Influencer Marketing. It’s SO hot right now.
….But you already knew that. The Influencer phenomenon in Marketing has been going on for several years. So long, in fact, that we admit, there are many moments in which we say the same things we hear our clients say often at meetings: “when will these Influencers go away?”
The answer has been conclusively reached at Havas Luxe’s recent NEXT Conference. Hosted by agency founder and President, Thomas Serrano, Havas Luxe invited key figures from our industry, from within the ranks of actual, successful influencers, and even including a motivational coach.
Our speakers included:
Each ratified that which we know: influencers, for now, are here to stay. But if your brand is not seeing desired results, it is for two reasons:
- The game has evolved; you are not doing it right
- Your basics are not being upheld
For those who missed this epic conference – we are delighted to share with you a video of the entire morning. Please check it out here. In the video, you will learn all that those who attended got to learn, and gain access to some special cheat sheets, tools and extras provided by our influencer gurus.
Enjoy, and we hope to see you next time.
This question is not new, but this week, as we have just finished another round of global fashion weeks – we feel it is more relevant than ever.
In today’s global fashion world, two major trends have been raising this question:
- As fast fashion has become the norm (thanks to e-commerce, social media – and more), the audience wants instant gratification. It is no longer plausible, then, to have them wait 6 months post catwalk for that gratification.
- The world of social media has also warranted the need for true, immersive experiences rather than “just a runway show”. This means that instead of runways – we are seeing the rise of Instagram moments (stunts, gimmicks, installations, etc), and actual disruptive fashion events – such as the screening of a catwalk live and with Virtual Reality –as has been employed, for example, by Burberry.
If we agree that the erosion of the old school fashion show is, indeed, happening, there are viable solutions.
Option 1: Schedule runway / sales coordinated launch:
Several voices opt for a complete change. Some luxury houses, such as Tom Ford and Burberry, have started online sales immediately after a runway show – much of this aided by giant online retailers, such as Net a Porter. Others have sold capsule collections the day after – for example, when Moschino sold their McDonalds accessories collection only 24 hours after being seen on the runway.
Option 2: Go old school:
Some designers are even thinking about a complete change: giving small in-house presentations to journalists only – the return to “salons”. Thus, reporting will naturally lag slightly, creating the desire for the collection closer to its actual appearance in store. Last year, such a presentation was delivered by Givenchy; Tom Ford has also employed this approach in the past – and rather similarly, with his intimate, star-studded gathering for his collection Presentation at NYC’s Four Seasons. Perhaps this is a mighty glimpse into the future.
At Havas Luxe, we believe that both above solutions are viable – though option 1 is far more viable than the other. For starters, we feel strongly that a live experience is imperative to truly immerse oneself in a brand and its collection – so these must be upheld. But instead of “just a runway” – we have long championed the true experience – one that integrates storytelling, and the tools with which to bring that story to life: sets; video; augmented and virtual reality; installations – and more.
Next, we believe that synchronizing the event with at the very least the availability of a capsule collection for physical or online purchase will satiate the die-hards, as well as influencers, who in turn will not only enjoy getting what they want immediately – but will also serve to amp up the desire for your collection in the audience at large in the ensuing months.
Last year, Samsung released its Gear VR – launching a wave of consumer-friendly virtual reality devices made available to the public. But we experiential marketers have been hitting up VR for a while now – and well before the gadget news. The Facebook-owned Oculus Rift headset has led the way for many brands, helping to create more engaging consumer experiences and reinvigorate how content is delivered. In fact, we don’t just feel that VR is a trend. We think it’s a revolution. Below are three of our favorite case studies in how VR has been a game changer within events. We hope these inspire big ideas for your next project…with Havas Luxe:
Experiential marketing is a form of advertising that focuses primarily on helping consumers experience a brand – and it is so hot right now: according to the Event Marketing Institute’s EventTrack study, marketers spent an estimated 4.7% more last year on event and experiential marketing. The study also indicated that experiential is growing faster for companies with more than $1 billion in total revenue, which hiked their experiential budgets 9.8% in 2012. In response- many agencies are jumping on this bandwagon and calling themselves “experiential”. Therefore, we thought we’d take a moment to tell you what experiential actually means:
If you work in marketing, chances are that you’ve heard of influencer marketing. A lot. Influencer marketing is the practice of engaging Instagram/ social media sensations in product placement and content activation.
The rise of influencer marketing is in part due to the social media revolution, where consumers look towards their counterparts for purchasing decisions, the more famous the better. Frankly, that’s nothing really new. The world has looked to celebrity endorsement and product placement for decades. However, with influencer marketing, the focus is placed on key individuals, who are thought to represent a particular target audience as a whole.
Last May Schlesinger Associates released a study reporting that 84% of marketing and communications pros were gearing up to launch at least one influencer-driven campaign within the next twelve months.
If executed well, influencer marketing comes across as subtle and authentic. But when it is done wrong, it’s about as inconspicuous as a Kendall Jenner print ad for Estee Lauder. So how can you make sure that your next influencer marketing campaign is on point?
Unlike other areas of marketing where reach and quantity are the primary KPIs, quality and loyalty matter the most to luxury brands. How does this affect luxury marketing?
1. It’s not all about money. Luxury experiences are not about price tags – you should not see prices mentioned in promotions of luxury products. It’s about offering clients moments that money can’t buy, timeless and aspirational. We have created these “WOW” moments in many ways, like bringing a chef out of the kitchen and having him interact with guests in an intimate boutique or creating an original acapella Broadway show for a large scale global conference. People buying luxury goods can own many coveted products: but it’s the experience of the luxury dream, often communicated through a visual and sensory experience that sets them apart.
When listening to L2’s presentation on digital trends in luxury at the New York Times Luxury Conference back in April, I wasn’t surprised to hear that Kate Spade and Burberry are the top digital and social contenders or even that 90% of shares and engagement in fashion happen on Instagram. What’s specifically shocking this year is the disruptive force of Amazon and Apple.
Amazon is becoming a major force in distributing all luxury products, faster and less expensively. In fact, apparel is the fastest growing sector of Amazon, even over consumer electronics. By the end of this year they will be the largest apparel retailer in the US – and we are not speaking just online retailer. They will exceed the sales of department stores like Macy’s and Nordstorm’s. A luxury bag often purchased via Amazon will cost less and be delivered quicker than from the luxury brand’s own e-commerce site. This begs the question: why would anyone choose to buy luxury elsewhere?
The luxury watch and jewelry industry has undergone consistent decreases in sales and profits over the last few years. Many people have pointed towards the advent of smart watches, the decline of the Chinese market, or the saturation of the sector as culprits, but the answers are far more complex. Here are a few insights into the decline:
- Ownership vs. Experience As millennials have inspired a change in the definition of luxury today, the economy has moved away from an ownership model and into a sharing model across all demographics. People would prefer to spend money on experiences than materials goods. Many industries, like the fashion industry, has recognized this and moved towards access to new lines and personalized products as part of their evolving luxury models. Watches are slowly doing the same, and will continue to have to adapt to meet this trend.
Whether it’s a new product launch or an anniversary celebration, luxury brands strive for a high level of excellence and an exceptional experience for all events. At the same time, they must communicate the key brand pillars of authenticity, legitimacy, and uniqueness. By authentic, we mean being true to their heritage as many luxury brands have gained their status by being rooted in tradition. Legitimacy comes from illustrating a high level of craftsmanship through event details, and lastly, the event must stand out amongst industry competitors. But what judges the success of an event?
Here are the 4 key audiences we keep in mind for events we conceptualize and produce.