Wake The Town
Stuck in Motion
Contemplative Reptile
  • International Edition
  • USA Edition
  • UK Edition
  • Australian Edition
  • Canadian Edition
  • Irish Edition
  • German Edition
  • French Edition
  • Singapore Edition
  • Spanish edition
  • Polish edition
  • Indian Edition
  • Middle East edition
  • South African Edition

Luxury Brands Are Missing Out on the Power of Influencer Marketing


Lauriann Serra, managing director at Goat USA on the hesitancy among the marketers of premium and luxury brands to invest in influencers for fear of losing their premiumness

Luxury Brands Are Missing Out on the Power of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is skyrocketing and its value in building brands is reflected not only in the volume of  dollars invested, the successes with increased awareness and growth, but in the current swell of M&A activity targeting influencer agencies in recent months. The latter, possibly, a strong indication of influencer marketing’s 'arrival' as a viable marketing and media channel more than any other metric.

Still, there is hesitancy among the marketers of premium and luxury brands to invest in the channel for fear of losing their premiumness and control of what makes their brands unique. This is understandable. After all, premium brands are 'premium' because of their investment to create not only quality products but unique brand stories that are aspirational to consumers. Image, heritage, brand equity is always important, but with luxury brands it is everything and it must be protected.

But cultural relevancy always matters. As do trends. And trends are hard to ignore, especially when trying to entice trial among younger audiences at a time when budgets are under pressure. In the US, brands increased influencer marketing spend by 65% over the past five years to $4.6 billion in 2022, according to Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2023. Globally, influencer spending reached a record $16.4 billion. Other industry studies find 92% of consumers trust influencers over brands when making purchasing decisions and 88% of consumers have been inspired to make a purchase because of what they saw from an influencer. 

Influencer marketing is a strong channel for premium and luxury brands and can deliver across the funnel, not just with awareness. However, because of their prestige factor, it is critical that influencer marketing is approached the right way. It is important that senior brand stewards work with influencer agencies to select the right influencer for the brand. This ensures that those influencers’ characteristics support the brand and remain true to the image of the influencer. Both must align.

The primary goal of premium influencer marketing is to create a more exclusive and aspirational image for the brand, targeting a specific audience that values quality, exclusivity and personalised recommendations. Where it is different from traditional brand advertising is that the emphasis is on building long-term relationships with influencers and generating authentic, high-quality content that conveys the brand’s images and values. The influencer is crucial to communicating with the audience and, in many ways, is the medium for the message. 

From a strategy and campaign perspective, premium influencer marketing involves more personalized and tailored collaborations. Brand managers, preferably senior people involved deeply with the overarching brand’s image and messaging, work closely with influencers to develop custom content - very much a collaboration. And there are opportunities to create together - from collaborative content to exclusive partnerships of limited edition products that resonate with the influencer’s audience. 

The goal is to create a sense of authenticity and exclusivity, generating higher engagement and fostering deeper connections among the brand, influencer and their followers.

Louis Vuitton has not only managed to maintain their cultural relevance in a sea of luxury brands fighting to maintain theirs, but they have led the way with their collaborations with Emma Chamberlain, Charli D’Amelio, and most recently with their LV Cruise.

Gucci collaborated with Francis Bourgeois, TikTok’s trainspotter in an ad for Gucci and North Face. This is an excellent example of a luxury brand maintaining their brand personality and premiumness while collaborating with an influencer who you could argue at face-value is very different, yet he also maintained his personality and character. Both ‘brands’ complimented one another well.

There are other brands that have worked with influencers to create content and campaigns that have worked, such as Nespresso with Chiara Ferragni touting their accessory line and finding design and style as the point of collaboration between the two brands, and Olipop with Camilla Cabello who was featured in their new campaign Real Love Makes Us.

These example demonstrate how successfully applying influencer marketing to luxury brands rely on:

  • Selection. This is always a critical step, but even more so with luxury brands. Influencers must be a perfect fit with the brand and many verticals must be explored.
  • Connection. The influencer must have shared values and shared aesthetic with the brand, bringing to life aspects of the brand.
  • Strategy. The brief is one of the most important parts of the influencer marketing process and determines ways of working and mandatories.
  • Collaboration. With luxury and premium brands there must be tighter collaboration and more control on behalf of the brand, yet it must be authentic to the influencer and brand.
view more - Thought Leaders
Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.
The Marketing Standard, Tue, 06 Jun 2023 15:45:38 GMT