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Translated by
Nicola Mira
Published
May 23, 2017
Reading time
2 minutes
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Is social media a distraction for the luxury industry?

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Published
May 23, 2017

The web is all-powerful, compelling brands to feature constantly and ubiquitously in order to catch the eye of consumers, yet an increasing number of luxury labels are questioning the real benefits of their web investment. The issue was debated at a conference on the future outlook for the luxury goods industry, organised in Paris by strategy and creativity consultants Martine Leherpeur Conseil, at the offices of contemporary art communications agency L’Art en Direct.

 

Balmain's Instagram page - Instagram


"We are living in the 'now & noisy' era. There is a constant noise, a communications overkill which tempts luxury groups to create their own buzz at all costs, in order to make themselves heard. This leads to excesses, the system pushing towards transgression as a way of being remarkable. A phenomenon which is further exacerbated by the rush to attract Millennials, a target audience branded as having a taste for the intangible and the impermanent. Yet this frenzied race only makes brands, and their business models, more fragile," said the Martine Leherpeur agency.
 
"We wanted to make a stand against the 'like dictatorship'. The sheer mass of images floating across the Instagram galaxy is so huge that brands have become nearly invisible. When web users pin a 'like' to an image, they often cannot identify where it comes from," said strategy consultant Géraldine Mahé.

For some time now, the Leherpeur agency has noticed how "labels are increasingly asking questions [about this issue], both in terms of ethics and budget." Many luxury labels are wondering how they could express themselves in landscapes other than the web, "to grab hold of their future again." But can they actually risk withdrawing from the web to return to a more essential, targeted kind of communication?

Some brands for example regularly clean up their Instagram wall, to give it a fresh look. Others are beginning to tap media that are more direct and less crowded, such as WhatsApp, which allows the luxury industry and retailers alike to reach customers of various age groups easily, without being restricted to the other social media's swarm of teenage aficionados.

"Dropping out of social media doesn't mean dropping out of sight, since consumers constantly act as a conduit, as they take selfies with products. It means having a different sort of presence, without generating content systematically," added Géraldine Mahé.

The Martine Leherpeur agency can suggest to fashion labels four different approaches to meet this new challenge, the result of its analysis of the surveys carried out in the last three years. The four stances to adopt to be in a position to better face the digital future are detailed on FashionNetwork Premium.
 

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