With the explosion of social media, the world has become a digital landscape populated with many users who connect with it in different ways. Many luxury companies took a “wait and see’ attitude, not understanding the power of a social network to drive sales. Preferring traditional media platforms to reach out to their exclusive audience (of largely baby boomers) mainstream luxury companies are just beginning to engage with new media. While they were watching from the sidelines, companies like BURBERRY were committing to the digital platforms and engaging the “Millennials Affluents” in a huge way with campaigns to promote indie music, online sites like “NOWNESS” and “THE ART OF THE TRENCH” took the rest of the industry by surprise. The massive brand re-positioning of many “old school” luxury brands to reach this new audience has only just begun. Spring 2015 campaigns from Ferragamo, DIOR, CHANEL, and other mainstream luxury brands have begun to reach out to this audience and engage them on their own territory. That territory is decidedly digital, mobile and last but not least, most transactions that will happen in a store will be the result of extensive social research and comparison. Burberry is one example of a luxury brand that crossed the luxury divide and built a successful digital component that is admired by other luxury brands:
“By creating an inclusive platform for brand engagement (and cultivating relationships with aspirational consumers) Burberry effectively increased its exclusivity among consumers who can actually afford their products” (Greenhill Partners).
This is just the beginning for luxury social media…the gate has opened and the new generation of shoppers who want to be part of a social “pack” of shoppers to purchase and “aspire” to these luxury products.
If you are a luxury product and want to reach this audience (see above) and don’t forget to look at how your products are fitting into the world community. Socially responsible brands are coming up through the supply chain showing that things matter like labor practices, eco-sensitivity and causal marketing; all due to the new generation of shoppers who demand more than just a label. Social Responsibility is going to be top on the list of requirements for this age group. Remember, this is the age group that has built US brands like Apple and MICHAEL KORS which have achieved a worldwide luxury status and this is in part due to the MILLENNIALS who are a group that has made its mark.
The EDITOR: We are including a quote from GREENHILL PARTNERS, a luxury research group.