Luxury brands must become peer-to-peer influencers
To receive the Vogue Business newsletter, register here.
Some of the most popular social media accounts today aren’t run by traditional influencers. Consumers are increasingly attentive to those around them, often made up of relatives and friends.
More than half of consumers (56%) say their favorite type of influencer to follow on social media is “the everyday influencer,” according to research commissioned by user-generated content specialist Bazaarvoice. These social media users include friends and family, as well as trusted online friends they may never have met. This type of influencer is trusted because they are or feel like a personal connection, as opposed to ambitious influencers and celebrities, who were more popular before the pandemic.
Over the past 18 months, the desire for more intimate and trusting relationships has also impacted luxury commerce, with an increase in one-on-one services. “Throughout the pandemic, our personal shopping service for our best customers has become more popular and important than ever,” said Sabah Naqushbandi, director of global marketing at Porter.
Going forward, a richer, more personalized engagement is here to stay. Operating in the timely intersections of personalization and social commerce, brands and retailers have the power to build communities and have conversations with customers. Among luxury brands such as Mr Porter, Telfar and Vestiaire Collective, the global payment and purchasing service Klarna is answering the call for a closer connection with its customers.
Study your movements
Being a more personalized brand goes beyond knowing what matters to your customer. Brands must build a peer-to-peer community rooted in societal movements that drive consumer values. For many luxury customers, the issue that forms the basis of conversations and preferences is sustainability.
“Sustainability is at the heart of what the luxury consumer wants,” says David Sandstrom, Klarna Marketing Director. He observes how sustainability shapes the purchasing choices of Klarna’s 90 million customers around the world. Data from Klarna’s recent reopening report shows that sustainability is already the # 1 consideration for its 20 million customers in the United States, representing 48% of Gen Z and 39% of Gen Y. “It doesn’t. is not new, says Sandstrom. “The difference now is people are willing to pay for it.”
Used platforms see shared values and constructive connections between peer-to-peer buyers and sellers. Vestiaire Collective, for example, has “evolved beyond a brand to become a global community of fashion activists,” explains Arnaud Collin, Director of Revenue. The growing environmental concerns of the platform community are contributing to the growth of B Corp. A 2020 survey by the Boston Consulting Group co-created with Vestiaire Collective found that 70% of used buyers appreciate the sustainability aspect of second-hand consumption, up from 62% in 2018.
Superior quality drives conversational commerce
Luxury values align with a more thoughtful and conscious approach to buying, leading to an increase in virtual retail spaces for intimate conversations and thoughtful buying discussions.