Facebook for fashion brands - it’s about more than the product

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WaveMetrix have published their review of Q4 2010 social media trends and it highlights some interesting moves for fashion brands using social media, especially Facebook.

Burberry and Lacoste joined Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton and Gucci with a greater focus on brand-related content, such as music and sport which positively affected engagement, brand sentiment and purchase consideration.

Burberry, by running their Burberry Acoustic music campaign alongside content on the Burberry clothes collections, have succeeded in engaging consumers with the wider culture of the brand and this significantly increased consumer discussion. You can see from the pie chart below which areas the audience were engaged around.

Lacoste use a mix of fashion and non fashion content, such as their ATP Tour sponsorship to engage consumers and positively affect sentiment, as this pie chart shows.

That trend is not universal however. The report also highlighted that for other brands engaging consumers closely on product range can drive purchase consideration, with Xbox and BMW notable winners here.  Zara on the other hand, with its focus on product discussion, failed to drive notable purchase consideration – which shows the importance of the right strategy.

As an aside, a new report I saw recently, which will feature in another post, showed that a high percentage of consumers ‘Like’ competing brands on Facebook showing that on social networks genuine brand loyalty is hard to come by.

Four luxury brands that lead the pack in social media innovation

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Grand Escalier
Image by vincen-t via Flickr

2010 has seen a marked increase in luxury brands using social media and innovating with it. This is one of the findings in the latest L2 Luxury Digital IQ Index - research led by Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing, NYU Stern. The report shows how luxury brands have really pushed their use of social media in 2010, realizing that the benefits for them come from not just having a social media presence but also from engaging people in social media and online communities.

The report takes an analytical approach to the use of social media in an attempt to quantify the digital competence of 72 leading global luxury brands. The ranking highlights some interesting observations - watch and jewelery brands on a whole perform relatively poorly, and a lack of investment in digital has seen brands such as Prada and Dior punch below their weight in the use of social media across their business.

But across luxury brands, the report highlights the innovation and successful use of social media that is happening. It showcases examples that are ahead-of-the-game and examples, not just to other luxury brands but to all brands using social media. Four notable such examples are below.

1. Coach

The leather goods brand is ranked first globally for it’s Digital IQ, notably for its social media enabled shopping and for its blogger collaboration. It has built a social media strategy that is directly linked to sales, and not just to building fans and Likes for the sake of it. This is evident in its use of all social platforms - making clear and contextual links to product from every post of Facebook so that if you are reading about an item you can easily click through to buy online.

In the summer of 2010 they ran a blogger outreach programme, the Poppy Project, which saw them engage 468 blogs to spread a trail of poppies across the web that were part of a competition for people to win gift cards for Coach products.

A great example of using social media to engage, but also to push people directly to sales, rather than just using social media for the sake of it and being unable to measure the rewards.

2. Louis Vuitton

Ranked joint-second overall for their Digital IQ, Louis Vuitton has integrated more innovative use of social media outreach into its overall digital campaigns. Of particular note is the use of video and an emerging trend among video bloggers - the haul video. In these videos, bloggers show on camera items they have just purchased on a shopping trip and discuss each item. This has become something of a craze online and one that Louis Vuitton has engaged to get exposure from these influencers for its products and for the brand.

A haul video created by JuicyStar07 about contents of a Louis Vuitton Speedy bag has had more than one million views online, putting the Louis Vuitton brand in front of other people and allowing consumers to showcase Louis Vuitton products.

3. Oscar de la Renta

Ranked joint-eleventh for their Digital IQ, Oscar de la Renta is a great example of how using social media can help to engage people on a lifestyle level, rather than just with your brand or your product. This can be a successful approach to social media when you are looking to engage (and engage with) a specific target audience that can be defined by their lifestyle. Oscar de la Renta achieve this primarily through their @OscarPRGirl Twitter account, which spent the summer tweeting about yoga, music and summering in the Hamptons. Rather than talking about their brand or products they are targeting people with a certain lifestyle and adding value to them.

4. Jimmy Choo

FreshNetworks client, and ranked 17th globally for their Digital IQ, Jimmy Choo are noted in the report as an overachiever - using social media to compete with search as a source of traffic and conversions - and as an innovator in social media that punches above its weight. The Catch-a-Choo campaign on Foursquare was highlighted as what the future of innovation in social media should look like - notably by taking social media offline and really engaging people in the product.

Also, Jimmy Choo is noted in the report for its ongoing engagement in social media. It is the third most successful global luxury brand at using Facebook not just to attract Likes, but to channel people to the ecommerce site, and so to lead to sales. This makes the report rank Jimmy Choo as an ‘overachiever’, where social media is competing with tradition search as a traffic driver and a driver of online sales.