Social VS Exclusivity – how luxury brands should use social media

Though luxury retailers pride themselves on their exclusivity, the rise in social media is changing the fashion scene. The dynamics of the luxury retailer have changed rapidly with 75% of wealthy internet users active on social media (The Fashion Law, 2017). As social media has become one of the main forms of communication, customers now expect much more from luxury retailer brands than what has been delivered using traditional marketing techniques. While the majority of luxury brands pride themselves on their exclusivity, social media aims to reach a large audience and a wider scope. The problem which these large luxury brands face is how to engage with social media without lowering the image of your luxury brand. There is a worry about loss of control and brand reputation when using social media, as most high end brands are realising that social media provides the platform for customers to research and discuss the companies, leading to many seeing luxury and social media as incompatible. Therefore there are specific steps to be taken in order to maintain the high end vision of the company.

Consumer Needs

In order to create a social media page which is able to keep the brand values and reputation you must let the customer lead the way, especially with luxury brands and loyal customers. Luxury consumers can be hard to please, do not want to lose current customers who invest money in clothing due to its luxury branding and price tag rather than its use of social media (Smith,2013). Therefore it is important for luxury brands to keep that exclusivity and high end feel over there social media presence. DKNY for example have created the perfect consumer driven social media page with over 300,000 followers asking questions and discussing the brand in a positive light, keeping their consumers happy.

Brand Values

Establishing brand values is especially important for high end retailers who mostly cater for the rich and famous. High end customers don’t want to see the VIP edge taken off the company they have invested a lot of money in therefore these companies need to ensure they keep up the luxurious feeling that current and previous customers have been involved in. Louis Vuitton have been able to uphold there high end sophistication across their social media with there beautiful digital campaigns and their fan base obsessively follows the brand on Twitter, where LV gives exclusive sneak peeks and hosts extremely high-end giveaways as part of their global product launches.

New Trends

Using social media can be seen as an easy option but keeping up with the new technology and trends of social media can be fast and tricky. A current marketing trend is that of using influences of famous faces and vloggers can reach the interests of the technological world. However this use of bloggers and collaborations would have to work with those of the brand values of the company to ensure that no negative press comes with the chosen celebrity. In 2014, British fashion label Burberry did just that when it recruited models Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne to be the campaign faces of the then-new My Burberry fragrance. When the announcement was made it marked the first time the British It models had worked together, which furthered the attention the campaign received.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1OwrDmO8mY

Interaction

Social media doesn’t work if you’re not social, bringing people to the sites is a positive start but there will be no point in the sites if no one comments or interacts. Brands need to focus on putting posts and information that makes their customers engage and join in the conversation. By engaging with both core consumers and the broader digital audience, luxury brands have an opportunity to use the marketing potential offered by social media and create high anthropomorphism perceptions (the extent to which consumers’ associate human characteristics with brands (Hudson et al, 2016)) to ensure brand loyalty and engagement.

In conclusion

In luxury it is even more important to have a focus on social, with two-thirds of the target audience generating content on a regular basis and 15% doing that on a daily basis (Bishop, 2016). Whether luxury brands want to branch in to the wider scope of consumers and log on to social media, the conversation about the company is happening with or without you present. These luxury brands should embrace social media to further connect with their influencers, and to learn everything all about their customers. Luxury and social media can create vast opportunity if collaborated together, just ensure that your current and loyal customers are getting the same brand values which were originally instilled in them.

References

Bishop, C. (2016). What’s the point of social media for luxury brands?. Econsultancy.

Hudson, S., Huang, L., Roth, M. and Madden, T. (2016). The influence of social media interactions on consumer–brand relationships: A three-country study of brand perceptions and marketing behaviors. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 33(1), pp.27-41.

Smith, C (2013). “The Demographics Of Social Media Audiences, And The Unique Opportunities Offered By Each Network”. Business Insider. N.p., 2017. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

The Fashion Law. (2017). Luxury Brands and Social Media: How Much is Too Much?. [online] Available at: http://www.thefashionlaw.com/home/luxury-brands-and-social-media [Accessed 14 Feb. 2017].

Discover My Burberry – inspired by the iconic trench coat. (2017). [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1OwrDmO8mY [Accessed 16 Feb. 2017].

 

 

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