What should luxury brands be doing about blogs? The example of Chanel and Ykone
In this « social media revolution » as some people like to call it (check the new video updated about the social media revolution), a luxury brand that ignores the blogosphere is on its way back to the eighteenth century.
Why is it such an issue for luxury brand?
Luxury is all about influence. Of course, there should be a guarantee of style and quality (although not always the case) but what makes a brand luxury is the influence that the people associated with it have on others.
Since the time when in 1956 Grace Kelly was carrying a creation from Hermes, the bag became the most famous item from the French high fashion house, the “Kelly bag”. This bag was created in the 30’s but really became an object of desire once she had been seen with it.
Luxury has always had something to do with muse, stars and influential people, as that is the way luxury brand make customers dream. Luxury brand creations and products are made for those people but can also only really exist thanks to them.
Of course the real influence still exists, social network have been a reality before the invention of the web 2.0 and always will be. The huge difference now with the development of the social media is the scale: before, a star was seen with her new bag by maybe 500 people in the street, and thousands of people in magazines. Now, we are talking about millions of people if it is on facebook, Twitter or Youtube.
The best example of such a phenomena, and how it has been well understood by a luxury brand is the “Art Of the Trench”.
Based on the notion of influence, understanding that the best way to promote your product is through influential people wearing it (for no fee). They have nearly reached 1 million visits around more than 150 countries with visitors staying on more than 5 minutes. What does it mean? Instead of having your trench promoted by an influential wearing it in the streets of London, Paris or New York, Burberry have brought those same people together and offered at the same time a quick look into the world of Burberry and who is wearing the Burberry trench…
The information also travels quicker, everywhere in the world, meaning that it can be a huge success if your digital and marketing strategy is strong. If done wrong though it can also quickly become a disaster (remember the Vichy case, introducing a new product through a fake blog by a fake young Parisian party-girl in 2005, for more information view this article).
If it can reach so many people in such a short time, the big mistake of a lot of brands -luxury or not- is to expect the social media to result in extraordinary sales revenue that equals the social web’s mass-based appeal.
It doesn’t change the fact that social media has become a huge issue and challenge for luxury brands because as for luxury it is about influence, relationship, references…And blogs are the most explosive social media platform at the moment.
What should luxury brands be doing about blogs?
We are not going to present all the possibilities -the good and bad ones- but only a recent example which was a collaboration between a fashion social media platform and one of the most famous luxury brands in the world. It seems to have been quite well done and now shows some luxury brands have started to understand that doing social media online shouldn’t be separate from offline strategy, that a digital strategy is not something which has to be done by just interns, but has to be part of the marketing, PR, and communication strategy.
Ykone & Chanel in Saint-Tropez
From the 10th to the 12th of May, Chanel has been organizing a huge fashion event, for the fashion show “Croisière”, inviting lots of photographers, journalists, actress, models and of course Baptiste Giabiconi, Vanessa Paradis –the new Chanel muse-, or Diane Kruger to name only few of them, in Saint-Tropez.
The purpose of those two days in the French Riviera was not only to present the new Spring-Summer collection, but to present what is the Chanel world, what does it means to wear Chanel clothes, what is the lifestyle which goes with the brand. Choosing Saint-Tropez was part of the strategy, as this place used to play an important role in Karl Lagerfeld life and in the fashion life also.
How to spread the world without losing the exclusivity of this event?
Building a partnership with a new fashion platform –a social fashion experience- and inviting the co-director and blogger, Mathieu Lebreton, to spend those 3-days with the hype world of Chanel.
Those 3-days were then experienced “live-broadcasting” thanks to a special microsite build for the event on Ykone, and to their twitter.
A good strategy to connect the online to the offline, to make people dream about your brand, to make them discover what it is to live the Chanel experience…It is also a way for the luxury brand to build a closer relationship with its customer. Luxury has to make people dream…and with such a strategy, everyone is living the Chanel experience online, thinking that they could also be there.
With such a good offline/online strategy, I definitely think that Chanel reached this goal.