Building an effective content marketing strategy for a luxury retail brand is not always easy. While social media encourages accessibility, luxury brands tend to thrive on maintaining a sense of exclusivity; constantly reaffirming their position as an elite, aspirational force to be reckoned with (like how Chanel follows no one on Twitter). However, nothing conjures up a fantasy like quality, immersive content, and the following 15 luxury brands are creating the stuff dreams are made of. Below you’ll find great content marketing cases studies demonstrating what these luxury brands have done to make content work for them.
Key Takeaway: Allow editorial and audience flexibility
In 2010, leading luxury group LVMH launched Nowness.com, a self-described “daily resource for the culturally curious.” In 2011, the site was awarded a Webby for Best Fashion Website and a Clio Award for Best Interactive Website. Even after careful perusal, it’s not apparent the site is branded; LVMH allows Nowness to have its own creative, free-flowing voice. Content is accessible without a membership, but a registered login permits users to curate their own content experience by “loving” videos, photos and articles. Capturing this data allows Nowness to send registered users personalized recommendations via email as content is produced. Members can also view one another’s “loves” while checking out contributor favorites. Featuring a variety of original content from celebrities, rising stars and industry notables, Nowness brings it all together with polish and style.
Key Takeaway: Encourage user participation
In 2013, Jaguar launched #MyTurnToJag, which called upon consumers to state why they should win an opportunity to test drive the brand new F-TYPE convertible. The campaign lived primarily within a Facebook page comprised of posts, tweets, Instagram photos, and even a couple of Vines, proving that Jaguar has an avid fan base willing to endorse the brand publicly.
At the end of 2014, the brand launched Why Jaguar, a section of its site detailing its car models and customer photos and reviews. The luxury car dealer asks users to submit their photos and reviews, and proudly shows them off on its website. Jaguar isn’t afraid to put their users’ content on a prominent place on its website, showing that they are confident in their product and respectful of their customers’ opinions.
Key Takeaway: Let users interact on the go
Luxury customers are busy people. They may travel often for business or pleasure, and they rely on their mobile devices to pass the time. To ensure that the movers and shakers buying their products can be tuned in with the brand wherever they are, Gucci created Gucci Style, a “shoppable magazine” that allows users to shop on the go. The magazine features fashion photos and tips, as well as shows users Gucci’s social feeds and lets them formulate product wish lists. If users want to buy products, they can go to the navigation and look at the store locator.
Brand: Bergdorf Goodman
Key Takeaway: Forge frontiers while staying true to your roots
Bergdorf’s online presence is inextricably linked to its New York City locale, with blog posts such as, “Best New York City Closets,” a Tumblr page filled with city-centric Instagrams, and a Pinterest board that shows classic New York sites and fashions. Bergdorf Goodman is an iconic, 110-year-old brand that has successfully made an energetic leap into the social media space. Cannon Hodge, the luxury retailer’s former social media manager, established the brand’s bubbly voice which stands out in already noisy landscape. Bergdorf’s maintains a presence on at least thirteen different social media channels, all firmly tied to its historical, local roots. The brand shows that a prolific presence doesn’t have to be divided when it comes to content, and sticking to a local theme doesn’t mean limiting creativity.
Brand: Standard Hotels
Key Takeaway: Express culture through content
Standard Culture, the official blog of Standard Hotels, is the ultimate virtual concierge. Part city guide, part entertainment resource and part fashion diary, the site is a destination for both guests and locals with a love for travel and a flair for culture and good taste.
Featuring original content on the latest happenings in New York, LA and Miami, customized playlists, guest photos and exclusive e-commerce partnerships with eyewear outfitter Warby Parker and artist Julia Chiang, the blog serves as a real-time account of the hotel group’s cultural ethos. And the best part about Standard Culture? Even when no rooms are available, users can still spend a night with The Standard.
Brand: OMEGA Watches
Key Takeaway: Promote a cause
On its Facebook page and website, OMEGA is simultaneously promoting, showcasing the company’s history with, and selling watches geared towards women. The brand has been posting photos of women with its watches, and it’s not only positioning itself as a seller of women’s watches, but showing its feminist roots as well.
Brand: Louis Vitton
Key Takeaway: Show off your influencers
Want people to be drawn to your content? Give them a look at how influencers are interacting with your brand. The Louis Vitton Instagram page, which has 6.8 million followers, is a great example of this. The company posts photos of celebrities wearing its clothes and walking around with its bags. These trendsetters determine what’s cool right now, so if people follow a page that showcases the products, they’re going to be at the forefront of fashion as well.
Brand: Barneys New York
Key Takeaway: Give your audience exclusive content
On The Window, the branded content hub for Barneys New York, readers are given a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite designers. They are taken into designers’ worlds, and learn about the inspiration behind the clothes and jewelry they wear. In an article and video on the site about ring designer Yves Spinelli, the audience is shown how Spinelli comes up with his designs and what they symbolize. Instead of seeing just a ring, they can discover the effort and thought behind it and appreciate it more. At the end of the post, the audience can also “shop the story” and buy a Spinelli ring.
Key Takeaway: Focus on one product
Burberry recently re-launched The Art of the Trench, a campaign that features professionals’ and users’ photographs of people wearing Burberry trench coats. It spans across the brands’ social media pages, and highlights people from around the world. The trench coat is one of Burberry’s iconic products. On “The Art of the Trench,” they can showcase models and customers from all over, and demonstrate how their products are loved and worn by people of all different backgrounds. For Burberry, the trench coat is a true unifier.
Brand: Four Seasons
Key Takeaway: Provide opportunities for unique experiences
Customers are already checking into their hotels physically, so why not ask them to check in online? On the Four Seasons Foursquare page, which has more than 29K followers, the hotel chain showcases its discounts and posts up about its events happening at hotels throughout the US. Once customers log on, they can see if anything is happening at the hotel in which they’re staying, while local users are able to see if it’s worth stopping by the Four Seasons and partaking in their experiences.
Brand: Tag Heuer
Key Takeaway: Hire brand ambassadors
Tag Heuer, in what can be assumed is an effort to connect with younger buyers, promotes brand ambassadors on its Twitter feed. One of the ambassadors is Martin Garrix, a 19-year-old electronic musician, and G.E.M., a singer in her early 20’s. There are photos of Garrix and G.E.M. out and about, wearing the watches, and having a great time. Though luxury brands are usually geared towards older, more established individuals, Tag Heuer realizes the buying power of millennials as well.
Brand: Tesla Motors
Key Takeaway: Humanize your brand
Teslas are expensive cars. They cost more than $100,000, and aren’t on the radar for most American families. However, Tesla aims to change the way the brand is viewed with its customer stories section of its website. Mainly featuring photos and stories of families enjoying its cars, these first hand testimonials humanize the brand and show that regular people drive these products as well. Tesla is now gearing up to release a $35,000 car; this part of its site is going to come in handy for families who are considering buying the more affordable version when it comes out.
Key Takeaway: Create an all-in-one destination for customers
Fashion enthusiasts read Vogue, Nylon, and Elle. Instead of having its customers go to these publications for advice, STYLEBOP.com issues its own magazine instead. The magazine includes a mood board of the latest looks, notes from the editors, photos of trending fashions for the upcoming season, a feature on one of the designers whose products are being sold on the site, and tips from stylists. If readers want to purchase anything they see in the magazine, they can simply click on pictures of the products. People who are into fashion want to stay on top of trends, and STYLEBOP.com is satisfying their customers’ craving for news.
Key Takeaway: Don’t send mixed messages
If luxury brands want to successfully reach their customers, they have to coordinate uniform looks for the content. For example, they may put together fashion lookbooks for the season on Instagram, or follow Cartier’s lead and showcase multiple images from the same campaign all in a row. When scrolling through the Cartier feed, it’s apparent that the brand aims to drive home certain messages at specific times. Instead of having a seemingly scatterbrained feed like many brands, Cartier hones in on one product or theme, and posts numerous images revolving around it. Recently, they uploaded photos of celebrities wearing their jewels at the Met Gala and images of their summer jewelry collection sitting poolside.
Brand: Land Rover
Key Takeaway: Show users the dream
Luxury brands are focused on providing users with exceptional experiences. To give its audience a glimpse into the Land Rover lifestyle, the company launched OneLife, an iPad magazine that features a Land Rover owners’ story and exciting journey. The latest issue, for example, is about surfer Chrystal Jameson Fitzgerald, who goes to Alaska with her Range Rover Evoque and tries surfing in the chilly waters.
A commercial that shows a Land Rover driving in remote places wouldn’t be enough. Firsthand content from an actual owner is much more effective at selling the car and getting prospects tuned into the possibility of one day owning the vehicle.
Kylie Ora Lobell is a NewsCred Contributor.
Originally published on Sep 30, 2015 10:00 AM