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Top 10 luxury branding efforts of Q2By Erin Shea
Luxury marketers revamped their voices without losing their core DNA to keep target consumers engaged while attracting new, younger consumers during the second quarter of 2013.
This past quarter, many brands made their presence known on new social platform and created new lines of products to reach a wider, and also younger, audience. The most effective campaigns were those that boldly went in new directions.
Here are the top 10 luxury branding efforts in the second quarter of 2013, in alphabetical order.
Barneys male-focused Instagram account – Department store chain Barneys New York is targeting social-savvy male consumers through an account on mobile-social application Instagram that is dedicated solely to its men’s collections.
With this account, the retailer is likely targeting younger men who are active social-media users. Since a large amount of digital fashion content is for women, this will help Barneys stand out in the crowded social space.
The account’s photos range from in-store items, Barneys ads, cocktails and other manly items.
Barneys is also taking part in the well-known Instagram tradition of “Throw-back Thursdays” by uploading an older image and using the hashtag #TBT.
In addition, the account gives insider access to store happenings around the country.
BMW’s i concept vehicles – German automaker BMW is aiming to beat out the competition by pushing its i concept electric vehicles with the i3 set to be in-stock this year.
To build up the anticipation, BMW began to market these vehicles through various campaigns, which include an interactive mobile ad and an investment in family communications mobile app Life 360.
Recently, the automaker focused its marketing efforts for the vehicles on consumer’s concerns with electric cars. BMW stresses the point that its i concept vehicles are different from other electric vehicles.
To combat these concerns, BMW created the Electronaut Effect, a online resource that gives consumers access to data and information about the environmental impact, cost savings and range of the i vehicles. The site can be accessed at www.bmwusa.com/ElectronautEffect.
Ferragamo’s The Amazing Shoemaker – Italian footwear label Salvatore Ferragamo is bridging the gap between the themed window display at its New York flagship boutique and its Italy-based museum exhibition through a QR code.
The code is scannable on the store’s window in front of the display for the “Making of a Dream” comic book that depicts the life of designer Mr. Ferragamo. Scanning the code takes consumers to a mobile-optimized site with a synopsis of the “The Amazing Shoemaker” exhibit at Florence-based Museo Salvatore Ferragamo.
In addition, the movie “White Shoe” by Mauro Borrelli, which is inspired by Mr. Ferragamo’s life, is being shown at the exhibit. The brand previously pushed a short version of this film through a microsite.
The graphic novel Making of a Dream by Frank Espinosa is on display along with other drawings, sketches and storyboards from the creation of the book as well. The label celebrated the launch of the book and with an event at its New York flagship store.
Hublot’s UN charity partnership – Swiss watchmaker Hublot is feting its brand ambassador, soccer star Radamel Falcao, through a partnership with a United Nations charity to help impoverished families in Colombia.
The watchmaker and Mr. Falcao are helping to generate additional aid for his hometown of Grand Lagoon of Santa Marta, Colombia, by donating a portion of the sales from each Classic Fusion Falcao watch to the families in that area.
Hublot created the Classic Fusion Falcao watch dedicated to its new brand ambassador Mr. Falcao.
Only 100 timepieces are available in either gold or titanium. The price ranges from $17,000-40,000.
The advertising went live in Colombia June 5. Then, the watchmaker hosted a launch event in Bogota, Colombia, to kick start the campaign.
Kering’s student design competition – Luxury conglomerate Kering, formerly PPR, reinforced its corporate values during the second annual student competition in partnership with Parsons The New School for Design.
The “Empowering Imagination” competition gave students at Parsons who are earning their Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design a chance to intern with one of Kering’s 19 luxury or sport brands.
Parsons The New School for Design selected 14 finalists for the second-annual competition based on the “quality and conceptual vision” and the “ability to communicate the point of view” of their thesis collection, which is the capstone product of the school’s fashion design program.
This year, Kering and Parsons collaborated with Fairchild Fashion Media’s Style.com, which gets more than 2 million global unique visitors per month. The fashion and lifestyle site profiled each student finalist May 2-15 and hosted a meeting to mentor the contenders.
Also, Barneys featured works from the thesis collections of each finalist in its New York flagship store as it did for last year’s competition.
Mercedes’ Super Bowl commercial – Mercedes-Benz USA took a risk launching its Super Bowl XLVII commercial for its CLA vehicle.
The first CLA branded video featured model Kate Upton and was considered controversial before it went viral. The video featured Ms. Upton flaunting her assets around a number of football players who are washing a CLA class vehicle.
The video was not Mercedes-Benz actual Super Bowl commercial, but it was designed to launch the conversation around the CLA vehicle.
The full CLA Super Bowl campaign had four main elements, which were the celebrities, the risky video, the teaser videos and then the final Super Bowl commercial.
By signing celebrities such as Ms. Upton and singer-songwriter Usher Raymond IV helped generate buzz around the campaign and target younger consumers.
Later, Mercedes released 15-second and 30-second teaser video ads on YouTube.
The last component was the actual Super Bowl ad featuring a short cameo from Usher. The video was also promoted on the automaker’s social media pages.
Oscar de la Renta’s product expansion – U.S. label Oscar de la Renta is offering products beyond fashion to transition to a lifestyle brand and create a bond with millennials.
The fashion house known for its apparel, accessories and beauty lines expanded to new categories with its first in-house home collection launched this year and a new line of paper products sold through online stationery brand Paperless Post.
Consumers can customize and purchase digital or physical save the dates, wedding invitations, thank-you notes, party invitations and stationery by Oscar de la Renta. Printed items are available for $1-$4 each.
Earlier this year, Oscar de la Renta launched a larger-scale brand extension when it announced its first in-house home collection.
The Oscar de la Renta Island Gift and Entertaining Collection was designed in collaboration with interior designer Miles Redd with inspiration from Mr. de la Renta’s birthplace, the Dominican Republic.
The line is more than 70 tableware and gift items such as hand-painted plates for approximately $40 each, etched glasses for $60 each and picture frames for more than $100 each.
Saks’ LOOK initiative – Retail chain Saks Fifth Avenue is rebranding itself as a place of fashion inspiration and not just a place to shop with a new forward-looking multichannel campaign.
Saks’ “LOOK” initiative is being incorporated into all aspects of the store such as the catalog, Web site, shopping bags, in-store events and visual displays.
The department store chain’s fall preview catalog contained a section titled “Making of a Look,” which took 11 designers’ tips on how to style a complete outfit with individual items.
The Making of a Look is also being promoted on Saks’ homepage. A click through brings consumers to the Making of a Look section that puts together several outfit ideas all from individual pieces. Consumers can easily shop the looks or separate items from the site.
The looks are being put together by a number of fashion icons including Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, Stella McCartney and Brunello Cucinelli.
These looks will be shown off in retail stores, store windows and online.
St. Regis’ lifestyle magazine – Starwood’s St. Regis Hotels & Resorts is targeting guests with an in-room magazine called “Beyond” that helps the brand relate to the interests and values of its customers.
The oversized magazine is published twice a year and offered to guests in their rooms during their stay at each of St. Regis’ 30 hotels around the world. The first issue of Beyond mixed editorial content with a soft push for the brand as well as luxury brand advertisements from Cartier, Gucci, Christian Dior and others.
St. Regis placed a number of brand-focused content in the first issue including “Where to stay: The St. Regis Beijing; The St. Regis Lhasa Resort” and “The St. Regis Atlas,” which outlines the brand’s international network of 30 hotels.
Versace’s Versus relaunch – Italian fashion house Versace targeted entry-level consumers with the launch of its Versus Versace Web site that offers content and ecommerce.
The label has been building excitement for the rebranding of Versus through a comprehensive social media and digital campaign that counted down until the official launch and collection presentation May 15 in New York.
To prepare for the new line, Versus teased images of the collection and Web site through its social media feeds by sharing images of its models and close-ups of products.
On May 8, Versus launched a Google+ page where it began promoting a “hangout” session with Donatella Versace, chief designer of the Versace group.
The Versus Web site launched May 15 and was promoted through the brand’s social media accounts.
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York
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