I have decided to talk about the French fashion designer Coco Chanel and about the way that luxury brands promote themselves online. Social media has become a huge issue and challenge for luxury brands as luxury, is always closely related to; influence, relationships and references . It is true that in this social media revolution a luxury brand that ignores social networks will sistematically turn back to the eighteen century.
According to Coco Chanel’s life it is the story of one of the most powerful and fascinating women entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was born on August 19, 1883. Several years passed before the girl started her first job. She began working as a shopkeeper and sometime later she would try to sing and dance, hoping to success in the theaters. Unluckily, these attempts did not bring her any luck, but at this moment was when she acquired the nickname “Coco”. Her nickname was given by her audience when she used to sing.
She would soon find a person who would help her change her whole life. This Englishman helped Chanel open her first shop in Paris in 1910. One she had started in the world of fashion there was nothing that could stop her. But not everything in the life of Coco was marvelous as after the Second World War she had no other option but closing her salon. Years past and she continued being part of oblivion. Luckily, at the age of 70, Chanel made a triumphant return to the fashion world.
Apart from designing dresses, Chanel has also being known for her perfume and jewelry creations. Her first perfume was designed in 1921; it was a mixture of 128 ingredients blended by a chemist. Chanel Nº5 was one of the first synthetic perfumes sold in the market. The bottle where the fragrance was kept was a simple square bottle which had nothing to do with the fanciful flagons used at that time. Here we have one of the various Chanel Nº5 perfume commercials, starring Nicole Kidman.
Contact between luxury brands and their clients.
For a luxury brand being online is not a huge effort to maintain in contact with their customers. Potential luxury brand clients are usually more present on social networks than the average population. However luxury brands such as Chanel prefer to connect with clients through TV advertisements, rather than depending so much on social networks. In the case of Chanel, it uses social media going through privileged relationships with certain fashion and luxury bloggers. This way of giving information through blogs is pretty used by luxury brands. In the case of Chanel’s Twitter, for example, they use it to simply relay information and not usually to answer people’s questions. Therefore, the 64% of all the online information about this brand comes from blogs.
This high fashion brand, opened up to social media within well-tuned operations that maintained its exclusive reputation. As I said before, this brand began by choosing a few select bloggers, this people received special invitations to try products before they were launched and later share their opinion and experiences via their blog. In 2007, for example, for the launch of the Coco Mademoiselle campaign, Chanel invited 15 international fashion bloggers to spend a luxurious day with the brand managers.
How should luxurious brands behave online?
For most luxury brands, customer service ought to be equally luxurious and therefore carried out in their boutique. One possibility that certain brands, such as Chanel, have opted for, is to send information which could be of great help to their customers. For instance, if a person tweets that she thinks her Chanel bag is fake, then Chanel will tweet back the process that should be carried out to verify it.
Certain brands have decided to aggregate content about their brand in a blog, while others prefer to broadcast fashion shows or behind the scene interviews to offer their customers a continuous glimpse about their fashion brand. Remaining exclusive online, for luxury brands is not really a difficult task. Usually, people that decide to follow a brand by Facebook or Twitter are directly letting the brand know their wish of obtaining information about their luxury brand. It is important then, that brands aim to please their online fans with the quality and interest they would like their brand to continue having.
While some brands have found and advantage on using online communities to promote their brand, other have decided to create their own platform for specific purposes which are usually product innovation and service. This allows the brand to control their image as well as the content published in the platform.
To conclude, luxury brands have always developed their brand image by maintaining it visible for those few who can afford such luxuries. With the raise of social networks, they have tried to maintain their exclusivity, choosing people that could represent their brand in an efficient way, such as selected bloggers. But the online engagement of luxury brands is a bit different to normal brands as they don’t usually communicate with their customers in such a direct way but through brand advocates.
- Chanel. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/brands/chanel/
- ELS. (2012). Discover: Luxury Brand: CHANEL. Retrieved from http://eatlovesavor.com/discover-luxury-brand-chanel/