One of the biggest and most interesting challenges faced by luxury brands participating in digital and social media is maintaining the balance of brand value (exclusivity, personal attention, impeccable quality) and the nature of social media (democratic, participatory, fast and reactive).On one hand, these principles seem to operate at opposite ends of the spectrum, driving conflicts and contradictions.
On the other hand, these core attributes have driven brands to think carefully and creatively about what it means to connect with customers and how to extend that special brand experience across all consumer touch-points. What ultimately has been surfacing — across different brands in different sectors and with vastly disparate executions — has been a focus on community and content.
The Standard Culture website and social channels (Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter), featuring the voice of the group "Stan d'Arde," has created a destination for culture, lifestyle, fashion and food that chronicles hotel guests, staff and insiders in interesting and multi-faceted ways (more playlists please!). The site is chock full of interesting articles, videos and photos that consistently present the Standard brand as fun, innovative, premier and exciting.
Along other lines, LVMH recently launched NOWNESS, an (independent) online editorial channel focused on one exclusive piece of content each day that showcases a range of personalities, brands and causes across the luxury landscape. Content is beautifully crafted and simply executed, and the exclusive nature of the content encourages people to pass it along. By focusing externally on the industry at large, the site is quickly becoming a destination with relevance beyond the brand.
In both cases this editorial content drives repeat attention from aspirational audiences, clients, customers and guests alike. Strong identities, strong voices and careful execution have created social channels that strengthen the brand presence rather than dilute it.