5 Reasons Why Luxury Brands Should be Embracing TikTok
Since TikTok exploded onto the social media scene in 2017, it has been downloaded over 2.6 billion times and is the platform of choice for Generation Z, boasting the highest engagement rate among the social media channels, comfortably outperforming Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and co. Yet, despite its meteoric success in the digital world, luxury brands have been slow to embrace the platform. With TikTok’s influence set to increase and Generation Z soon to account for 20% of luxury spending around the globe, we examine 5 crucial reasons for brands to be including TikTok as a central part of their marketing strategy now.
The Advantages of a Broad Digital Media Strategy
Brands need to be able to leverage technology and social to deliver omnichannel experiences. While in-store purchases have once again risen since the opening up after lockdowns, any successful campaign and strategy will need to incorporate digital and IRL experiences to drive consumer engagement and spending. Take for example, Moncler’s recent show, MONDOGENIUS, touted as a “digitally led experience that will take place across five cities and through the vision of 11 designers spanning a variety of fields including art, film, music, and extreme sports. All under one show.” With collaborations from names such as Alicia Keys, Craig Green and Hyke, the show was broadcast across multiple channels, with TikTok providing a key platform for the experience. Moncler has been clear that its strategy is to actively go and meet its consumer base in the places they hang out, rather than taking a less anticipatory approach. In addition to the various data that suggests luxury brands need to embrace social media more proactively, platforms such as TikTok also provide invaluable information on styles and trends that have caught the imagination of the younger generations which can then be used to shape upcoming collections and marketing strategies.
The COVID-19 pandemic sped up the adoption of using online experiences to purchase luxury products and while consumers might now be returning to physical boutiques, the digital buying trends that developed during this period look set to stick around, meaning that luxury advertising is entering a new era. Brands will need to consider direct content creation, paid campaigns and challenges, along with influencer collaborations as an integrated TikTok strategy to reach the new generation of luxury fashion consumers. Take for example, the Gucci Model Challenge in the summer of 2020, a tongue-in-cheek creative and interactive campaign, which connected with a teenage audience and quickly amassed tens of millions of views for its hashtag. Amid unprecedented and uncertain times, the platform has provided uplifting, positive and engaging content, taking it from a quirky Generation Z platform to a thriving channel that has also attracted the millennial audience. Savvy marketing strategies for the luxury fashion houses need to include TikTok in their offering to remain relevant and accessible to today’s digitally aware consumer.
The core audience for luxury brands is changing. By 2025, 55% of the luxury audience will be millennials or Generation Z. Luxury brands will need to venture into their territory to connect, rather than waiting for consumers to come to them. Luxury brands have long invested in more traditional channels, but to reach a full potential client spectrum they will need to adopt new strategies to connect with their audience. Both Generation Z and millennials have grown up without much experience of life before the internet and any luxury purchase decision they make will be influenced by online content they are exposed to or actively seek out, particularly on social media platforms.
Influencers Hang Out on TikTok
Influencer collaborations are a potent marketing force on TikTok and can also be leveraged across the various social media platforms as part of a broader campaign. Content creation can include the unboxing of products, photo and video shoots and behind-the-scenes footage or sneak previews. Luxury campaigns tend to be slick and highly produced, whereas TikTok content is generally more authentic, raw and creative. Working with an experienced TikTok influencer who has a large following can help luxury brands to bridge that stylistic gap without compromising their image or profile and grow their reach in a more organic way with much higher engagement rates.
TikTok is Taking Over the Catwalks
TikTok’s foray onto the fashion catwalks began with star of the platform, Charli D’Amelio, being invited to Prada’s Fall/Winter 2020 collection. Her presence at the front row of the show garnered a new, younger following for the luxury fashion house. Other high profile brands, conscious of the role these influencers play in setting trends, have followed suit, carefully positioning TikTok fashionistas at their shows for maximum exposure. The presence of so many TikTok influencers at the 2022 fashion shows of New York Fashion Week allowed their audience to gain access to snapshots of exclusive behind-the-scenes action, fostering a sense of involvement and engagement with the brands they were representing. The channel is also the perfect platform for rising stars in the modelling world to record their preparations and glimpses into the backstage glamour, further serving to elevate the profiles of the luxury fashion houses to a whole new generation hungry for exclusive access and aspirational content. While luxury brands might have traditionally remained aloof and distant to invoke an air of exclusivity, accessibility is becoming more and more key, and those who don’t adapt to changing times are in danger of being left behind.
Those luxury brands who don’t include TikTok as part of their social media strategy are likely to find themselves losing out on a new generation of followers and a vast potential client base. With the platform’s recent launch of an in-app shopping feature and the online percentage of luxury goods sales expected to reach 25% by 2025, luxury brands need to update their online presence to boost their customer engagement levels and ultimately their conversion rates. While IRL experiences are expected to bounce back as the pandemic fades away, TikTok’s popularity shows no sign of abating anytime soon and those brands who embrace the platform now are investing in a strategy that is set to increase their market share.
Slava Communication can provide authentic influencer collaborations and 360° campaigns for your brand across the optimal social media channels. Click here if you’d like to find out more about our services.