Luxury brands have undergone a significant shift in their relationship with the general public in the past year. When the first lockdown was implemented, luxury labels faced challenges in adapting to the digital landscape. However, they quickly started exploring various digital initiatives to connect with their customers. These initiatives included competitions, cultural projects, online courses, and even cooking and coloring sessions. Luxury brands realized the importance of engaging with their audience and starting conversations, often through projects that were unrelated to their products.

For instance, Saint Laurent hosted live-streamed musical performances from its store in Paris, while Bottega Veneta released a digital magazine called ‘Issue 01’ featuring art and photography. Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing launched a podcast series called ‘L’atelier Balmain’ to share the brand’s story, and Salvatore Ferragamo released a podcast series about its founder. These initiatives have been received with enthusiasm and creativity, offering unique and ever-changing experiences for luxury brand enthusiasts. As the pandemic continues, the investment in digital projects has expanded, with new tools and solutions such as augmented reality emerging. Despite the eventual return of physical events, the importance of digital activities and engagement remains.

Luxury brands are now focused on creating content to nurture their communities and attract different consumer segments. Many brands are incorporating digital technology and gamification into their strategies, recognizing the appeal of the gaming world to younger consumers. Labels like Gucci and Burberry have ventured into the gaming domain to reach Millennials and Gen Z consumers. In fact, Gucci has even designed and sold digital creations to dress avatars in games. The gaming world also provides an opportunity for luxury brands to engage with the Chinese market, given the approximately 1 billion smartphone users in China. Luxury labels have been hosting events and utilizing local initiatives and Chinese social media platforms to connect with Chinese consumers. Moncler, for example, achieved billions of views on TikTok and Weibo through its digital campaigns.

Furthermore, luxury brands are incorporating narratives about their history and heritage into their digital initiatives. By sharing a brand’s key codes and story, they are able to build a community and connect with their audience on a deeper level.

In conclusion, luxury brands have recognized the significance of digital initiatives and narratives in engaging with their customers and building communities. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of these initiatives, and they are expected to persist even when physical events resume. The gaming world and the Chinese market have become particularly important avenues for luxury brands to expand their reach and attract younger consumers. Ultimately, the success of these initiatives lies in their ability to create unique and immersive experiences for luxury brand enthusiasts.

Useful links:
1. How Luxury Brands Used the Animated World to Engage Chinese Consumers during COVID-19
2. Gen Z, China, and Gaming: What Luxury Brands Need to Know