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Luxury Trends in Social Media

With the NET-A-PORTER and Yoox merger, all luxury brands need to quickly embrace new e-commerce strategies and to develop unique social media experience.

This takeaway report aims to explore what is at stake for the luxury industry, to highlight few best practice both from a content strategy perspective and from a retail marketing one.

From anti-social behaviours to re-generate exclusivity, to new approaches regarding customers journeys, the opportunity is big for luxury brands.

Featured brands: Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton etc.

More information on http://thisisreup.com

Luxury Trends in Social Media

  1. 1. LUXURY & SOCIAL MEDIA 2015 A TAKEAWAY REPORT
  2. 2. AGENDA. Incipit p3 Retail stores are still the luxury’s Disney world. p14 Trend 1: Closing down the curtains p23 Trend 2: Luxury is my story, better p31 Trend 3: Many Streams p42 Trend 4: Pleasured p50 Now what? p57
  3. 3. INCIPIT. Luxury brands still struggle to find the right balance between digital communications and scarcity management. In an era of digital ever-everything (connections, accesses, information), the challenge is to embrace this change to root luxury brands on unique paths to exclusivity, bespoke services and in a way, education. If Paris has its rue Montaigne, Firenze its fashion week, Geneva its Haute Horlogerie and Anvers its jewels, Facebook – and main social networks in general – seem to share a same look & feel both for FMCGs brands and for high end Maisons. 3
  4. 4. Digital pipelines are not naturally made for luxury; there is a need to add new social layers beyond what’s already present. As a Dior retail store has a unique look & feel, luxury brands need to translate – or even digitally imagine first – how customers can experience the same sort of pleasure and exclusiveness online. 4
  5. 5. LUXURY BRANDS ARE SOCIAL TOPICS. Millions of conversations occur every month around luxury brands  Some brands like Chanel are somehow part of pop culture and are naturally discussed in social channels  Niche brands which are only accessible to very few people are more difficult to talk about 5
  6. 6. WORD-OF-MOUTH: KEY DRIVER. In a very demanding market, where knowledge is key to get to know why a product is “better” than another one, there’s a need for customers to be educated, taken by the hand. Word-of-mouth has never been as important 6
  7. 7. “In higher price-point categories, word of mouth’s impact is almost 20% of sales.” Word of Mouth Marketing Association (November 2014) 7
  8. 8. 2016: THE NEW TIPPING POINT. Pricing matters. NET-A-PORTER x YOOX merger accelerates the entry of big luxury players in the e- commerce world while forcing others to adjust. 8
  9. 9. “Luxury brands will no longer be able to retail items in China that cost 20% more than in Paris for example. Centralising the pricing strategies will force luxury brands into a price harmonisation that some have already started, such as Chanel.” Sam William-Thomas 9
  10. 10. THE E-COMMERCE GAME IS ON. After years of avoiding entering the e-commerce playground, Chanel officially released a timeline. It should open the pipeline within the group of luxury brands which were trying not to enter this environment. 10
  11. 11. DIGITAL BROKE THE PATH TO PURCHASE. Thousands of new touchpoints to bring customers to specific luxury stores  Explosion of new paths that are not yet fully mastered by luxury brands  Same touchpoints as other FMCG brands, very tough to be different 11 © McKinsey
  12. 12. "We are testing the approach” Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion, Chanel 12
  13. 13. JOURNEYS ARE NOW ASYMMETRIC. 13 Discover Consider Explore Purchase Recommend Inherit Understand Purchase Recommend Discover Purchase Explore Discover Consider Recommend
  14. 14. RETAIL STORES ARE STILL THE LUXURY’S DISNEY WORLD. 14
  15. 15. EXPLOSION OF LUXURY E-OFFERS. Luxury products are one-click away from any customer worldwide  Pricing is therefore tougher than ever to be justified  New luxury levers explored by pure players: experience, niche local raw materials etc. 15
  16. 16. LUXURY: BLURRED LINES. 16 Value-for-money is now more and more important, even for luxury brands, as worldwide customers tend to improve their luxury-savviness © Erwan Rambourg
  17. 17. “Today e-commerce represents a scant 4 percent of luxury sales—but e- commerce is only one aspect of the digital opportunity. Our research found that an additional 40 percent of luxury purchases are in some way influenced by consumers’ digital experience—for example, through online research of an item that is subsequently bought offline, or social-media “buzz” that leads to an in-store purchase.” Mckinsey, luxury shopping in the digital age 17
  18. 18. DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS SOON UNIFIED. A need for luxury brands to consider customer-relationship in a unique way, whatever the medium or channel is.  A breakthrough: if retail is still the home of luxury brands, its entry door is digital first: 50% of total luxury purchases is influenced by online (BCG)  64% of young adults research products while out shopping (Samsung) 18 Samsung future shoppers 2014
  19. 19. “Walking through the doors is just like walking into our web site” Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of Burberry 19
  20. 20. DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN PROGRESS. 20 the Digital IQ Index®: Watches & Jewelry http://www.l2inc.com/research/watches-jewelry-2014
  21. 21. “Kering is working on a new large-scale project, aimed in particular at establishing a single client base common to the various distribution channels.” Kering 2014 Financial document 21
  22. 22. RETAIL IS A NOW A DIGITAL CHAMELEON. 22 Discover Collect Learn Try Enjoy Purchase New range of products New look, touch & feel Orders made online Additional products Orders made online Additional products Buy products in-store Additional products New range of products New look, touch & feel New range of products New look, touch & feel
  23. 23. TREND 1: CLOSING DOWN THE CURTAINS 23
  24. 24. RE-GENERATING EXCLUSIVITY. When it’s too easy to get into a luxury brand, its brand equity generally tends to collapse.  Retail now plays a tremendous role in the social journey: the place where the most important magic can happen  Retail, like concert halls, is one of the most shareable social objects: visual sharing culture broke the first notion of digital influence. If an individual is at the right place at the right moment, he can grab more attention than a top fashion blogger or online journalist 24
  25. 25. A NEED FOR A DISTINCTIVE TONE.  Luxury brands cannot rely only on inheritance and vertical transmission. They must build up reasons for an individual to build up its own uniqueness. The representation of the individual himself has become luxury  A need to tell a story about the brand itself…but also about the people who inhabit this brand 25
  26. 26. CURTAINS HAVE VERY VERSATILE MEANINGS. 26 A very versatile customer, keen to explore far more experiences than before  A saturation of special editions and collaborations between luxury and affordable brands which complexify the landscape  A war on attention in which generating enough digital footprints is far from easy 440 million luxury consumers by 2020 according to BCG  In the era of über personalization, a tremendous blackjack for old Maisons © Eurostaf
  27. 27. WHEN BRANDS CLOSE THE CURTAINS. Miu Miu decided to create a new craze for its Very Important Customers by providing an amazing experience.  The happy few shared their experience online, as any customer would do  The difference is that, as they’re high profile, all the other tiers heard about it and want to be part of the club 27
  28. 28. WHEN BRANDS TEMPORARILY OPEN THE GATE. In 2013, Alexander Wang decided to invite New Yorkers, who are not necessarily highest profiles to attend an undisclosed event. It turns out that people started to fight to grab the products.  High profile could make fun of this crowd  Despite a very arrogant and violent tactics, it generated an enormous word-of-mouth: cheap human nature was more accused than the ethics of the luxury house… 28
  29. 29. DEEP WEB PRINCIPLE APPLIED TO LUXURY. What is rare is expensive  Academics portals, hitmen, high value content are often protected  Luxury brands are also extremely keen to disappear fromgeneral public channels  A trend which matches with the growing usage of hybrid apps, as the networks become the reasons to connect  What’s secret is shared: the rise of messengers’ app as principal social media  580 million registered users on LINE, 700 million active users on Whatsapp…  Growing usage of share-to-buttons dedicated to Whatsapp or WeChat 29
  30. 30. MONTBLANC X MOONPHASE X WECHAT. 30
  31. 31. TREND 2: LUXURY IS MY STORY, BETTER 31
  32. 32. INDIVIDUAL EMPOWEREMENT IS KEY. Luxury brands cannot rely only on inheritance and vertical transmission. They must build up reasons for an individual to build up its own uniqueness. The representation of the individual himself has become luxury. 32
  33. 33. “Unlike in the 1920s, [luxury] aim is not ‘to efface the boundary between art and everyday life’, but to build up new distinctions in ‘the rapid flow of signs and images which saturate the fabric of everyday life in contemporary society’” Featherstone, Mike (2007) Consumer Culture and Postmodernism London, Sage Publications. 33
  34. 34. LUXURY-ME IS BOOSTED BY VISUAL CULTURE. Instagram is all about daily lives and…perception of these daily lives.  Luxury products can actually enchant this daily visual snack  An acceleration of product as a story-driver 34
  35. 35. BREAKING THE CONSERVATIVE RULES. A need to go beyond marketing pitches and PR kit  Trying to matter in the hectic schedule of affluent consumers  A need to define a unique content strategy, which goes beyond the simple description of a product but which endeavours the experience of the product  A need to be timely: luxury brands no longer hesitate to partner with strong digital influencers to bring their communities to the brand 35
  36. 36. HERMÈS PUNCHLINES. 36
  37. 37. A BIT OF GRAPHIC FANTASY WITH TIFFANY & CO. 37
  38. 38. …WHILE OTHERS ONLY FACTUALLY RELATE NEWS. 38
  39. 39. REPETITION IS THE NEW EDUCATION. 39
  40. 40. A NEED TO FIT TO THE SOCIAL SPACE. 40
  41. 41. HARRODS CREATED ITS OWN CANDY-CRUSH. 41
  42. 42. TREND 3: MANY STREAMS 42
  43. 43. LUXURY BRANDS DIVE INTO NEW MAINSTREAM. Hip hop is no longer perceived as this street paria but is at the very core of pop culture, all over the world.  Maison Martin Margiela is now diving into this trend, providing special collection for one of the modern heroes of hip-hop: Kanye West  Spreading the word about the brand myth through another myth does not dillute the brand but make it shine in the eyes of a crowd, while reserving its products to only happy few 43
  44. 44. NEW INFLUENCERS ARE DIVERSIFYING. 44
  45. 45. WHAT’S LUXURY FOR YOU IS NOT FOR ME. New sequencing of luxury stories: no longer an only one consumer, but several cultural personae  Sneakers example is now a masterpiece to demonstrate how far luxury territory’s changing its DNA  Luxury is no longer just related to a certain bourgeoisie or aristocratic field: new sorts of social capital are more important than family: followers, capability to make a statement resonate in the popular culture etc. 45
  46. 46. “We've been sold a concept of joy through advertising, through car advertising, through fashion branding. It's not the concept of time, time with your family, time with your friends, the little time that we do have on earth and what we do with that. It was somehow sold to us through a Gucci bag or something. Time is the only luxury.“ Kanye West 46
  47. 47. NEW STREAMS OF LUXURY. 47 Technology Pop culture Transmission Digital conversation driver New narratives for new kinds of influencers and buyers Inheritance is no longer a question of centuries but potentially of decades The possibility to grow the reputation of a brand only through online channels Owning a product is now owning the story you’ll tell in the next future
  48. 48. THE LUXURY BEATS GO ON. 48
  49. 49. NEW APPROACHES TO TIME OR HISTORY. 49
  50. 50. TREND 4: PLEASURED 50
  51. 51. AUTONOMOUS SENSORY MERIDIAN RESPONSE. Digital should explore senses and make them feel good.  Explosion of “feel good” content, which unlocks the same sort of pleasure as a massage  New ways for luxury brands to translate their deep self into content that has a direct impact on body and mind 51
  52. 52. CHOPARD AND ITS HAPPY DIAMOND CONCEPT. 52
  53. 53. VIRTUAL: A TANGIBLE SOCIAL MEANING. High involvement products will very soon explore new digital / virtual expressions:  Hidden gems in HTML code  Bespoke emoticons only made for you 53
  54. 54. ANTICIPATING VIRTUAL REALITY IMPACT. Not “virtual realities” but true physical alternative experience  Luxury brands will have to provide even more comprehensive experience to minds plugged to new ways of perceiving the world  A need to connect the dots between a tangible craft and what this craft can create in terms of mindframe 54
  55. 55. “Time is the ultimate luxury” Antoine Arnault, Head of Communications at Louis Vuitton 55
  56. 56. NEW RATIOS TO BE SET UP. Wider diversities of journeys to save customers’ time…or to make him enjoy deeper moments with the brand  A need to imagine new ‘conciergeries’ depending on targeted public  A need to rethink the touch points between human relationships and transactional, eventually automatized platforms 56
  57. 57. NOW WHAT? 57
  58. 58. GET IN TOUCH ;) @lilzeon laurent@thisisreup.com 58

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