May 17, 2013
Footwear label Brian Atwood is increasing its follower base on Instagram with a contest to acknowledge loyal customers.
The brand is hosting the #ShoeLover Instagram contest that could increase the number of candid images of its footwear on the mobile-social platform. Since Instagram is a visual channel and growing in popularity among young consumers, it is likely one of the most effective ways to reach a young, affluent audience.
“Instagram is a photo-sharing social application where visual content is king,” said Christine Kirk, CEO of Social Muse Communications, Los Angeles. “Luxury brands can leverage Instagram to show the audience their exclusive products rather than telling them through tweets or status updates like on other social platforms.
“An engaged audience is interacting with the brands on a personal level, resulting in a customer base with built-in loyalty towards the brands,” she said.
Ms. Kirk is not affiliated with Brian Atwood, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Brian Atwood declined to comment directly on this matter.
Foot in the door
The label announced the #ShoeLover contest last week by asking its U.S.-based social fans to follow @Brian_Atwood on Instagram and upload original “selfie-style” photographs of their Brian Atwood or B-Brian Atwood shoes.
The brand looked to bring together its community on Instagram around a common love, per Brian Atwood.
Participants have the chance to win a pair of “coveted Brian Atwood shoes” each week through June 6.
Instagram users can enter two images per week. They must tag @Brian_Atwood and use the hashtags #ShoeLover and #ChicHaven.
The brand previously introduced the #ChicHaven hashtag to generate interest in the first Brian Atwood boutique located at 655 Madison Ave., New York.
As of press deadline, there were nearly 600 entries tagged with #ChicHaven, but more than 62,000 tagged with #ShoeLover. By tapping an already-popular hashtag, Brian Atwood could increase product awareness among Instagram users.
Image tagged with #ChicHaven
The brand is also acknowledging contest participants by announcing the weekly winner through the @Brian_Atwood handle and sharing a group of the designer’s favorite entries across its social media accounts.
Mr. Atwood's favorites
The brand's goal for its Instagram channel - established to be from the designer's point of view - is to facilitate a two-way experience for its followers, per Brian Atwood.
Many fashion marketers use Instagram to engage with young brand fans.
For example, British fashion house Belstaff pushed the brand’s adventurous side in a week-long Instagram campaign that prompted brand engagement.
The brand gave away one of its iconic Roadmaster jackets each day during the #PureAdventure contest (see story).
In addition, fine jewelry maker David Yurman is leveraging the brand’s presence on Instagram by incorporating customer images into its spring collections push.
The jeweler added the Instagram element to its spring campaign to capture consumers’ own styling of its new lines via the #DavidYurman hashtag (see story).
Instagram remains to be an effective marketing tool because it is visual, social and authentic, per Marko Z. Muellner, senior director of marketing at Shoplgniter, Portland, OR.
“Taking photos is fun and easy with smartphones and Instagram's magic is that it turns everyone into a great photographer,” Mr. Muellner said. “Filters, blurs and frames all make the most boring photos look nice.
“Even when a professional photograph is posted, it fits in nicely with all of the user-generated images,” he said.
Tricia Carr, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York