The History of the Luxury Fashion vs. Social Media Walk-Off:
In 2013, Rag & Bone used Google Hangouts to launch it’s first live Shoppable show from the tents at Fashion Week; Bergdorf Goodman just launched a menswear Instagram account; Chanel posts on Google+ and Facebook but does not have a Pinterest account, where it’s the third most popular brand being pinned. Despite all this progress, “luxury” fashion brands still misunderstand the role of social media. From the early days of social media, luxury brands have tended to ignore these marketing channels invoking two main rationales: (1) My luxury clientele do not use social media (2) It dilutes luxury fashion brands to use social media.
While possibly true for a certain higher-echelon of brands (think Belgian Loafers, Céline, Brioni, Hermès etc) from 2005-2010, the above statements are now generally false. This not to say that every luxury fashion brand should throw themselves into ALL social media has to offer but should at least understand how and why it works. We know, we know. There are specific challenges that luxury fashion brands encounter in social media that simply don’t exist for Whole Foods and Target. They exist for high-fashion brands on social media that other retailers opt-in to all social media has to offer. Yes, Chanel should at least have a brand presence on Pinterest, but no, Hèrmes need not sell its Birkin bags through an e-store on Facebook.
The Odd Couple: Luxury Fashion Brands & Social Media Traditionally, luxury brands and social media are fundamentally at odds with each other; one trades on exclusivity, while the other offers accessibility to all. When we think of some of the qualities we associate with ‘luxury goods’, they are remarkably similar to what social media offers its practitioners: status, word of mouth, bragging rights, brand affinity, influence, loyal customers All this seems totally random, So how are luxury brands in fashion using social media and what tactics work?