Fashion trends are constantly changing; new styles and fads appear nearly every day. Along with new trends, comes new methods for clothing brands to sell their products to consumers. Therefore, marketing strategies, advertising and creative agencies must also change.
For luxury fashion labels such as Hermès, Gucci, Prada and Dolce & Gabanna, marketing and finding a successful creative agency has become an important part of setting their label apart. A simple logo won’t suffice anymore; brands must adapt to the expanding luxury market if they want to become top-of-mind among customers. Despite extremely high prices, luxury brands are the fastest growing segment of the fashion industry. For luxury fashion brands to succeed, they must focus on creating valuable customer relationships, product quality, aesthetic value and their brand legacy. The luxury fashion market is small, but its influence on style trends and retailing is enormous.
How Marketing is Changing for Luxury Fashion Labels
Every luxury fashion brand has its own marketing strategies and creative agency. However, most luxury brands have at least one thing in common: The 24 Anti-Laws of Marketing. This strategy was coined by Vincent Bastien, former CEO of Louis Vuitton. Created in the 1970s, these rules outline what luxury labels need to do to curate long-selling products with intangible elements attached. For years, the hedonism, elitism and self-elevation luxury products gave consumers was enough. Although those same intangibles are still being marketed, today’s social media-crazed culture requires brands to turn to different strategies.
YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have revolutionized communication between luxury labels and their customers. The old-fashioned method of one-way communication has changed to an active conversation between the brand and the consumer. Labels use social media to attract new customers and to give customers an idea of their brand culture. Luxury labels must use social media to showcase the intangible values that come attached to a purchase of a garment or accessory.
Social media also acts as a direct channel of feedback for brands. Luxury fashion labels invite bloggers, influencers and celebrities to runway shows to gain attention from new and existing customers. The photos and videos customers see from a brand’s new collection will drive purchase intentions almost immediately. Social media activity also sparks interactions between users, and creates word of mouth effects.
How Luxury Brands Market Differently than Fast Fashion Brands
Luxury fashion labels hold all of the power. They create trends, essentially telling consumers what to like, buy and wear. This is perhaps the biggest difference between luxury label and fast fashion marketing techniques. Fast fashion brands wait for luxury labels to do all of the creative work, and then replicate those styles five or six weeks later.
Luxury brands must aim their marketing efforts toward an extremely large audience, including consumers beyond their target market. Value and brand recognition determine a label’s success, so it’s more important for a label to reach beyond its target audience to maintain prestige. That means also less common for a luxury brand to sell its products online; forcing customers to go into the store and take time deciding on the purchase makes a brand’s products less accessible and increases its intangible elitist value.
Fast fashion brands listen to what the customer wants and delivers products accordingly. Luxury fashion is not about catering to consumers, but creating timeless trends.
Where Luxury Fashion Marketing is Headed
One thing is clear among luxury fashion labels: brick and mortar stores are not going anywhere. Consumers expect a luxury experience when they shop for luxury items, and that’s why most luxury retail stores provide music, food, drinks and an atmosphere that will keep customers interested in coming back. This kind of shopping experience cultivates a community of consumers, and increases intangible luxury value.
Luxury labels must find a balance between following Millennial trends and serving Boomers. Although Millennial consumers now make up a larger segment of the luxury market, brands can’t abandon Boomers because they still hold more purchasing power. Luxury brands will need to find a way to include Boomers, otherwise they will turn to another more inclusive label.
Written by: Rebekah Swank