Tag Archives: Digital Strategy

Social Media and Luxury Brands: A New Era

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Stephane Galienni, founder and director of digital media experts BalistikArt, explains the leading digital marketing technologies and how they relate to luxury brands.

2010 was a turning point for luxury brands in their conquest of the digital world. With the new opportunities provided by social media – where the conversation takes place – and by the blogosphere – where opinions are voiced about brands – a major shift has occurred. From a society of communication, we have moved to a society of recommendation.

Today we are experiencing a mobile and social Internet, ruled by the notion of “every time, everywhere” in which the C-to-C conversation becomes permanent and real-time and is held in a written mode. A French proverb says: “Words are fleeting, writings remain” and Google is always there to remind us of this. Social media can become uncontrollable for prestigious houses, as was recently experienced by Guerlain.

To ignore what is happening in social media is like delegating the brand’s power of expression to the first passerby. Digital strategy in luxury is not about a marketing operation using a 2.0 “Swiss army knife” with its array of gadgets. It is a true anticipation of the future communication challenges for the luxury industry.

Twitter, how to reflect timelessness in real time

Early 2009, no luxury house was to be found on Twitter. Today, they almost all have their Twitter feed, with the difficulty of reflecting their rich heritage in 140 characters. Why is writing the story of an esteemed brand in real time so complicated? Literary inspirations and creative storytelling can enrich the live feed of a luxury house. Imagine the experience of discovering an unfolding story around the Hermès “Echappée belle” ad campaign, or regular telegraphs sent by a Vuitton traveller.

Facebook, luxury masstige

Facebook, with its 580 million members around the world, is a further godsend to luxury masstige and in particular for fragrance and small leather goods. The dream becomes accessible to all with one click, from fan page to e-commerce. The hundreds of thousands of fans who join the pages of luxury brands are voluntary and motivated, but unlike the customers who enter a store, there is often no one to say: “Hello, can I help you?”

Social Relationship Management, or SRM, is an initial response to social media strategies, because luxury is primarily a matter of customer service. Social Relationship Managers can provide a daily service similar to that of a butler or concierge, listening and providing personal advice for each of its customers or fans.

Front Row Bloggers

It is now common practice to have bloggers in the front row of fashion shows, as they are the first to tweet live and quick to post articles on a new collection. Bloggers are content creators, passionate and technically savvy, capable of getting the word out on Google faster than online magazines. The paradox of embargoed press releases and information leakage on the blogosphere is a new issue of communication timing in a digital environment. PR departments have to rethink their methods so that they can address different audiences simultaneously by developing a form of transversal storytelling.

What is next? If social media was the trend in 2010, in particular with the spectacular acceleration of Facebook, 2011 will be the year of the mobile web. The QR code technology, for example, opens new opportunities for luxury advertising as it provides content to mobile users from a billboard or a point of sale. With a pocket internet connection and geolocation-based services, the media is closer than ever to the end user and offers a fabulous new perspective on brand content.

Source: Luxurysociety.com

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Planning your 2011 Digital Marketing Strategy

Planning Your 2011 Digital Strategy

The piece of the pie awarded to digital marketing has become increasingly more substantial as of late. As we embark on a new year, we must determine which areas to apply resources in order to shape the year’s digital strategy.

Chances are, planning for the 2011 marketing calendar has long been underway, but the first few weeks of a new year always bring renewed energy, focus and undoubtedly, a multitude of internal meetings. Campaigns can serve a variety of purposes; some are intended to drive sales, others to generate awareness. To build a cohesive digital position for your brand online, each campaign should hit on at least one of the following core principles:

Be accessible. This is a point that will become more and more integral in the coming years. It is also the point with which luxury marketers have the hardest time. Accessibility does not need to mean the cheapening of a high-street label. Rather, it can mean the ultimate in customer service because it provides a level of convenience that makes for a more positive shopping affair. Keep in mind; if a user is purchasing a luxury item on a mobile device, for example, it is because they are choosing to. It is the customer’s choice where, when and how to shop for your brand. It then becomes the brand’s responsibility to be available on a variety of platforms, not only as a way to remain relevant, but to offer a better customer experience.

Resonate more strongly with the potential following/customer by knowing who your target audience is and where they spend time online. Take advantage of popular blogs and platforms. Truly participate in social media outlets by actually sparking conversations. Engagement starts with the brand; determine how to actively collaborate with fans, followers, and loyalists instead of just giving them a branded arena to communicate with each other.

Drive traffic by incorporating the capability for users to share your brand on multiple levels. This shouldn’t only be a universal share function on the upper right corner of a website, but something that lets people distribute the specific things they like, including products, editorial, videos, etc. across channels.

Generate “buzz” by reaching new audiences and being an arbiter of interesting content. The more intriguing the subject matter, the more likely it will be both memorable and circulated. For example, remember the “Elf Yourself” campaign, the one where your face was placed on a dancing elf and you could send it to your friends? This was a wildly popular initiative by OfficeMax, but what most people fail to know is that the company put out twenty different holiday campaigns and this just happened to be the one that stuck. The potential to be viral is not a mathematical formula. For luxury brands where mass distribution is not necessarily a goal, having truly interesting content is what provides an added value and will help ensure that it is dispersed amongst your target audience.

Increase revenue by ensuring ecommerce functionality is properly in place to serve your brand. If customer service is an area that’s lacking, this should be the first place improvements are made. After all, extremely good and bad customer service encounters are commonly the topic of online conversations. Also, streamline the brand experience with the opportunity to purchase. Shopping should travel with the product and overall brand story. Ecommerce no longer needs to be a separate initiative, but rather fully integrated into all digital brand extensions.

Above all, every piece of communication, digital or otherwise, should embody the core of the brand identity.

We look forward to the innovations and successes to come in 2011!

Photo Credits: Charlie Schuck

Source: Fashioncollective.com

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