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  • Writer's pictureKyle Hjelmeseth

REFLECTION: Beauty Influencers Taking Over Luxury

What You Need to Know:

Luxury brands have been slow to embrace social media and influencers, as they want to control the messaging to their target market.

In earned media, luxury brands earned $688 million dollars less than top beauty brands which collected $1.9 billion in earned media.

Relying on influencers has grown the beauty sector enormously, especially for independent brands.

“If you don’t have an audience that has deep connections with other people, you can’t compete, even if you continue to increase the amount you put out in the ecosystem.” – Thomas Rankin

Photo Courtesy of Pretty Little Fawn

The Rest

Long before social media, information from the luxury sector was coveted by their audience. With Instagram and the creation of influencers, information about beauty brands is right at everyone’s fingertips. Influencers tell their audience whether something is worth purchasing, especially when it has a hefty price tag and distinguished brand name. Premium beauty brands invested into social, creating viral phenomenons that sell their products out within hours. In the last few years luxury has began to dive more into social media, but it is not fully trusting of letting go of the reigns of messaging. Independent brands post roughly five times more than luxury brands, according to a study by L2- a business intelligence firm. Posting often allows for more connection and communication between the brand and their customers.

Luxury brands are starting to take note, allowing a few chosen influencers to partner with them on campaigns. Micro-influencers are the trusted few, as the have high engagement and dedicated followers. As the amount of followers rises, the amount of engagement falls- making micro-influencers a hot ticket for campaigns. As Thomas Rankin, founder of Dash Hudson, said: “If you don’t have an audience that has deep connections with other people, you can’t compete, even if you continue to increase the amount you put out in the ecosystem. You essentially start to disappear unless you dump billions of dollars into advertising.”

Moral of the Story

Slowly but surely luxury brands will come to embrace influencers more. Influencers are about telling stories, much like luxury brands communicate the importance of heritage. Having similar goals allows them to partner well together, as luxury brands are in great need to connect to the millennial sector. Luxury is about creating special individual moments, and influencers allow their audience to feel included in meaningful campaigns. Both luxury and influencers cultivate personal experiences to garner loyalty, and it would be wise to embrace the similarities.

Little Tip from the Top

Luxury brands need to be part of the social conversation, because when your brand is absent it doesn’t allow for genuine connection. Influencers help bridge the gap between the prestige of luxury brands and consumers. They need to keep up with what other brands do while still staying true to their legacy. Communicating the meaning of luxury to a new generation through trusted voices could save the sector in the future. Using influencers will be the next step for luxury brands if they want to set themselves apart.


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