Relationships have always been integral to the prosperity of luxury brands. For example, Louis Vuitton and Chanel built their initial success from a tight community of fans. Over the last 20 years, the marketing model leveraged by luxury brands has focused on two main pillars:
- Brands’ online platforms have focused on institutional messaging, aimed at building a unique brand image and creating a sense of exclusivity and social aspiration
- An integrated global distribution network of outlets in the most exclusive shopping venues that make the luxury experience and personalized service more available to customers
But this model is being challenged by modern day practices. Beyond the increase in online sales, digital media has changed the way customers spend their time, shop, build, and maintain relationships or expect to engage with brands.
Digital transformation is about change management
Digital transformation is about change management and influencer marketing will be no different: building the right culture, the right expertise, and the right teams will most surely remain the most important challenges for luxury brands.
In our latest whitepaper co-written with Minter Dial, Influencer Marketing: 9 Challenges for Luxury Brands, we explore key influencer marketing challenges impeding growth for luxury brands. Among the challenges are several insights from leaders of brands, including Aston Martin, Estée Lauder, Marriott International, and more.
Here are 6 tips from luxury leaders to help you thrive with influencer marketing:
1. Influencer marketing is an essential pillar in brand strategy
Influencer marketing, or, Core Militants marketing approach, as we call it in the Remy Cointreau world, is hugely important for our brands. It is an essential pillar in our brand strategy and the basis of our brand plans.” - Paul Sanderson, MD of Remy Cointreau UK
2. Influencer marketing is about relationships that add value to customers
On the question of influencer marketing, we’re not interested in the traditional type of brand ambassador relationships with anybody. We’re absolutely interested in individuals and groups that have a similar mindset to us and want to work with us. For us it’s about relationships that add value to our customers, create new and exciting opportunities and relationships that are symbiotic. We’re not interested in taking a well-known face and give them a cheque, as we are always centered on authenticity and being true to our brand.” - Simon Sproule, CMO, Aston Martin
3. Content is no longer about brand-first. It’s about giving consumers content that adds value to their lives
Content is created to be shared across all channels to build communities of people passionate about traveling that will drive commerce to the hotels. It’s no longer about brand-first. It’s about giving consumers content that adds value to their lives, and in return adds value to us.” - David Beebe, Vice President of Global Creative and Content Marketing for Marriott International
4. Social commerce is all about the power of influence people have over each other
People should be able to buy together online. Social commerce is all about the power of influence people have over each other, as we trust the brands and people who we think are experts.” - Sarah Watson, Senior Vice President Social Commerce, NET-A-PORTER
5. Focus on a few but valuable relationships with key influencers to create an emotional bond with the brand
De GRISOGONO’S strategy is to focus on content marketing and a few but valuable and strong relationships, experiences and conversations with key influencers to create and share an emotional bond with the brand and drive brand awareness with their audiences.” - Gianluca Maina, Global Marketing and Communications Director, De GRISOGONO
6. Influencer marketing helps luxury brands reach the right audience in a cost-efficient way
Influencer marketing helps reach the right audience. The consumer target of a luxury brand is usually quite small so influencer marketing helps reach out to them in a cost efficient way. Also, influencer marketing is helpful to engage brand advocates, who are not necessarily the actual consumers but are an important part of the brand universe.” - Jean-Yves Minet, Regional Brand Director at Estée Lauder Companies Europe
To get a deep dive into the nine challenges impacting luxury brands, check out the full whitepaper.