Luxury Marketing Strategies from Innovative UK Brands

Olivia Fitzpatrick
February 3, 2022
Last Updated On

Image credits: @burberry, @harrods, and @alexandermcqueen

Marketing is in the midst of a full-scale transformation. As the global population spends more and more time on digital devices, and embraces social media channels as a way to view entertaining content, a new era is emerging that prioritises creative marketing rooted in entertainment value. Generation Z is increasingly drawn to visual content that not only captures their attention, but keeps them scrolling for more.

In late 2020, nearly 20% of young people aged 18-25 were consuming 20 hours per week of online video content. Today, those numbers are even larger. With this rapid rise of entertaining short-form video content, it is essential for brands and marketers to move at speed, and create a steady stream of topical content that keeps audiences engaged and tuned in.

How Luxury Brands Advertise

The outlook for luxury marketing is very different in the coming year, with a focus on entertainment value taking center stage. Competitive luxury brands are wasting no time, experimenting with different formats, channels, and content—including short-form video channels like TikTok, investing in the metaverse, and partnering with video game companies on interactive branded content that reaches millions of players. Keep reading to dig into the specifics of top luxury brand marketing examples. 

More brands than ever are also looking to creators, the pioneers of short-form video, for partnerships. Working with creators to co-create content opens your brand up to fresh ideas and unique perspectives, and also ensures that your brand will be shared with that creator’s audience. Sponsorships are fleeting, and can be easily deleted by creators once the impact has been made, but entertaining content has a much longer shelf life, and is much harder for creators to delete. Creators are first and foremost entertainers themselves, and their desire to make a lasting impact aligns with their brand partners.

Video is highly effective when married with e-commerce capabilities. Leading brands are exclusively testing live-streamed shopping events across every channel you can think of, including TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest. These channels are quickly innovating their online presence with new revenue streams for entertainment.  Every brand should start planning for how this emerging technology will fit into their marketing strategy.

Why Is Short-Form Video Important for Luxury Brands?

Millennials and Gen Z, the generations most active on short-form video channels, are set to contribute 130% of market growth for the luxury industry between now and 2025. However, these are also the generations that have grown tired of perfection, and have made waves by moving toward content that is comfortably imperfect. TikTok surpassed Google as the most popular website on the internet in 2021. As many brands are still figuring out their TikTok marketing strategies, social entertainment is a huge differentiator in digital marketing strategies for savvy brands.

Short-form video cuts through the noise. The algorithms seen on TikTok and Instagram Reels prioritise showing users content that is predicted to be the most entertaining, which is why social entertainment is going to be such an important part of brands’ strategies going forward. The most entertaining content will find oversized audiences on these emerging channels, no matter the follower size of the brand behind it, which presents an opportunity for brands to expand their reach in ways they weren’t able to before.

Lo-fi, short-form video is the breath of fresh air that social media users have been looking for, however, luxury brands face the ordeal of figuring out how to promote luxury goods while also being relatable. Reconciling being reachable, and also unreachable, is a seemingly impossible task—but short-form video presents a happy medium. Brands can continue to sell a dream in their luxury advertising, while relying on the human element of short-form video to open up to viewers in ways that static studio imagery did not allow for.

Industry-Leading Social Media Strategies for Luxury Brands

From tapping into channels like TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube, to conceptualising immersive digital experiences, the luxury industry landscape is evolving, taking branded entertainment and the marketing of luxury goods to a new level. The following examples from leading brands are just a few ways that companies are using entertainment-driven channels to foster deeper engagement with their target audiences.

The Burberry Marketing Strategy

Burberry has long merged timeless luxury with innovative marketing strategies. In 2020, the brand partnered with Twitch to become the first luxury brand to stream a fashion show on the live video platform. This move was very timely, as viewers were stuck at home during pandemic lockdowns, and entertainment channels such as Twitch were skyrocketing in viewership.

The iconic British brand continues to push boundaries with its entrance into the metaverse. Burberry has partnered with Tencent Games, creating designs for popular Chinese online battle game Honor of Kings, and introducing a new kind of interactive product placement in the process. Burberry’s continued success in entertainment marketing lies in the strategic partnerships it aligns itself with to create unique experiences for its audiences.

Image credit: @burberry

The Harrods Marketing Strategy

Luxury retailer Harrods has the experience and wisdom to drive a successful luxury marketing strategy. The brand has been experimenting over the past year, in partnership with other luxury brands, to deliver unique online experiences for its audience. The brand recently worked with Burberry on a campaign that involved scanning a QR code to enter a virtual world. Inside the metaverse, fans could browse the latest Burberry collection, and get a taste of the in-store Burberry experience from their couch. The brand also launched a similar experience with Dior Beauty, and is in a strong position to continue its metaverse expansion as the new technological frontier expands in adoption.

Harrods is certainly not afraid to adopt new content formats, quickly adopting Instagram Reels as a channel to showcase its new product launches, in-store exhibitions, and limited-time pop-up stores. Short-form video content keeps viewers engaged, educated, and entertained in a way that is much more effective than static imagery, while remaining true to the classic Harrods brand. To read more about how Harrods uses Dash Hudson software to make data-backed decisions in its strategy, check out the case study that explores their perspective on luxury brand marketing.

Image credit: @harrods

The Alexander McQueen Marketing Strategy

Alexander McQueen is bold and fearless, which is reflected in its marketing strategies. The luxury brand has taken to TikTok to give fans an exclusive look inside the atelier, a sneak peak at backstage moments, and closeups on the celebrity McQueen looks that they wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else. The channel allows the brand to be intimate with fans, and entertain in a way that luxury brands haven’t in the past, while maintaining the vision that makes Alexander McQueen what it is. The brand never shies away from creating a big moment.

Image credit: @alexandermcqueen

Luxury marketing will become even more innovative in the coming year. Brands that prioritise entertaining their followers will be the brands that come out on top. For more information on how your brand can incorporate new formats and technologies into your social media marketing strategy, check out Dash Hudson’s Report on Social Entertainment.

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