Luxury brands can enjoy a lot of inherent advantages when it comes to the value of social media and the opportunities this platform provides. The Social Luxury Forum confirms that there are five key advantages that luxury brands should leverage in order to capitalize on social media opportunities:
1. Visuals are everything
The importance of compelling visual engagement plays a key role on social media. The good news for luxury brands is that this is normally the case, so luxury brands are likely to excel in this area.
2. Passion for the product
Experiencing luxury brands is no longer limited to bricks-and-mortar as digital media allows for luxury brands to be more accessible to those who have a genuine passion for the product. Smart marketers take advantage of empowering these communities, that are brand loyal, and allow these consumers to experience the brand wherever they may through digital mediums. As Richemont Marketing Director Anne Delliere stated, 70% of content referring to luxury brands is not created by the brand itself, but rather by the people who have a passion for them.
3. Create a compelling brand story
By creating a brand narrative, consumers are more likely to resonate with the brand. Social media platforms allow for the brand narrative to be carried through various communication channels, enlivening and enriching the story both far and wide, reaching a larger audience.
4. Crossing borders
As stated by consultancy Bain & Company, the luxury market is a global one. Luxury brands are and will be forever looking at ways in which to stretch their target audience reach but still stay within international advertising budget. Social media thus plays a pivotal role in achieving this and building brand communities across markets.
5. Experience is key
Consumers in the luxury sector hold huge importance in the experience a brand provides for them. Social media enables for innovative brand experiences to occur such as exclusive events for social media communities; unique first-look content or different approaches to customer service. The way luxury brands integrate social media with experience-based marketing and eCommerce will define the future of luxury.
Social Media and luxury cosmetics
As a result of being able to like, share, comment post as well as follow and subscribe to your favourite ‘beauty vlogger’ Social Media allows consumers to feel a part of the process. Anastasia Beverly Hills, a brand that is famous for the ‘Dip Brow’ eyebrow kit and “Glow Kit’ reposts and shares different looks created by their consumers. The brand has become a master of User Generated Content (UGC), a tactic well used in ensuring that their consumers fully engaged with the brand.
‘Beauty Vloggers’ – a force to be reckoned with.
A survey conducted in 2015 depicted that three out of four luxury purchases by 7000 shoppers were influenced by what they had seen and heard online.
Statistics have shown that 95% of people who are browsing for beauty content tend to do so on YouTube, where they can watch ‘how to’ guides, make-up and beauty tutorials as well as gain insight into various beauty hints and tips. 97% of all beauty related content is created by ‘beauty vloggers’ or ‘haul girls’ (girls who go an extreme shopping sprees and explain to the camera everything they’ve bought, why and give a review on each product). This has caused brand–led and controlled content to contribute a mere 3% to the 15 billion beauty related videos.
One can definitely say that these so called ‘beauty vloggers’ and ‘haul girls’ have had an effect on the cosmetics industry. The top 25% of these individuals have 115 times more subscribers than any big beauty channel. Hence way many big corporate beauty brands have looked to partner with these individuals who are already YouTube famous or possess significant influencing power amongst the masses, as to further their consumer reach and increase brand equity.
The use of popular “beauty vloggers” can do wonders for a brand and can generate substantial revenue, above and beyond what was initially anticipated. It has been calculated that ‘beauty vloggers’ have on average 255 videos on beauty content on their YouTube channels, which is three times more than the average beauty brand channel.
Jaclyn Hill, a YouTuber with over 3 million subscribers, has partnered with BECCA Cosmetics to create a ‘Shimmering Skin Perfector’ called ‘Champagne pop’. As a result of her large following this campaign generated an astounding 4 million dollars in the first four days when it was released on her YouTube channel. The product was sold in most if not all-major stores; subscribers flocked to EBay and other sites in attempts to purchase the product and were even willing to pay more than the initial $38 dollars. Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kit priced at $29 sold out in a matter of minutes when it was released online.
Burberry – out with the old and in with the new.
Burberry has been the dominant and leading player in the digitalized economy of a luxury fashion industry. It was the first luxury brand to utilise the social media channel Snapchat by showcasing their products on Snapchat’s Discover channel. This channel has for many years been occupied by the likes of Buzzfeed and Vice, however Burberry was quick to see a window of opportunity to create an even further reach via Social Media.
Why the campaign was so successful? Authenticity, says Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief creative officer and president. Consumers want to feel that those representing and promoting the brand genuinely have a love for it. The Burberry Snapchat campaign showcased an ideal mix of reality, intimacy and inclusivity that other luxury brands have not quite yet captured. Consumers want to feel a part of something special, how things are produced, the ‘behind the scenes’ of it all. “They want more access and more authenticity and, if that’s what they are demanding, then we need to listen and find new and exciting ways of democratically bringing them into our world” says Bailey.
The Impact of Instagram
Instagram users spend an average of 257 minutes a month interacting with content. Instagram’s unique position as a network, that favors aesthetics above words paired with consumer impact, has created a wealth of opportunities for the luxury sector. Another study that was conducted by TABS Analytics found 31% of Millennials purchasing decision was based on their Instagram engagement with a particular product. Prestige brands have come up with various innovative ways in which they can document and share consumer and brand interaction. Dior took followers behind the scenes of the Cannes Film Festival in 2014, Bobbi Brown has promoted philanthropic causes and Estee Lauder has shared nonstick, creative and playful photos of their various products. Instagram is a platform that allows brands to share unique product visuals and leverage personal relationships with consumers.
Due to the fast pace at which social media is growing in today’s day and age, online photo and video sharing as well as social networking services are all important tools that should be readily and easily accessibly on any major brand’s social media channel as to appeal to and reach the majority of the intended target audiences.
Why has the use of social media in the luxury sector particularly taken the world by storm and deemed to be considered the new way of marketing and attainting optimum reach amongst consumers? It’s a way in which to capitalize on Millennials’ curiosity and the prevailing fear of missing out which is common amongst today’s generation.
The notion that luxury brands need to stay off the Web in order to maintain their sense of prestige is now falling away. More and more luxury brands are joining the world of social media, by allowing their brand building presence to be seen on these platforms and allowing for interactive communication to take place between the brand and their consumers. It is in the interest of all luxury brands to engage and interact with their followers as this not only increases brand awareness but establishes a solid foundation for brand equity to occur long term.
Chic Being believes in the power of Social Media and helps up-and-coming luxury brands become future market leaders. Contact us for inspiration and guidance in building your brand's premium image offline & online.