Using Digital Content to Market Luxury Brands

Luxury brands are growing confidence in their take up of social media marketing. Increasingly, rather than perceiving social networks as relinquishing control of their carefully branded environments, luxury brands are rapidly getting to grips with the idea of consumers as a key distribution channel in themselves.

Luxury brands such as Dior are now investing their marketing efforts into the creation of fun and beautiful digital content that extends the story and messaging of their brand.Check out a shortlist compiled by The Business of Fashion, showcasing a range of such fashion films from Chanel’s cinematic take on the sophisticated dancefloors of St Tropez, through to Christian Louboutin’s playful and quirky illustration of a creative daydream.

Consumers as your distribution channel

Social networks are set up as a perfect channel for luxury marketers to harness the power of word of mouth marketing. In a time where consumer scepticism is at an all time high, survey by PR firm, Edelman (2006) found that 67% of consumer goods sold as a result of word of mouth, by a three to one margin people are far more likely to trust “average people like me”.

As the authors over at Fashion’s Collective blog write “having a loyal customer take hold of a brand piece and share it with their circle via word of mouth is pure. solid. gold.”

Fashion marketers are now taking this one step further and engaging with consumers by providing or in some cases even co-creating content with their audience.  This is the future currency that will build consumer advocacy for their fashion brand and products. “People on social networks love to share. Find the people who are passionate about your industry, your brand and your products, reward them with valuable information and content, and then watch as they put all of their passion, zeal and social media acumen to work promoting your brand to the rest of their social network.” (Ryan & Jones, 2009).

What does this mean for 2010 and beyond?

In a study by Outsell Inc (cited at digital spending is expected to eclipse print ad spending this year for the first time ever. With a further study by the Society of Digital Agencies showing a continued upward surge in digital media investment for 2010. 81% of brand executives surveyed expected to increase their digital projects in 2010, and 50% will be moving cash from traditional to digital budgets.

A marketer’s ability to identify and reward influential and loyal consumer brand ambassadors will most certainly reshape the traditional value chain as they themselves become an essential and highly effective distribution channel. The key challenge now for luxury brands is in creating such a network of well-aligned marketing partners – from social media fan communities who are powered by aspiration and desire for conversation around the brand, through to influential bloggers, and even traditional media partners such as Vogue, who, with the recent announcement of the launch of their iPad app, appear to be quickly adapting their publishing strategy to the needs of the luxury advertising sector and its increasing consumer demand for inspiring, lustworthy digital content.

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Filed under Advertising, Business, E-Commerce, Fashion, Fashion Marketing, Internet Marketing, Luxury Brand, Marketing, Marketing Mix, Networking, Niche Market, Online, Online Marketing, Online Shopping, Promotion, Social Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Target Market, Web Marketing, Website

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