The Italian luxury fashion brand Gucci has been recognized as “the luxury brand winning the millennial spend” (Amed, 2017). Since 2012, it been considered one of the most profitable luxury fashion houses, (Deloitte, 2017), and has been accredited to have a 27% jump in gross sales for the first quarter of 2018 (Kering, 2017).
One of the most popular social media platforms for retailers is Instagram. Since its inception in 2010, (medium.com) Instagram has established itself as a critical marketing tool for fashion and luxury brands. With over 800 million monthly active users, the application has become the most relevant social platform for luxury brands (BNP Paribas, 2017). Fashion and luxury brands have learned to accept and embrace Instagram since it is a determining component in the decision-making process of luxury customers. Data shows that an astonishing 44% of luxury clothing sales are influenced by social media and/or internet research (McKinsey, 2014).
This case study examines the impact of Instagram on Gucci's economic prosperity and conclude with factors competitors need to prioritize in order to strengthen brand positioning on Instagram, ultimately attracting new users and potential customers.
Instagram as a Marketing Tool
Emergence of Social Media Marketing
Collaboration with celebrities and social media figures
Gucci's Business Model & Its Emergence
Gucci and its competitors have been battling to retain competitive advantage through their social media communities where they are able to capture new potential customers. In a survey performed by Statistica.com, Gucci is the third leading luxury brand on Instagram based on the number of users registered to their page as of December 2017 with 19.4 million users. Since then Gucci has gain an overwhelming 10 million followers in less than a 24 month period. The increase in followers can be attributed to Gucci's brand reinvention through its CEO's new management style, and its Creative Director's imaginary vision.
Gucci's financial success can be attributed to the synergy of their cohesive management style and their creative director's vision.
Since hiring Alessandro Michele in 2015 (vogue.com) he has turned his intimate creative vision to life
The Influence of Gucci on the Fashion Industry “The Gucci Effect”
In conclusion, the marketing strategies of luxury brands on social media platforms, which became increasingly popular due to high use of mobile devices and the constant surging of new trends, aim towards capturing millenial's interest and retaining customer loyalty. This is an important component for luxury giants relying on young consumers to drive growth and solidifying a brand's positioning in the future markets. Instagram as a marketing platform provides brands many advantages such as free marketing advertising and allows them to build a community of millions of users that share the same interest and appreciation for luxury fashion. Therefore, the value of other marketing channels decrease rapidly with the new and innovative features that mobile applications like Instagram offer users free of charge.
The fashion industry is highly competitive and ever changing. Gucci's biggest competitors in the luxury sector are French fashion brands, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. The most crucial determinant of financial success for these firms in the future will reflect on how effectively they manage to entice online customers to keep purchasing their high valued products through lucrative and innovative fashion campaigns brought to life through social media platforms.
Currently, Gucci is relishing a golden age from the success of the brand's reinvention, but the journey towards becoming the most desirable fashion brand in the world never ends. Nevertheless, it is possible that brands strategize wisely and integrate traditional forms of advertising and new marketing platforms in a way they can both complement each other efficiently in a future of tech savvy millennials.
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