Commentary

Luxury Brands, Don't Lose Your 'Cool'

The majority of luxury brands was founded as small design houses or as couturiers with unprecedented passions for beauty, elegance and design. Brand growth was measured by customers, which grew into storefronts, which developed into careful distribution channels and then to representation. Development has always taken a controlled and careful path and was based on person-to-person interaction. 

Then enters digital, and communication paths become infinite, audiences are immeasurable and brand voices can become robotic and easily misinterpreted. 

However, when it comes to a superb digital presence, Oscar De La Renta has found a great solution that reaches his audience. Her name is @OscarPRGIRL, and she is everywhere. She is everywhere, not Oscar De La Renta, the brand – but instead, a personality who represents the brand. She controls many digital channels: Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. A massive job, but it’s her only job and, therefore, it’s concentrated and manageable. She is one voice, speaking to her audience, connecting interpersonally, and creating a successful brand presence that spans across a digital landscape that the brand has chosen to occupy. 

Another example is Chanel, which chose Twitter and Facebook as its main vehicles for social media. On Twitter, they don’t follow anyone, and their Twitter bio includes a quote from the lady herself, Gabrielle Chanel. The Chanel website, however, is responsive and offers a range of engaging content and experiences. On the other hand, Oscar De La Renta’s website is not responsive and offers less engaging content. The point here is where the two brands chose to invest their digital marketing efforts. 

In regards to luxury e-commerce, Net-a-Porter has always created stellar editorial content that intrigues and envelopes her audience. For instance, online magazine The Edit not only engages the audience, it also educates and invites them to shop looks and exclusive content direct from the page. The imagery and editorial layout is beautifully presented – I look forward to the next version.

Furthermore, the connection they have created between The Edit and their Tumblr page is seamless. They coded Tumblr with a menu bar, and even though you are viewing fresh content on a different platform, you feel as though you have not lost the connection from the site. I would say, however, that they are missing a huge opportunity on their other social channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

Considering the content they are able to produce, they have the opportunity to create a digital series elsewhere that engage their network and entertain the digital audience.There could be more creative graphics and interactive experiences that lead campaigns as well. When you have the wealth of resources and imagery at your fingertips such as Net-a-Porter has, it would be great to see more original content and ideas across their digital channels. 

There is so much to say to so many people, so brands tend to feel the need to create more in order to reach everyone. This is wrong. Brands, luxury ones in particular, should choose the channels where their audience will connect and engage with them. The approach should be strategic and reflect the essence of the brand. Brands like Oscar De La Renta and Chanel maintain a strong digital presence while aligning their brand voices with the audiences they continue to build.

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