Exclusivity, sophistication, timelessness: these words are the cornerstones of luxury brands. But how can a brand maintain this in the fast-paced digital era? According to McKinsey, nearly half of luxury goods buying decisions are already influenced by what consumers see or hear online. Aware brands are therefore starting to adapt their digital strategies to the new landscape and also tapping into expanding markets.
At KAMANO we are aware, that the digital era shaped a new generation of consumers. Therefore, while having created a social media strategy for Carolina Herrera, we thoroughly analyzed their target group and adapted the existing strategy in order to establish a global and digitally savyy relevant premium fashion, fragrance and lifestyle brand. In order to thrive in the digital landscape, we learned, that the brand should always leverage on its DNA and use it as a silver lining. In addition to that, it should create relevant and aspiring content, that is socialized as expected by the target group and partially also delivered via the right influencers.
Step 1: Leverage on brand identity, but keep it fresh and modern
Throughout time Carolina Herrera has established a portfolio of brands that cover fashion, lifestyle and fragrance lines, while always leveraging on the brand’s DNA: The Herrera family’s legacy. It was important for the brand to leverage on that, while emotionally connecting with modern consumers, therefore the iconic designer, her development, thoughts and values are reflected across channels.
With the new strategy of creating and maintaining a consistent image across channels alongside clear and consistent content and channel setup, the brand became firmly rooted and well established on all digital touch points. This was also proven with the 150% and 130% followers’ growth on Facebook and Instagram respectively in 2017.
Step 2: Aspire with relevant and high-quality content
In order to stay relevant, brands also need to understand what is most desirable among their target groups and how they can transfer that image to their products and services. Knowing that, Carolina Herrera successfully used the opportunity to showcase the brand’s products, lifestyle and a value system digitally.
One of the first steps towards the transformation was the introduction of new products and designs digitally first. The brand launched its last years fall campaign fully digitally; starting with Instagram and followed by other social media channels. Moreover, product detail shots conveyed an attention to detail, crafts and high premium appeal. These also added to the overall characteristics of the brand, creating a more holistic image.
Moreover, the brand is leveraging on platform specific content types for its regular updates, where it strategically covers a broad range of topics across business section. Instead of maintaining a range of different handles, Carolina Herrera relies on the power of a single handle across social media channels – The House of Herrera – rather diversifying the brand portfolio and addressing different target groups via differentiating content but not differentiating sub-channels. By doing so it successfully reflects its diversity, while also staying focused and avant-garde.
Step 3: Socialize exclusivity and strategically influence
The allure for luxury brands continues to be the exclusivity, which people hope to attain through products and/or presence at massively branded VIP events. By using social media, brands can extend elusive exclusivity to all of its followers in a public yet personal way.
Carolina Herrera’s team still launches its collections in front of a selected number of attendees, but also socializes it on a broader scale. The brand not only streaming its fashion shows in real-time, but also includes its fans in the planning phase. Its last fashion show took over New York’s Museum of Modern Arts (MoMa) in September last year. The location was revealed through a series of videos, using a map animation that took the viewer on a journey through New York City. The brand was continuously updating its followers during the preparation phase and finally streamed the event live, showing the designs from different perspectives and angles. By enabling followers to react, comment and discuss it, the brand successfully made them a part of the show.
By being active also backstage with Instagram Stories, the brand showed its followers raw yet exclusive content. In that way the brand was able to connect with the new generation of its consumers also on an emotional level. Not surprisingly, content from MoMa reached above average engagement rates.
Hard at work on #Spring18 #insidetheatelier. #HerreraLive
Geplaatst door Carolina Herrera op zaterdag 9 september 2017
Digital consumers are more accessible than ever before, but they also demand relatable content, that is not traditional advertising. According to Forbes traditional ads do not work anymore, because 84% of millennials do not trust traditional advertising.
Carolina Herrera proved that the brand is aware of that with the strategically planed promotion of the 212-fragrances. Investigating millennial engagement helped the brand to find the right balance between traditional and digital experience. It partnered with some of the world’s biggest influencers, created branded hashtags and target group specific content. Promoting it on different platforms, in various forms and accompanied with the hashtag #owntheparty, the brand not only attracted the right target group, but also proved that it has clear goals and focus in the digital ecosystem.
The campaign-related content was reacted to 60-times more on influencers’ handles than on the brand’s platforms itself, which means the brand raised awareness among a vast amount of social media users all around the globe. By leveraging on different digital touch points, ditching traditional ads, focusing on design and experience, the brand engaged with its target group like a rock star.
Evaluation of the results of Carolina Herrera’s new social strategy confirms that luxury brands combined with technology can indeed be a good match. With a careful and data backed-up strategic approach, even in a realm where the physical and emotional products are not easily attainable, digital experiences and content can be. Carolina Herrera managed to utilize the tools available to reach the right audience at the right time and to keep the brand’s core rooted in the modern world.
Carolina Herrera might have hosted her final fashion show recently during New York Fashion Week – but she and her team created a global luxury power-house that fully relies on the power of digital to truly elaborate the customer experience, something only a handful of luxury brands master these days.
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