Italian fashion label Gucci is Luxury Daily’s 2016 Luxury Marketer of the Year for its revamped advertising image under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele.
Gucci won over first runner’s-up Chanel and second runner’s-up Burberry. All three brands were able to adapt and connect with a new generation of consumers while not losing focus on their luxury positioning.
The Luxury Marketer of the Year award was decided based on luxury marketing efforts with impeccable strategy, tactics, creative, executive and results. All candidates selected by the Luxury Daily editorial team and from reader nominations had to have appeared in Luxury Daily coverage this year. Judging was based purely on merit.
Gucci made over
2016 marked the first full year with Mr. Michele at the head of Kering-owned Gucci. Aside shifting the brand’s apparel and accessories design, he has made his mark on the brand’s marketing, replacing an overt sex appeal with a more romantic femininity.
This included a new effort for Gucci Guilty starring Jared Leto that portrayed a subtle sexuality (see story) and ensemble runway collection campaigns shot in destinations such as Berlin, Tokyo and Britain’s Chatsworth House.
Playing off motifs created by Mr. Michele, Gucci unveiled a series of artistic initiatives that deconstructed these themes. Its customizable Ace Sneaker was the subject of creative short films, while its codes became the basis for a multiplatform project that spanned a physical space in Tokyo and online mediums (see story).
Allowing consumers to put their own spin on these new icons of the brand, Gucci also launched customization programs for select products.
During 2016, Gucci opened new headquarters in Milan, centralizing a number of operations in a repurposed aeronautical factory. This Gucci Hub will serve as a location for fashion shows and acts as a physical representation of its changing aesthetic (see story).
Gucci took the top spot in L2’s fashion index this year, thanks to efforts including an updated ecommerce site and enhanced social media visibility (see story).
Proving its prowess in digital marketing, Gucci leveraged Snapchat for launches and added gamification to its brand app.
Taking sponsored content beyond simple promotions, Gucci launched a first-of-its-kind partnership with Condé Nast, retelling a Greek myth in a series of Gia Coppola-directed films (see story).
The brand’s updated image is resonating with consumers, with Chinese affluents naming Gucci as their most coveted label for shoes and handbags in a recent report (see story). Mr. Michele’s has re-envisioned Gucci’s iconic GG logo, a move that did not sit well with brand purists but that has been embraced by a younger consumer who had previously moved away from the house’s designs (see story).
Capitalizing on the buzz surrounding the label, Gucci linked with select retailers, such as Net-A-Porter and Galeries Lafayette, designing exclusives for the stores.
Beyond buzz, this desire is translating to revenue, with Gucci outperforming the luxury sector, seeing double-digit sales growth during the third quarter of 2016 (see story).
First runner’s-up Chanel has made itself more relatable to consumers without sacrificing its prestige.
The brand made moves to appeal to a younger audience, casting teens Lily-Rose Depp and Willow Smith in separate ad campaigns.
With a continued focus on video content, Chanel introduced five new films in its “Inside Chanel” series. The brand also launched a new series of unscripted Beauty Talks, inviting personalities such as Gisele Bündchen and Keira Knightley to talk makeup and skincare with its global creative makeup and color designer Lucia Pica.
Chanel’s social media efforts helped the brand top Brandwatch’s rankings of fashion companies, thanks to visibility and increased reach (see story). The same researcher also found it to be the most reputable brand on social media (see story).
The brand also got a nod in the beauty space, with an MBLM report finding it to be the most successful at creating intimacy and an emotional connection with followers (see story).
A key indicator of brand positioning and desirability, Chanel is one of the highest sellers on the secondhand luxury site The RealReal (see story). Chanel was also one of the only brands to record growth in value in Millward Brown’s BrandZ report (see story).
Aside from its desirability as a brand to own, Chanel was named the most coveted place to work in a survey of millennials conducted by Women’s Wear Daily (see story).
Alongside digital efforts, Chanel courted younger clients with a backstage-themed pop-up. The brand also branched out into the conceptual, curating a daily content hub with i-D magazine (see story).
Burberry’s early adoption
British fashion label Burberry came in behind Chanel, placing as second runner’s-up for its first-mover status.
Burberry added fuel to the conversation surrounding the see-now, buy-now movement, announcing early in the year that it would be changing its runway show schedule. This move consolidated its presentations to two a year, showing men’s and women’s collections together (see story).
The brand also took a different move when it enlisted Brooklyn Beckham to shoot a campaign, having the teenage son of David and Victoria Beckham capture the experience on Snapchat (see story).
Burberry was became the first fashion label to create an Apple TV app, becoming the first brand to broadcast a fashion show on the platform (see story). When launching the fragrance My Burberry Black, Burberry took advantage of a bevy of newer social media tools, such as Instagram Stories and a Snapchat filter, to create a mood around the scent.
While unseated by Gucci in this year’s L2 rankings, Burberry was positioned in second place, also showing Genius-level sill in digital.
Courtesy Luxury Daily