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Fashion Brands and Social Media: Counterintuitive Evidence

April 10, 2018 • TECHNOLOGY, Social Media

By Matteo Altobelli

Marketing budget has been exponentially going digital. In this article, the author explores the social media platforms being used by 108 fashion houses, the content they post by type, theme, format and how effective they are in engaging their followers.

 

Introduction

While the luxury goods market has grown over the last year at a low single percent digit rate, the online part of it has grown by 24 percent.1 As a consequence, over the last few years, marketing budgets have been increasingly shifting online.

For a luxury brand, pursuing marketing campaigns through owning messages, images and media is definitely a preferred approach than buying digital ads. Brand integrity can be more easily preserved while avoiding the more opaque digital ad auction market. In this respect, a solid strategy on social media – which ones to use, what content, what frequency – has become crucial.

We analysed 108 fashion houses ranging from the biggest ones with revenues in the billion-euro range to niche ones with a few million-euro revenues producing handcrafted items. We focussed only on clothes, shoes and bags. The vast majority of the companies (73%) cover both women’s and men’s items, while 10 percent are dedicated to men’s items only and 18 percent to women’s goods only.

 

A Photo is Worth 1000 Words…

The one and only app used by 100 percent of the brands is Instagram. Instagram is particularly suited to snap and share image cum caption messages in a very image-driven industry such as fashion.

The analysed companies spread their digital marketing budgets and efforts over 19 different social media platforms from the most common to the very niche ones. On average, each brand is active on five social media platforms. The one and only app used by 100 percent of the brands is Instagram. This should not come as a surprise. The photo (and video) based social media is particularly suited to snap and share image cum caption messages in a very image-driven industry such as fashion. Likes and comments then allow for sharing and interacting with the brand.



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About the Author

Matteo Altobelli is co-founder of Tilden/Cramm, an advisory and management company devoted to help SME’s and Startups grow their business by means of strategic analysis and management support. (www.tildencramm.com) Over 20 years he has held Chief Marketing Officer positions in technology companies along with management roles in strategy consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton. He holds an MBA from INSEAD and an Aerospace Engineering degree (Magna cum Laude).

References

1. Bain & Co Luxury Study – Fall 2017

2. Pew Research Center – Social Media Update 2016

3. INSEAD Knowledge – http://www.knowledge.insead.edu/marketing/the-limits-of-social-media-engagement-4809

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