Luxury brand marketing changing as Burberry enlists Snapchat to preview SS16 collection?

Endaba Group

Snapchat, the new challenger in the social media world, is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing apps. It is a phenomenal platform which has become a powerful media and communications tool for brands and retailers, with over 100 million daily active users, who watch more than 4 billion videos every day.

Burberry is hoping it can catch a portion of these users to convert into sales. They’ve recently plowed money into their digital initiatives – they are the first in the industry to have a channel on Apple Inc’s music service – to widen their influence and reinforce their message. Yesterday, they  brought “live story” coverage, revealing their SS16 collection on Snapchat to users ahead of their LFW show. The story appeared at 7pm last night and will disappear 24 hours later. The designers are calling it “their first ever” Snapchat fashion show. It’s a big play for Burberry to reach out to young adults and teenagers who dominate Snapchat to interact more with the brand, without the social pressure of likes and dislikes.

Snapchat is adding new players to its evergrowing team and it grows aggressive in its move to partner with major events, as can be seen with its coverage during NYFW, the Emmys and its new partnership with the NFL. It has had a major digital presence throughout last week’s NYFW, with designers including Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger using the app to introduce their SS16 collections in official fashion week videos. Burberry wasn’t the only brand to capitalise on Snapchat’s audience – for its 2016 collection, Louis Vuitton also shared content on its Snapchat account.

Will luxury brand marketing be forever changed by Burberry’s recent use of snapchat? Luxury brands are now having to reconfigure their digital plays, unable to rely on old-economy processes to justify their high prices.  Burberry’s embrace of social strategies has helped its retail soles grow 14% year-over-year as of March 31, with online and mobile sales doubling. During last year’s Fashion Week, the luxury brand offered select items from its new collection for purchase via Twitter with their “buy Now” button. Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s Chief Executive and Creative Director, has employed his expertise to blur lines between trade and entertainment and transform the luxury British fashion house into a global brand. He said he felt using Snapchat was an important step for the company: ““I love the philosophy of Snapchat and the idea of capturing a moment that then immediately disappears, unpolished and rough around the edges.”

Luxury brands are increasingly having to invest in digital talent to develop more sophisticated and imaginative ecommerce offerings as Technology defines our lives more and more. There is no direct path where products and platforms will evolve nor is it something a luxury brand can consciously force. It is important to understand how people are engaging online and bring the brands to them.