Building a presence on social platforms and digital media isn’t cheap, and it takes resources — namely, money. Consequently, where and how to invest marketing dollars is one of the biggest challenges that fashion and luxury brands face today.
At the Glossy Forum in New York on Thursday, fashion and luxury brands convened to discuss some of the major changes occurring in the industry. The main challenges included connecting with consumers, harnessing customer data and scaling a luxury brand, while making it relevant on social media. Internal silos between departments also came up as a common obstacle.
Glossy asked attendees to write down their biggest challenges for the Glossy Mind Map Project. We pulled a few off the board and asked the writers to elaborate anonymously.
“Preserving heritage and DNA of the brand is our biggest challenge. Our brand is almost in its infancy of losing relevance. We have such a protective brand and the way we worked was, ‘We have an image and we portray it,’ and that was it. There was never a dialogue between the consumer and the brand. Now the challenge is how do we become, and stay, relevant and hip on social media, but at the same time stay true to our traditional customer who is older and shops in store. There’s also a challenge around the need to train in-store associates. They’re millennials and a new generation and we need to reflect what our brand still stands for in store.” – C-level executive at a fashion brand.
“It can be really siloed internally: There’s e-commerce, digital marketing and that’s separate from brand marketing. I work at a large corporation where each department has its own roles and responsibilities, but you do have to be able to partner cross-functionally and it can be a challenge communicating, being on the same page, aligning timing, just the internal alignment is a challenge in my job.” – C-level executive at a fashion brand.
“The biggest challenge is educating brands on video. They don’t understand there are so many social platforms and they just look at one piece of content — mostly television commercials — and think they can throw it out. Sometimes the media and marketing teams within brands understand a different approach is needed, but it’s the creative folks that are driving the content and saying, ‘This is what we’ve created and this what you’re going to do.’” – Senior director at an advertising and technology company, specializing in fashion and beauty.
“Budgets and investment are our biggest challenges, and determining where to invest in things. Whether it’s tried and true methods like print advertising, versus new innovation like Snapchat. Building a brand on Snapchat, buying geofilters for example is expensive. And then who’s responsible for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter? Your dollars and manpower don’t increase, but content is demanding and ways to spend money have dramatically increased.” – C-level executive at a fashion brand.
“Bloggers and influencers are a double-edged sword, especially in skin care. There are a number of social influencers that have sometimes put out misinformation on products and that can get you in trouble if they’re claiming brand X cured something, for example. You have a responsibility as a brand to police that. Once it’s on the internet it’s out there and it’s very hard to pull it back.” – President of a luxury skincare-technology company.