Luxury brands in the digital space: making social media work for you

Luxury brands in the digital space: making social media work for you

WaveMetrix have released a concise guide for luxury brands to understand best practices in social media. Based on case studies around brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Dior, the guide investigates three strategies which can help luxury brands overcome the challenges they face – associating with elite culture, penetrating emerging markets and preserving their luxury retail experience online.

Luxury brands have traditionally held back from embracing the digital space for fear of compromising their exclusivity and desirability - the foundations of their image. Although giving consumers more control can be daunting for luxury marketers, user-led discussions are already happening online. There are many ways luxury brands can use this to their advantage.
The luxury brands’ guide identifies three strategies which will help marketers to use social media in a savvy and effective way:
  • Associating with elite culture by using digital media to share art or music: Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Dior use their Facebook pages to post about art, music and travel. However, forging cultural links requires brands to keep these in line with their image and fans’ expectations. Burberry, for example, endorse young British artists and share their music with the brands’ fans on Facebook, which positively impacts online discussion. In contrast, Dior’s use of visual art by Willy Vanderperre is less compelling as some fans  feel it doesn't represent the Dior brand
  • Penetrating emerging markets using country-specific content: Chanel, Clinique and Louis Vuitton all use their brand pages on Sina Weibo to engage with Chinese consumers. The key to their success is their use of market-specific content. Louis Vuitton post about their support for a panda charity, an issue close to the Chinese consumer. Similarly, Clinique share product content which specifically appeals to Chinese users, such as skin-whitening cream
  • Preserving the luxury shopping experience with online retail: Embracing e-commerce is a big challenge for the luxury market. How can brands re-create the experience of purchasing a luxury good when it comes to online purchase? Louis Vuitton and Dior play on the consumer’s aspirations through personalisation and imagery, thus enhancing the desirability of the products. Dior, for example, use Facebook to showcase their Lady Dior bags with a series of short films featuring Marion Cotillard. Ralph Lauren use another approach by encouraging gift purchasing with their ‘Daily Gift Guide’
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  • Wave: uses the WaveMetrix methodology of capturing, reading, interpreting and classifying online consumer discussion around social media marketing


Leonie Bulman 28th March 2011

Hi Julia,

Thanks for your comment and I definitely agree with you. It's a shame that european luxury brands aren't embracing e-commerce in their home markets too. I think this is likely to develop much faster in the coming year.

We'll look into running a comparison between US and EU e-commerce strategy for one of our daily case studies.

If you'd like me to run you through our social media guide in more detail, please don't hesitate to drop me a line at leonie.bulman@"Embedded URL removed for security reasons"


Anonymous 27th March 2011

Chanel are another luxury brand who have taken the step of creating an excellent e-commerce platform for their cosmetics and fragrance for the U.S. market but have forgotten Europe (where their story began)!

Anonymous 25th March 2011

Would it be possible to have the french version sent via email?


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