Jumping into the digital world as a luxury brand can seem daunting. Perhaps even downright scary. It is undeniable that going digital is—and will continue to be—vital to the long-term health of your brand. However, in a world so consumed by easy access and instant gratification, how is it possible to maintain your brand’s integrity?
So you’ve established branding information. It is now time to begin the journey towards translating your brand DNA online. If used correctly, social media will more fully integrate your brand with your consumer—an often-overlooked relationship that is especially important for luxury brands. 62% of affluent adults prefer to purchase online according to a recent report from the Shullman Research Center, proving that luxury marketers really should make their online presence a priority. Setting up an experiential website and Facebook page is easy—deciding how you’re going to interact with consumers on an hourly basis using social media sites such as Twitter is much more difficult.
Luckily you have options. Take a look at Chanel and Bergdorf Goodman for two polar opposite approaches to luxury tweeting. Chanel follows no one, and engages with no one - maintaining the aura of exclusivity from the iconic brand. Bergdorfs, on the other hand, follows over 1,000 others, uses winky faces incessantly, and has established its own hashtag: #getscattered (Cute, yes. Luxury, perhaps not). Although it can be risky to compare a brand with a retailer, since both coexist in the luxury space, these two examples will show you just how many different options you have as a brand operating in social media. Above all, do not forget about those brand values you’ve already established—keep them consistent as you interact with consumers, otherwise your message will get lost and you risk losing potentially lifelong customers.
Moving into the digital space will have huge payoffs for your brand. However, compromising your brand's integrity in the process will greatly diminish that success - and could prove fatal for your brand.
2. Step into the customer’s shoes, and judge your brand by its weakest points.
According to Jason Cohen, executive vice president of creative at The O Group, it is invaluable to “step back and judge your brand the way the luxury consumer will—by its weakest point of execution.” Luxury consumers will expect a lot of you as a brand, so why not push yourself to meet those expectations?
For an example of a risk well-taken, check out Jimmy Choo's 2010 "Catch a Choo" campaign - which reinforced for both existing and aspirational customers that "its product is to be coveted."