29CM’s Growth in 2022
This month’s posting focuses on the various campaigns of one of Korea’s predominant select shops known as 29CM, which is especially popular amongst the 2030 generation. 29CM is one of the platforms in Korea that sells a variety of fashion products in addition to accessories and household goods. In 2022, it has been announced that their transaction amount grew by 82% compared to 2021, exceeding 250 billion KRW during the first half of 2022. The monthly number of active users (MAU) and app users who purchase both doubled compared to last year, clearly indicating the rapid business growth of 29CM. According to a representative of Musinsa (the parent company of 29CM), 29CM’s rapid growth was possible due to the increase of platform awareness through 29CM’s brand campaigns on both online and offline channels. Let’s find out then what kind of marketing strategies 29CM conducted in the first half of this year through campaigns such as the “당신2 9하던 삶(The Life You Pursue)” and the most recently opened “29CM GALLERY.”
First, let’s gain an understanding of the 29CM’s brand identity. “29CM” expresses the measurable distance from which one can find and feel excitement in their daily lives with others. The reason they specified the number to 29 is because there was a sense of uniqueness when subtracting 1 from 30cm, which is the common distance found between two people. To further identify with this idea of excitement in daily life, 29CM promoted themselves covering a variety of themes such as culture and travel along with fashion in order to promote a lifestyle that suits every individual’s taste. As COVID-19 cases were comparatively low in early 2022 and social distancing loosened up, 29CM started strengthening its positioning as a unique select shop not only in online spaces, but also offline spaces by holding participatory events for the “당신2 9하던 삶(The Life you Pursue)” campaign, opening their offline pop-up store 29MANSION in May, and also most recently opening the exhibition store “29CM GALLERY” in August.
Beginning of the Brand Campaign:
“당신2 9하던 삶(The Life You Pursue)” was a major brand campaign of 29CM as it was held as both an online and offline participatory event. The purpose of the campaign was to strengthen its status as a select shop that respects individual tastes and to further promote the core value of curation to potential customers. As the original goal of 29CM was to give every customer a sense of ‘special-ness’ in their daily lives, the main purpose of the campaign was to convey the message that 29CM can become a trustworthy guide to finding each individual’s uniqueness and style. It was later analyzed that the campaign had an effective promotion method due to the predominant mindset of the MZ generation, which is self-identification and consuming for oneself, all of which aligns with 29CM’s core message.
29CM built an online site exclusively for the “당신2 9하던 삶(The Life You Pursue)” campaign, based on 5 storytellers with different personalities and lifestyles. When accessing the online site, visitors are able to enjoy the trendy UX UI design based on the campaign’s main message and also various services such as events encouraging comments, music playlists, simple lifestyle tests, and recommendations of 29CM items. Simultaneously, in May, the first offline pop-up store “29MANSION” was opened, allowing customers to experience the brand’s message directly in an offline space. 29MANSION was a four-story building located near Samgakji Station, which was composed of trendy rooms of the representative storytellers of the campaign, reflecting each person’s lifestyle and uniqueness. In response to the sensational branding phrases that also have a sincere message of respecting individual tastes, the influx of female customers increased significantly, with the women’s fashion category having a 92% increase in transactions compared to the previous year.
Expansion of Offline Space: 29 Gallery
After the success of “당신2 9하던 삶(The Life You Pursue)” and 29MANSION in effectively attracting and increasing potential customers, 29CM focused once more on expanding the brand’s offline space by opening a shop-in-shop-type brand exhibition space called “29CM GALLERY” at The Hyundai in Seoul. Following the trend of exhibition-type pop-up stores, 29CM also utilized the concept of making the offline store look like an “exhibition.” This can be seen as an offline strategy that shows the value and philosophy of the brand, rather than merely displaying items for the purpose of sales.
The first 4 partner brands on display were Mardi Mercredi, Fabrik Pottery, NR Ceramics, and Lexon, which are all brands that have already entered into the 29CM online platform. When entering the exhibition hall, interior accessories and paper invitations were shown. On the back of the invitation, there was a QR code that led to the 29CM official site with videos, information, brands, and future schedules of the 29CM GALLERY. A seamless connection from offline to online space could be experienced while visiting the 29CM GALLERY. A staff member in the store explained that unlike typical pop-up stores, 29CM GALLERY focused more on the “exhibition” aspect of pop-up stores to strongly promote the brands that are collaborating with 29CM. They are to promote four new brands every month with this exhibition concept and have plans to expand their exhibition-like concept stores in Seongsu as well. Through these campaigns, it’s evident that the online select shop 29CM is expanding its strategies to offline spaces.
To recap, in today’s post we have gone through how 29CM has attracted more customers as it expanded its campaigns from online to offline in 2022. After COVID-19, the increased demands of offline experiential spaces by the younger generation, the core life values of the MZ Generation, and seamless connection of online and offline space are all significant points that brands should consider and incorporate into their strategies. According to a 29CM representative, 29CM and its partner brands will continue new challenges of utilizing offline space in the second half of 2022.
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