will be appreciated by the customers. According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of sales of Hermes in the first quarter of 2021 has increased by 33% compared to the sales in the first quarter of 2019. For Hermes International, the target market ranges from men to women, by rough considerations. It then narrows down to women and men with class, those men and women in the middle high- and high-class levels, children and families of these particular men and women in general. Age wise, Hermes products appeals to the mature generation ore than it appeals to the younger generation. Gender wise, it appeals to the women more with the leather bags being on top of the list.

Demographic variables

The demographic variables of any target market include the age, the education level, the economics and income of that market. The demographic variables for Hermes in China is explained in the sentences that follow. The main age bracket is the middle age, that is between 30-65 for the men and for the ladies it is between 25-55. However, the younger generation still uses Hermes’ products especially the age between 22-26. The most predominant gender that uses these products in France is the women. The number of men using these products is still high only that the women exceed the men. Owing to the fact that Hermes produces quality handcrafted products, it targets mainly women and men of higher status. The middle high and the high class are the main target, together with their families. The education levels of the target of these luxury products are at least high school, as long as they are literate. Although there is some degree of sophistication to their products, anyone with the sophistication and fashion understanding to pull these products off can buy no matter the education level.

Psychographic Variables

The psychographic variables simply account for the motivations, habits, thinking and the driving force of the target market. The brands that stimulate most of these concepts through their products are bound to succeed. For a brand to really understand what its target market needs, how it can better its products and succeed, it has to know the motivations, habits, and what drives these people. We have already established the target market demographics of Hermes International, and the psychographics will be easy to identify. The target market for Hermes products is highly motivated with most of them being leaders in their respective professions. Most of them want to dress to impress and boost their confident levels in many hierarchical situations and professions. They are hardworking be it in the corporate world or even in the entertainment industry. One common baseline for the psychographics of Hermes International is that they dress to impress, portray class and sophistication, boost their confidence levels, and lead their followers in the right path and direction. They are women or men with positive habits, or at least strive for positive habits, apart from the love for luxurious products.


Hermes as a brand is a French brand. It is therefore well known and recognized in its home country. As we had already found out in the cultural values, the love for their culture was one of the outstanding cultures of the French people. Their appreciation of art and perfection is also something to be commended. Looking at all those fundamentals, Hermes incorporated all of them in the design of its products to satisfy its customers. The only competition that this brand has in France is Chenel, Christian Dior, Prada and Louis Vuitton. Hermes had a market share of Hermes in 2020

Brand Identity

The brand identity of Hermes in France is simply elegant and artistic with a touch of perfection in every product they produce. Its personality is artistic, confident and bold. For this reason, it is known for its artistic products and bolder designs including the Birkin bag that it co-designed with Jane Birkin. It strives to be identified as a brand that advocates for the culture of elegant style with luxurious products. It also wants to instil sophistication and flawless demeanour to its customers though perfectly crafted pieces. The ways it sees itself as a brand is a brand that incorporates patience, attention to details, creativity and artistry, sophistication and perfection to produce high quality products in limited amounts to protect the quality of these same products and ensure they stay in style for as long as possible.

Brand Image

The French people have a sense of high fashion and style and sophistication is obviously an important part of their character. For the French customers, Hermes is a luxury brand that incorporates perfection and culture in the production of its products. For them, it is not about high status or low, they feel Hermes appreciates their culture to the latter and for that, they love the brand.

Branding Strategies

Hermes in France has used different branding strategies in order to satisfy its customers and increase its market share. It has collaborated with Tuareg, a silver company to come up with amazing designs for its silverware products. It has also collaborated with Apple to come up with Apple Watch in 2015 and in 2019, it collaborated with Apple again to come up with other products.

Hermes in China

Hermes is a foreign brand in China as it is originally from France. However, China has a strong compact economy with the flow of currency being very good for any business. Hermes has a growth potential in this country.

Cultural Values

China is arguably one of the oldest countries in the world. For this particular reason, it has a wide range of cultural values and some of them are extremely sensitive. This regulates the type of clothing and accessories to only those manufactured in their country and a few chosen pieces from the outside world. the Chinese people pay close attention to details and the silhouette and significance of any materials used in the manufacture of their clothes or any other accessories. This is because of the impacts and effects of close attention to details as in the past, every material had its significance and downsides in solving different political, social and economic problems. China is a male society with a higher inclination towards society values than individualism. For this reason, the Chinese people buy luxury products to show their high status in the society. It is a country that accepts social injustices in that the rich can oppress the poor. This also tells us that China Hermes has a great potential in China as its luxury products can be used by the high class individuals to [portray their high status to the world.

Target Market

Hermes has witnessed insane support from the whole of Asia in the last few years. It made $2.9 billion in sales in Asia the first three months of 2020, it registered about $2.5 billion even with the pandemic. In 2020, Hermes brought in about $2.7 million in a reopening flagship day, in a single day. With china being at the forefront of that love, Hermes has managed to win the heart of China due to the increased demand for luxury products by the Chinese people. Chinese people want specialized products and custom made products and this requirement has been done perfectly by the Hermes International by producing customized singular pieces from leather bags to homeware products. These products are perfect for the rich Chinese customers who are mainly the customers.

Demographic Variables

Hermes China is an expensive brand because of the high quality products that it offers. It also limits the production of statement pieces like its Birkin leather bags and for that reason, the limited availability of these products are competed against by the large China market. The main target market of Hermes China is the younger and middle age population because of the high prices. These young people and the middle aged population are usually those with above average net worth. The level of education is of really no essence as it only requires rich people and a desire or love for sophistication. These products from Hermes target corporate world bosses and employees, entertainment professionals, rich businesspeople and pretty much everyone with a higher net worth which allows them to acquire these products.

Psychographic Values

A study found out that the love for luxury products in China and the increase in demand for these people over the past 15 years is due to the notion that luxury products is equalled to high status in the Asian countries especially China. For this particular reason, the Chinese people have loved these luxury products because of the notion and belief that high status individuals wear expensive products. The fact that Hermes products is handcrafted and emphasizes on patience in its production process simply says that these products are expensive and high status. The target market for Hermes is confident people who own businesses or are leaders in the corporate world or at the entertainment industry. Hermes has actually collaborated with famous faces in the entertainment world to come up with specific products to appeal to people to buy their limited products.


In China, Hermes’ main competition is mainly Louis Vuitton, Prada and Gucci as it also has a leather bag collection. A research argues that Prada has a larger market share compared to Hermes simply because Hermes products are limited and expensive and for that reason the larger population cannot afford it, which is different for Prada. It produces luxury products and in bulk and it offers them to the entire population at a higher but reasonable price. Hermes still has a high market value and share in China with its strongest selling proposition being the fact that it produces its products in regulated quantities and also the handcrafted and personalized experiences that it assures its customers. This puts it ahead of most competitors as brands like Loius Vuitton cannot say the same about its production process.

Brand Identity

The brand identity of Hermes in China is inclined towards tapping the high net worth individuals, strong minded and free spirited customers and those who want to define their status in the society by wearing and using high end luxury products. The personality of Hermes in China is elegant and attention to details hence perfection. The culture that it is trying to portray is the culture of sophistication and love for high end fashion. The self image of Hermes over the years has been the perfect combination between style, sophistication, attention to details, patience and customer satisfaction. It has lived up to these standards without fail. Hermes China is just but a luxury company that mainly targets people who have money that either want to live up to their high status or want to look high status. The people who appreciate attention to details and the sophistication and timelessness of every style piece in the collection of Hermes.

Brand Image

The impression of Hermes International to the Chinese consumers is that of a luxury brand that is hard to afford. Hermes is a luxury brand that sells expensive products unapologetically. The Chinese customers are aware of this fact. However, despite the expensiveness of the brand, the customers still view it as a brand that is capable of raising the status of any person using it for his or her benefit. Therefore, the brand image for Hermes in the Chinese customer base is both positive and negative; negative because the customers term it as an ‘expensive’ luxury brand and positive because they also believe that its products can change their status in the society.

Branding Strategies

In China, Hermes has done a number of strategies in the hope of raising their brand image and personality and reach as many customers as possible. It has collaborated with a lot of celebrities and entertainment and showbiz personalities in order to come up with the best designs for their products and satisfy a larger customer base.

Comparison between China and France

As we had have already established in the above findings, Hermes is loved in France because it was founded in France and for that reason, it has been able to tailor its products to fit the culture and personality of the people of France. In China, however, it had to work hard to steal the heart of the Chinese market. The Chinese has an outstanding advantage, and that is the strong flow of income and the high purchase power of the consumers.

Comparatively, China has a higher potential of increasing the market share of Hermes than France does. This is because Hermes is a French brand and it has been there for two centuries therefore its market share cannot reach any higher. In China, the brand has only been there for about 25 years and it has managed to tap into the Chinese market in such a short period of time. That simply tells us that by the end of the next 10 years, Hermes has the potential of increasing its sales, even quadrupling it.


Hermes has managed to control the French market share because it was able to tap into the thinking frame of the French people, giving them exactly what they want, including paying attention to their cultures and values. In China, it has been able to win the heart of the Chinese customers because it has managed to differentiate itself from the competitors. It has also been able to fill the gap that was available in that it has produced quality handcrafted products with attention to details which has been hard with the emergence of new textile technologies every day.


One outstanding weakness of Hermes in China is the fact that it is not willing to expand its territorial boundaries thus limiting the production quantities. This is not a very good position for a brand that has already appealed its customers to be in. Hermes should find a way to increase its production quantities and also widen its territorial coverage in order to increase and strengthen its cash flow.

In France, it should come up with different artistic designs to impress its customers as it might end up hitting a plateau phase in its growth and that is not a good spot for a business to find itself in. It should collaborate with famous brands and introduce a different brand line that covers people who are less sophisticated but would still like to try Hermes products.


Tran, P. (2012). Hermes International.

Binotto, J., Jang, M., Shah, A., Chow, J., & Collins, S. (2016). Hermes International SA.

POTKEWITZ, H., & MASIDLOVER, N. (2015). Can Your Relationship Handle IKEA?. Wall Street Journal3.

Ashton, W. A. (2019). What Would Hermes Do?. The Folklorist in the Marketplace: Conversations at the Crossroads of Vernacular Culture and Economics, 234.


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