Luxury is often associated with heritage, exclusivity, and high ticket items - but the market has had to almost overhaul operations to meet new standards set by Covid, and demands set by consumers. The new luxury consumer cares about where their products are coming from and the messaging that a brand portrays - which has made some companies adapt their marketing strategies in order to become more accessible to a wider audience by embracing new channels such as TikTok. Unlike the fast fashion model, luxury items are traditionally deemed as long-lasting keepsakes, rather than trend-focused and rapidly changing - and the focus around sustainability and responsibility seems to be pushing brands back towards this original purpose. For example, Gucci's Creative Director, Alessandro Michele announced that the brand would no longer be showing 'on-schedule' at Milan Fashion Week, and instead would be cutting down their number of shows from five to two, in a bid to reinstate "the care, connection, and belonging."
So, with the industry going through perhaps more changes than ever before and the gap between consumers and brands increasing due to Covid, what new channels can luxury companies take advantage of to maintain connections? We spoke with Tatiana Dupond, Head of Luxury at LinkedIn, to gain her insight on how brands are adapting today.
What mediums and platforms can luxury brands take advantage of in order to showcase their collections creatively due to COVID?
We know that luxury brands will emerge from the crisis into a world where the emotions and motivations of luxury buyers have evolved. Bain & Company has predicted that successful marketing strategies will be those that can incorporate digital shopping experiences, heightened social and environmental consciousness, and the growth of a post-aspirational mindset. Brands will need to express luxury brand values and to showcase their collections in a way that talks to ethics as much as to aesthetics.
I think that for fashion brands, a show will remain the best expression for a designer but a collection is not just about the clothes, it’s about the story, the design, the catwalk, the message… All these elements combined will help brands show their true colors and broadcasting shows live on social platforms such as LinkedIn have proven to be engaging and can be creative.
A growing number of fashion brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Armani, and Dior are using LinkedIn Live to live-stream catwalk shows on our platform. When they do, they see strong engagement from informed luxury audiences that are characterized by positive and constructive comments.
We also see brands organize digital events on LinkedIn and invite exclusive members or a wider audience to “viewing rooms”.
How can brands still retain engagement, and create exciting experiences for consumers and influencers online?
The key is for brands to be authentic and have a true sense of purpose that they are willing to share throughout events, experiences, digital communications, etc.
Together, millennials and Gen Z will represent 55% of the global luxury market by 2025. For them, beautiful photography, craftsmanship, and heritage already have more meaning when they are connected to a sense of purpose. They expect to own, wear, drive, and experience brands that represent support for communities and respect and value for employees.
These trends all require luxury brands to share deeper, more holistic, and more transparent narratives with their audiences.
The LinkedIn audience wants a deeper understanding of luxury brands – and this drives the appetite for many different types of content. The most successful strategies on our platform take a 360-degree approach. They balance brand films and product-focused ads with behind-the-scenes interviews, details of techniques and craftsmanship, and narratives around sustainability, purpose, and values.
It's clear that luxury brands need to take advantage of diversified channels in order to connect with an audience that is both responsive and engaged. Tatiana will be shedding more light on this subject at our upcoming digital summit, #Performance2020, for which you can sign up for free by clicking the banner below.