Saint Laurent, the esteemed French luxury brand, has implemented a new marketing strategy with the aim of appealing to younger consumers and solidifying its position in the market. This strategy involves a meticulous evaluation of its product range as well as offering more affordable prices compared to its direct competitors. A recent study conducted by marketing metrics firm Retviews further supports this approach by emphasizing the importance of effectively targeting the younger generations through strategic communication. One noteworthy example of this strategy is the recent appointment of pop singer Rosé from the highly popular South Korean girl group, Blackpink, as a brand ambassador. Additionally, the opening of Saint Laurent’s first flagship store in Seoul serves as a testament to its commitment to capturing the attention of young consumers.

In 2020, Saint Laurent, which operates under the Kering group, achieved a revenue of €1.74 billion, solidifying its position as the second-highest earner within the group, second only to Gucci. According to the data provided by Retviews, leather goods make up 40% of Saint Laurent’s product range but contribute to a remarkable 71% of its total sales. In contrast, ready-to-wear items generate only 12% of the brand’s revenue despite accounting for 21.6% of its range. The financial statement for 2020 also revealed that leather goods contributed to a significant 74% of the brand’s revenue, while footwear and ready-to-wear accounted for 16% and 7%, respectively. This data underscores the significant role that accessories, particularly handbags, play in driving Saint Laurent’s success.

Compared to other luxury brands, Saint Laurent, under the creative direction of Anthony Vaccarello since 2016, offers fewer mini handbags and belts, which have been in high demand in recent seasons. Balenciaga and Gucci, for instance, include these items in 69% and 51% of their ranges, respectively, while Saint Laurent only features them in 29% of its range. Instead, Saint Laurent focuses on versatile models such as cross-shoulder bags (40% of its handbag range) and shoulder-worn bags (17%). This selection perfectly aligns with the brand’s core value of celebrating women in their everyday lives, whether it be for work, social occasions, or holidays.

Regarding pricing, Saint Laurent positions itself in the intermediate segment compared to its competitors. For instance, their signature dinner jackets are priced at €1,990, slightly higher than Gucci’s €1,980, but lower than Prada’s €2,500, Loewe’s €2,900, and Dior’s €3,500. In terms of handbags, Saint Laurent offers prices ranging from €245 to €5,500. At the lower end, Loewe offers more affordable options priced at €190, while Gucci surpasses Saint Laurent at the higher end with handbags priced at €20,000. Retviews suggests that Saint Laurent’s strategic choice to position itself in the mid-range price segment is aimed at attracting younger consumers who seek a balance between resilience and luxury consumption. However, it is essential for Saint Laurent to avoid being too restricted within this segment.

To attract a more diverse customer base, especially young individuals, Saint Laurent aims to offer more affordable prices compared to direct competitors such as Dior, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton. The brand’s communication strategy, which heavily focuses on digital media platforms, plays a fundamental role in expanding its customer base. The consistently growing number of followers on the brand’s website and social media channels further strengthens its appeal to a younger audience. This is exemplified by the selection of K-pop star Rosé as a brand ambassador, given her massive fan base. A recent video release by Saint Laurent showcasing the women’s Fall/Winter 2021-22 collection featuring Rosé generated significant attention, with an influx of comments and likes. Demonstrating its commitment to the younger market, Saint Laurent also announced the opening of its first flagship store in Seoul, situated in Gangnam-Gu, the trendy and affluent neighborhood of Cheongdam.

In conclusion, Saint Laurent’s targeted approach to attracting young consumers through affordable handbags and strategic communication efforts highlights its resolve to remain relevant in the luxury fashion industry. By meticulously assessing its product range, offering competitive pricing, and embracing digital platforms, Saint Laurent aims to capture the attention of younger generations and expand its customer base. With the appointment of Rosé as a brand ambassador and the opening of a flagship store in Seoul, the French label is well-positioned to appeal to the fashion-forward youth market both in South Korea and worldwide.

Useful links:

1. Retail Detail – Saint Laurent Moves to a “Shop by President” Model
2. Vogue Business – Why K-pop and Luxury Brands Are Head Over Heels for Each Other