The big luxury brands have had to reconsider their communication and design strategies in order to meet the needs of the increasingly sophisticated 21st century consumer.
Although the major fashion brands seek to renew the brand digitally, it seems that their past is still as important as the present. Modern buyers continue to appreciate more traditional ideas and crafts, seeking to consume those ideas outside the boundaries of the brand’s stores in a more interactive way through digital media.
The jewelry brands with more history have also wanted to renew their image by orienting themselves to a ‘millennial’ consumer. For example, the Swiss fine jewelry house Piaget has decided to get on the e-commerce by selling its product range at Net-a-Porter for the first time, while enrolling Olivia Palermo to star in a digital campaign and promote the new launch.
Likewise, Cartier added to its Amulette de Cartier collection of interchangeable talisman necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings with new pieces composed of very different materials such as rose gold, wood or malachite, to attract a younger buyer at a price initial of less than $ 2,000 retail. Then they started selling the collection through WeChat with great success. Although European brands distrust their reputation and move away from electronic commerce, Cartier says they want to expand their reach and reach native consumers digitally through their mobile device.
The famous fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo has recently undergone a change of strategy with the appointment of its new CEO Eraldo Poletto. After his appointment earlier this year, he wanted to focus on developing a “digital mindset” within the company and working on “a strong push with content that creates expectations.”
One of the first projects he headed was the re-launch of the brand’s website, introducing a much more intuitive electronic commerce platform for the user. In addition to the launch of the new website, campaigns were carried out with ‘influencers’ from around the world, as well as digital initiatives directed through WeChat in China, one of the fastest growing markets of the brand.
Ferragamo has especially focused on promoting various categories of products, beyond footwear, through its social channels, in an effort to establish new classics and renew their current offer. Models of the moment such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kendall Jenner and Lily Aldridge appear with the new handbag of the “Sofia” brand, as well as the different international ‘influencers’, ranging from the Australian Nicole Warne to Lee Sung Keung.
Dior has been another historical brand that has adopted social channels such as WeChat, to renew its image under the creative direction of Maria Grazia Chiuri. The brand joined WeChat last summer with a flash sale of Lady Dior bags, running out the same day of the launch, after a teaser campaign that urged users to continually check the channel to find out what the surprise would be.
The campaigns with ‘influencers’ are the center of Dior’s new strategy. The house has been working with some of the most popular bloggers worldwide to promote both its ready-to-wear, accessories and new beauty releases. For his last show on the Calabasas cruise, Dior ‘flew’ and dressed key influencers like Chiara Ferragni, Song of Style’s Aimee Song and Negin Mirsalehi. In addition, the brand created short videos where each influencer shared his opinion about the show on Instagram Stories. A few weeks later, the brand also launched a video starring Ferragni and Bella Hadid brand ambassador, to promote her new volumizing eyelash mask.
The adoption of a uniform strategy through different categories, as we see in Dior, seems the key that fashion brands seek to renew their image and offer. It is equally important to respect the history of the brand and look for new creative ways to tell stories for the modern and digital consumer.
Transmitting a strong and powerful message is important in the world of luxury. ‘Telling something different is the first challenge for today’s brands, otherwise, direct communication with the consumer becomes another way of annoying you’, says Luca Solca, director of luxury at BNP Exane Paribas. Keeping in mind always, that the key of the digital strategy is based on amplifying the message of the brands.