Do you know what the forced compliance theory is? It describes the unpleasant feeling that results from believing two contrary ideas at the same time, concentrating on the tendency that a person is induced to do something that might be contrary to his or her opinion in order to avoid dissonance.

Not so easy to understand, right? Actually this paradigm is widely used in marketing by inducing consumers to do something for a brand, an action expected to enhance and to amplify their attitudes towards the brand itself.

An important indicator comes from the social media world.

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Few days ago, Snapchat debuted on the stock exchange for a value of 25 billion dollars reconfirming the enormous power this platform has; it is by far the best place to reach the generation Z which is very fragmented and has a huge media consumption.

But how to engage them? Lets analyze this phenomena together.

Burberry planned everyhing in advance.

Art of the Trench, Burberry’s first social network step, was released in October 2009: it main goal was to stimulate the consumers by interacting with the brand itself, focusing on the ability to create content and to bulk a sense of belonging and affinity: anybody had the possibility to became a brand ambassador, posting pictures of themselves wearing Burberry’s clothes.

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The brand went forward, leveraging on continuous challanges of innovation, reinventing new customer values, and getting tuned with 21st century technologies.

It was 2010 when Christopher Bailey (chief executive and creative officer of Burberry, ndr) launched the project Burberry Acoustic: consumers could register on live.burberry.com and watch session of performances by new and emerging British bands wearing Burberry garments mixed in with their own clothes.

But all that glitters is not gold. A brand image can be ruined by a poor management of the site in any moment through:

  • Absence of a real daily interaction between the brand and its followers;
  • Lack of a deep and meaningful brand experience by seeing photos of others in the same outfits;
  • Not keeping social networks fresh and relevant.

This push towards social media marketing stands to be a positive one only if it is strictly connected in a customer-focused brand strategy.

Burberry also went beyond live streaming: during the SS 2016 fashion show, with a “public” of 100 million accounts, it shared pictures of the entire collection on Snapchat before its debut on the runway.

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How to take advantages of this super active audience? The brand offered a made-to-order catwalk service, selling runway pieces collection online immediately after the show ended: remeber that the final and ultimate goal is to bring the customers closer to the brand.

The last in.

Few days before the Paris Fashion Week 2017 Céline joined Instagram for the first time, reaching more than 50,000 followers after only one day. The French maison was the only one among all the other luxury brands that had snubbed the power of social media: it was not present  on Twitter and Facebook, something pretty strange for a luxury fashion brand nowadays.

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The capacity to keep these spaces active is fundamental to defining the macro-strategies used (such as coherence, interaction with the public, a dinamic scenary, etc).

The brand is seen as myth, as a lifestyle. It is strongly related with its heritage, proposed and celebrated through evoking a precise way of living.

The new CEO Séverine Merle has brought a more fresh approach to the brand, planning also to open an e-commerce website and test the results of the sales online within the end of the year.

Using the influencers to capitalize more.

An amazing idea came from the minds of Dolce&Gabbana: during their SS 2017 presentation, they manage to make the catwalk alive with diversity, sizes, shapes, ages, races.

Now the audience and the final customers are changed, and also the luxury world must adjust itself.

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A significant number of people appearently unknown, famous on social media, children-of, influencers or bloggers: they weren’t professionals, but the presentation was still unique.

The Tommy x tommy-tmygrl-iphone-1200x1170Gigi collection
made by Tommy Hilfiger in collaboration with the super model Gigi Hadid used Facebook’s first conversational shoppable experience.

It is an artificial intelligence that answers questions about the collection on Facebook Messenger, adds items to the user’s cart, and sends them to tommy.com to complete the purchase. The tool aim is the one of copying some of the features on China’s massively popular and sales app, WeChat.

Of course these partnerships can achieve engagement, but the actual conversion rate to sales is not garanted: only about 1,5% of online sales in 2016 can be attributed to social media, even if 75% of customers discover products there. Brands therefore consider Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as media and advertising tools, with the hope that they will be also turned into e-commerce platforms.

The fashion, luxury and haute couture sectors are characterized by a strong and intensive presence on the social media. We can define this sociability form as a vertical one, represented by high respondance taxes of users who express in an emotional way the attachment to a brand, without creating a real flow of conversation between each other or the brand.

Even if they’re not buying, your customers want to talk to you and about you.

Burberry films its S/S 2014 show using the iPhone 5S

Anna Bizzozero

References:

BoF

Pambianco

Digital PR

Digiday Publishing Awards Europe

Collection Trends

Burberry

Céline

Dolce & Gabbana

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One thought on “The future of luxury brands: personal platforms and social media.

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