We know well how resistant luxury retail has been to harnessing all of the potential of digital and social media. And it’s not surprising either: the industry’s strength has long been in cultivating relationships within brick and mortar environments.
But the current moment is challenging luxury brands to harness digital like never before to:
- Strengthen existing relationships and loyalty
- Build a new customer base through millennials and Gen Z
- Burnish their long brand legacies through emerging media like Instagram, Snapchat and even TikTok
There are a few signs of innovation in the industry, including:
Changing the way goods are sold through digital channels
While multibrand luxury portals like Net-a-Porter, Shopbop and Farfetch have boomed in year over year sales, the major luxury brands have hungered for the same kind of growth. LVMH launched 24 Sèvres as its own play into the multibrand digital space, creating a sleek online storefront where consumers could find the latest from such LVMH flagship brands as Céline, Christian Dior, Fendi, Loro Piana, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs as well as up and comers in fashion.
Reaching Younger Consumers Through Social Media and Influencers
An early challenge of using social media has been the social quality of the medium. Luxury brands rely on having an aspirational image which is hard to maintain while trying to be conversant in the lingua franca of young people.
However, luxury fashion and cosmetic brands cannot miss out on the opportunity to influence younger consumers:
- Rarified brands like Chanel opt to not respond to fans in comments but do present lovingly curated images of their most iconic offerings through their social feeds like Instagram.
- Hermès commissions films featuring its products like handbags and recall classic films from the French New Wave or film noir eras.
Influencer marketing is of course important to the advertising portfolio of any beauty or fashion brand working today, and the luxury brands are no exception.
- TikTok star Charli D’Amelio generated millions of impressions for Prada when she showed up at a recent Milan Fashion Week.
- Gucci has worked with a street artist on appropriated versions of its iconic logo hand-painted in NYC and serving as a boost to street cred.
Bringing Luxury to the “Sharing Economy”
Uber and Airbnb have popularized the concept of the “sharing economy” and startups in the luxury space are following suit to try and bring the same digital savvy to a new market for luxury goods and experiences. Prominent examples include:
- Rent the Runway: this clothing rental company allows consumers to borrow frocks by everyone from Alexander McQueen to Yves Saint Laurent that may retail for many thousands of dollars.
- Blade: this charter helicopter company has a sleek app and serves the jet set in the Hamptons and Cape Cod.
- Hitch and BlackBird are two startups attempting to become the “Uber of the sky” with a private jet service.
How ACCUR Serves the Digital Needs of Luxury Retail
ACCUR Recruiting Services has deep experience with the luxury retail industry and the digital, e-commerce and startup spaces. We will work with you to find the right executive talent for all of your digital needs, whether that is in marketing, branding, influencer marketing or social media. Contact us to discuss your needs.
Edouard Thoumyre is a seasoned executive recruiter with over 17 years of experience in executive search, as the Founder and Managing Partner of ACCUR Recruiting Services. Specializing in the Consumer and Luxury Goods industries, he has a proven track record of placing senior level and C-level executives in family, private equity-backed, and Fortune 500 companies in the beauty, wine & spirits, watch & jewelry, home goods, and tobacco industries, among others. Edouard Thoumyre holds a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from HEC Paris (#1 European Business School, Financial Times rankings) and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Centrale Lille (a top 10 French engineering school). ACCUR Recruiting Services has been recognized as a Forbes Top 100 executive search firm since 2018.
Edouard Thoumyre and his firm, ACCUR Recruiting Services, have been featured in numerous publications such as WWD, Business Insider, Newsweek, CPG Specialist, Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq.com, Marketplace by NPR, Business of Fashion…