Blog Digital Marketing
Luxury Brands Acing The World of Digital Marketing - Case studies
- 7th May 2020
The prospect of digital marketing has taken the world by storm and has enabled brands to place their stories and offerings at every possible platform. The choice between exclusivity and ubiquity had kept luxury brands at bay from embracing the possibilities of digital marketing. Earlier, having the best luxury product was enough. However, the emergence of a highly competitive retail environment pivoted luxury brands to the digital world. The challenge of reaching the right audience yet maintaining sophistication propelled luxury brands to innovate constantly. To market an air of exclusivity, build an aspirational value and construct a story for all touch points these brands had to develop an expertise in the various digital marketing techniques.
Not only has this move transformed the way luxury brands interact with their consumers, but it has also revolutionised the possibilities of the digital marketing space. As opposed to the all-pervasiveness of the digital space, most luxury brands have been able to craft their own unique approach towards it. Tiffany & Co. manifests its legacy, Dior construes its product to art, Rolex incorporates their brand philosophy and Louis Vuitton creates an entirely exclusive world of their own, through their various digital marketing strategies. Three luxury brands that have blazed the trail using novel digital marketing techniques to position themselves at the core of relevant conversations are: Bentley, Burberry and Chanel.
A few of the best luxury brand digital marketing case studies listed below help us gain an insight into digital advertising strategies of the luxury world.
Bentley: Take Your Audience Places
Digital marketing does not come easy to luxury brands as they might to a new start up. However, the opposite could be said about the British car manufacturer, Bentley. Holding a long-term expertise in car manufacturing, it is one of the most internationally renowned luxury car brands. They certainly do know how to present and sell their products digitally yet in a tactile manner. Bentley’s digital marketing strategy makes the best use of various social platforms, especially Twitter and Instagram.
‘Bentley Road Trips’ is a campaign that allows users to take on a virtual journey, in one of Bentley’s variants. They can choose from seven locations around the world and even pick pit stops along the way. At the end of this journey the user is provided with three options: to download the route as a PDF, share the experience with others or find the route on Google maps. ‘The Bentley Inspirator’ is a personalized application that is developed on the basis of an emotion recognition software that analyses the user’s facial expressions and reactions to help choose the right variant of Bentley; which includes the right interiors, colours, and other specifications.
In collaboration with NASA, Bentley unveiled the ‘Look Closer Campaign’ to create an image of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge that is made up of approximately 53 billion pixels. This image could be zoomed in to a wild degree of precision just to reveal their Mulsanne in rose gold. If zoomed in further one can even clearly see the Bentley motif on the passenger’s headrest.
Bentley’s sales and marketing board director, Kevin Rose, stated,
“Nowhere is Bentley’s famed attention to detail better demonstrated than with our new Mulsanne. We wanted to commission this shot to capture both the exquisite detailing of the Mulsanne and the epic scale of our brand’s ambitions. We believe the result is truly extraordinary.”
The car configurator is a tool that allows users to build a perfect digital version of their desired Bentley. This would definitely ignite the aspirational value in the users of this tool and if one could have the real version of what they have designed would be an exciting prospect. Putting many of its rivals to shame, this brand has an interactive and extremely stunning website. Their expert language translation services for their websites, helps them connect with their international audience.
It promises to take its audience to their desired destinations, allowing them to experience the world of Bentley. The perfect synthesis of tradition, heritage, innovation and engagement puts Bentley in the digital driving seat. It is no wonder that Bentley has one of the most interesting luxury brand digital marketing case studies.
Burberry: Go Where Your Audience is
More than a decade ago, Burberry was not at par with other major luxury brands. A strategic decision by the then CEO Adriana Ahrendts changed the face of the company, making it the first fully digital luxury brand. The British fashion house had a similar theme across the various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and even their website but optimized their content to fit each. They constructed a social space that aimed to attract younger customers who did not already own their signature trench coat. Their ‘Art of the Trench Campaign’ was their first major one for which the team developed a micro-site for the consumers to post pictures wearing these trench coats. This blog for customers helped elevate the brand loyalty by establishing a rapport between the brand and the consumer. Through the Facebook live of their Spring/Summer 2010 show, Burberry gained more than a million followers and a fifty percent growth on their e-commerce sales. In 2014, the Art of Trench Campaign was reintroduced but had a more global outreach. The micro-site has 25 million views till date.
The 2010 Burberry Acoustic campaign showcased and promoted local musicians in the UK wearing outfits from Burberry. It helped the brand connect with millennials and promote their products in a more organic way. In 2011 Burberry collaborated with Twitter to launch the ‘Tweetwalk’. By sharing backstage clips of products even before they were launched it piqued the interest of consumers. The major aim was to celebrate the brand with its users. Even before Instagram and Facebook takeovers became a trend, it had already become a major part of Burberry's tradition.
Another major campaign was the 2013 ‘Kisses Campaign’ which was in collaboration with Google. It focused on their cosmetic line, especially lipsticks. Users could send virtual kisses with personalised notes to anyone. They could track the journey of their kisses using Google’s street view. The campaign went viral within the first ten days of its launch and continued to gain attraction from various parts.
Burberry.com, the digital house of Burberry is definitely one of the most brilliant fashion websites on the internet. The user experience is extremely smooth and the content is tailored to fit the various digital platforms. Not only are the visuals appealing but surfing through the website is a cakewalk. As an e-commerce destination it is extremely hassle-free and it also aids the consumer with instant support. The website is a look book of all their campaigns and a one stop shop for all their products.
The digital advancement of the website reflects well on their flagship store at Regent Street, London. The layout of the store is inspired by the site map of its website. The architecture and layout of the store is an immersive experience showcasing virtual Burberry content with the help of 100 screens and 500 speakers fixed across the building. The products are fitted with RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification Technology) chips. When taken into the fitting rooms, the screens display the previously filmed footage of the product and ramp visuals. This store is no less than a digital marvel. I’m surprised they don’t charge an entry fee into the store!
In 2018, when Burberry said goodbye to Christopher Bailey and welcomed Riccardo Tisci as their new Chief Creative Officer, they majorly benefitted in more ways than one. For the first time in 20 years the company introduced a new logo and the brainstorming for the same was made available on various social media platforms. This wave of transparency helped them keep their consumers in loop of their transformation. Tisci also launched Instagram shopping for their limited-edition products. They were only available to purchase for 24 hours and were promoted by the likes of Lily James and Rihanna. Highlighting the time sensitive factor of their limited collection generated impulsive purchases and curiosity about the rest of the line. Despite the array of their social media channels, Burberry focuses on one message at a time. It has a steady way of deploying it, as in the case of their Thomas Burberry monogram.
Right from 2006 till date, Burberry’s digital journey has followed one mantra, ‘Go Where Your Audience Is’. Their strategy, planning, execution and consistency, has made them stand out and do things that their users want. Through their various campaigns they have been able to make their presence felt. Their content is luxurious and engaging, targeting the right audience. Every step of the way, Burberry carries its heritage along with its digital transformation. The consumer and their association with the brand are at the centre of their vision and just by doing what they do they set an example for other luxury brands to follow. Burberry with its pro digital attitude combined with a fervent focus on its consumers definitely makes an inspiring luxury brand digital marketing case study.
Chanel: Narrate Your Story
“Tell Stories” -Seth Godin
Late to the digital party, Chanel has still managed to become the most influential luxury brand on social media. Without a doubt, Chanel has one of largest following on various social media platforms. Their snooty exclusivity emphasizes on the touch and feel of their products and abstains them from completely entering the world of e-commerce. Despite it, they create an opulent presence in the digital world.
This haute couture brand has mastered the art of YouTube where they merge their traditional identity with their evolving modern consumers. With more than a 100 million views on YouTube, their short movies and campaigns are the most successful among luxury brands. Known for their No.5, the promotional video ‘The One That I Want’ for the same has over 18 million views to date. Their overriding focus on video content looks to be a reason for their social success. Chanel’s viewers are being successfully transformed into loyal audiences. Last year, Chanel was named as the most influential brand on social media (based on overall engagement) by Insightpool. It does not use a blanket approach and instead optimizes content to fit each platform. For example, it posts shorter adverts on Instagram and longer ones on Facebook.
To maintain their exclusive image, Chanel does not follow anyone back (apart from their own beauty page on Instagram). They do not interact with their users even for the purpose of customer service but for a brand like Chanel this is not at the top of their priority list. They are willing to take the risk of not communicating with their consumers over the risk of brand dilution. Their content, like their brand, is aspirational rather than accessible creating an extravagant desire among its followers. In addition to that, they are picky with the influencers they choose to be involved with. Platforms like Chanel News and inside Chanel compensate for their lack of interaction with their audience. Chanel serves as an example of how to retain exclusivity and how to capitalize on it making the audience feel valued.
A successful luxury video strategy, optimized multi-platform content, retained exclusivity and high value content strategy invigorates Chanel’s digital communication management. As a veracious power brand, it not only dominates the luxury apparel sector but also conquers the digital world. Brands can pull out a page from Chanel’s book of content and brand message. In this digital world, Chanel has mastered the art of storytelling. The luxury brand digital marketing success that Chanel has achieved as a luxury brand despite a late start proves that it is never too late to go digital.
Bentley, Burberry and Chanel have definitely earned their titles as the most epic digital marketing case studies in the luxury industry and are my most favourite ones.