Social media breaks down the traditional barriers between the average shopper and luxury. But high-end brands are still trying to figure out how to exploit the opportunity.
Luxury fashion has been defined by a certain inaccessibility to the average shopper. Above all else, these retailers are selling a lifestyle as much as they are a product. However, thanks to social media and the elite superstar influencers it gave rise to, those walls of exclusivity are being swiftly brought down.
Fashionistas are creating top-tier brand access and delivering it to legions of followers right from their smartphones. This dynamic shift doesn’t need to be a relationship killer, however, and with a smart tailored approach there’s potential for social and luxury to become fashion’s “it” couple. Of course, all relationships take work and certain building blocks are going to have to be set in place right from the start.
Finding the right social #style #OOTD #inspo
Today’s shopper spends more than six hours a week hunting down fashion inspiration on their mobile phone, much of it on social media. Where else can a brand get an audience guarantee like that? Social and mobile content are the driving forces behind the latest fashion trends, luxury or otherwise.
Many major fashion houses are responding with the expected, curated Instagram feeds and YouTube channels, in an effort to retain control over the brand reputation that has led them this far. Some, like Balmain and Gucci, have taken bold steps in the other direction with Snapchat. The platform’s fast, personal nature is ripe for behind-the-scenes runway content and messages from celebrity ambassadors. Offering a somewhat unfiltered look at the brand completely breaks with the traditional, manufactured approach reserved for the pages of Vogue. The key here is Snapchat’s clever delivery of what seems like a genuine experience without diluting a brand’s image or forfeiting total control to someone with 200,000 followers. That brief, personal glimpse into the “glam life” is sometimes all it takes to bring a fan fully into the path to purchase.