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The Cultural Clash Between Luxury and The Social Media Age

Silvia Andreani
Client Executive
Brand Strategy & Guidance expert
Kantar Insights 
Silvia.Andreani@kantar.com

 

The Cultural Clash Between Luxury and The Social Media Age

Luxury, from fashion to jewelry, fast cars and experiences, has always played the role of social marker. The luxury paradigm is based on social stratification and it must inevitably be selective: you are in the luxury world, or you are not.

But then Millennials and the social era came along. How, then, does the luxury world, and its dynamics built on social distance, align with a world in which everything is shared, closer and accessible? In luxury fashion, there are three ways to manage this apparent contradiction. First, like Gucci or Louis Vuitton, is to leverage the power of social networks, with celebrity ambassadors helping create a massive presence. The second way is not to go with the flow but instead make the brand increasingly rare to boost its desirability, like Chanel and Hermès. Last is the non-strategy: being traditional and unprepared to change, like Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo.

There’s no single way to solve this cultural clash, but careful chemistry combining a brand’s assets and consumer trends can highlight the way.