New Risks For Luxury Brands As Millennials ‘Go’ Social
Millennials are known for doing things differently — particularly when it comes to shopping online for luxury goods. Social media today plays a significant role in the marketing of the latest luxury lines. Despite being at odds with promoting itself online, luxury brands know they must embrace social media if they want to secure the next generation of luxury consumers.
It’s been well documented that harnessing the spending power of tomorrow’s ‘trillion dollar’ demographic, requires brands to adapt to their spending habits — the most obvious strategy being engagement through social media.
However, opening up to this massive online audience exposes luxury brands to a multitude of social media risks including the selling of counterfeit goods on social channels and the wider web, IP infringements, PR crises, activist attacks, hate speech, customers’ complaints and more.
Take for example the ever growing online market for counterfeit luxury goods and in particular their widespread availability and spread on social media. According to our own internal Crisp Labs research:
1 in 5 counterfeit luxury goods posts and links are found on Facebook alone, while a further 1 in 10 are found both on Instagram and Twitter.
Crisp works with some of the world’s leading luxury brands to tackle this problem head on. We remove any negative mentions or links to counterfeit sites on their owned social media channels.
Incredibly what we’ve found is almost 40% of all user generated content that requires removing is related to posts about counterfeit goods. In the majority of cases, this content is being posted between 1am until 2am.
Ultimately whatever the risk, if it goes undetected, it can cause significant reputational damage to these brands and their bottom line. This blog will discuss these risks in greater detail and what luxury brands can do to mitigate them while continuing to appeal to this valuable generation of shoppers.
Engaging Millennials On Social
Quality, heritage and, most importantly, exclusivity are the key things that come to mind when recognizing a luxury brand. For an industry that prides itself on desirability, product excellence and niche appeal, maintaining a luxury aesthetic on open and accessible channels like social media isn’t easy.
Social media has brought everyone into the world of luxury, with big players such as Instagram and Snapchat reveling in innovative ways to reach an increasingly wider audience. However, joining the online conversation has meant luxury brands are at risk of diluting their hard-earned brand image. Seeing their labels being spoken about on a variety of social networks, and making themselves available to the masses, has even made some brands less exclusive and less desirable. As any veteran of the industry will know, this exclusivity has been the adage for which luxury previously stood for.
Furthermore, if goods are faulty, or worse they have been purchased on the counterfeit market under the pretence they were actually the brand itself, there is then even more reason for concern. Like most generations, the millennial generation is quick to criticize and they’re ready and willing to broadcast these views across social media at a viral rate.
Luxury brands need to have their eyes and ears open so they can respond in a timely manner to nip any issues in the bud. For the likes of Social Media Managers, Digital Marketing Managers and Heads of Communications, the posting of offensive or illegal comments on an owned social media channel should be of major concern. Images that might disturb or comments that might seriously offend are challenging internal teams to constantly moderate and monitor for today’s 24/7 millennials.
The Proliferation of Counterfeit Luxury Goods On Social
Since the birth of online retail, the luxury market has had to tackle the detrimental issue of counterfeit goods. According to the OECD and EUIPO:
2.5% of global trade is made up of fake designer goods which equates to a staggering half a trillion dollars a year.
Millennials are wittingly, or unwittingly, fueling this by buying discounted luxury, or counterfeit goods, and worrying less about authentic designer labels — more Primani (Primark) than Armani!
Luxury brands need to act quickly to identify links to fake counterfeit sites within minutes and take down any mentions that appear on their social media channels. However, this activity is extremely resource intensive and inefficient when managed within internal teams alone.
Ecommerce has also set a precedent for having things NOW. And with the evolving nature of social media from live streaming to interactive apps, everyone wants to order what’s on the catwalk today, with a view to having it in their closet tomorrow. Some brands have moved faster than others. For example, Burberry set a new trend last September when clothes featured on their fashion runway shows were made available to buy online immediately. In an age of such immediacy and engagement with customers, there is an even greater need for constantly monitoring for potential brand-damaging risks.
How To Protect Your Luxury Band From Social Media Risk
Luxury brands need to act quickly to identify offensive or illegal comments on their social media channels and identify and report fake counterfeit sites. Resourcing that internally can be expensive, inefficient and ineffective. At Crisp we help brands to prioritize issues by making it easier to spot fake sellers and allowing luxury brands to handle any PR crisis as it happens in real time.
Originally published at blog.crispthinking.com.