The King Rousteing in the Instagram Kingdom
In the Luxury sector lots of brands have understood that they could increase their notoriety by strategically using social media. By being present and active on several networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Youtube…) they can reach more people especially with this generation where more and more people are connected.
The brand Balmain understood well that the key element was the arrival of Olivier Rousteing in 2012 as new artistic director. He was only 26 years old and he understood that the content that they put on social media would springboard them to the top of their notoriety and desirability. He also uses something that always works: a lot of photos with different stars such as Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé and the ambassador of the brand Kanye West to reach all kinds of people. With all of these photos, Olivier Rousteing got people really excited and more in love with Balmain. He also had the idea to launch the official Facebook and Twitter accounts for the brand -> the fresh breath.
For Rousteing, Instagram’s virtues as a marketing tool are obvious: pictures can be snapped for free, posted in seconds, and then seen by potential customers all over the world.
Balmain doesn’t seem really approachable for two reasons:
1. The price, because it is very high.
2. The style, because the style posts are unusual and you don’t see people with this style on the street.
But, Olivier Rousteing wanted to be close to the Y generation and to be more approachable by making partnerships with H&M and also with Nike’s athletes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Dwayne Wade. By doing this, Olivier Rousteing composed a sort of clan for the brand and he named it: The Balmain Army.
Against Balmain, I think we have Saint Laurent, with his hero Hedi Slimane, who uses the social media a lot to boost the communication of the brand. This is one of the key commercial successes of Saint Laurent. In 2012, when Slimane joined the brand, he considerably increased the communication spending. The strategy was to posts black and white photos with models and rockstars to give the brand a young and trendy style that appeals to the young generation.
For the fashion sector, the more popular network is Instagram and compared to Saint Laurent, Balmain is more powerful on Instagram because of the content of their posts where you can see several people with different ages and different origins. Balmain wants to reach more and more people. The brand also shows us pictures of backstages taking us behind the scene, and permits us to learn more about the brand. There is a real content in their post, which is making the customer feel concerned. However even though Saint Laurent has more followers on Facebook and Twitter, the brand doesn’t have a rich content because their photos and posts seem superficial and not realistic. Moreover, Balmain is on Facebook and Twitter just since 2012.
This post was created as part of the Global Luxury Management Program at the NC State Poole School of Management. All thoughts and opinions are my own.