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Top 10 luxury brand social marketers of Q1

Social campaigns in the first quarter of 2014 worked to familiarize consumers with particular aspects of a brand’s identity and values.

With a mix of branded content and user-generated content, luxury marketers looked to social media to strengthen consumer relationships. Incorporating consumer content and upping sharing capabilities helped consumers feel more involved than in the past.

Here are the top 10 luxury brand social marketers of the first quarter of 2014, in alphabetical order.

Anya Hindmarch’s What Planet Are You On?
British handbag label Anya Hindmarch let consumers create personalized, whimsical star charts to build momentum for the brand’s planetary-themed spring/summer 2014 collection.

On Anya Hindmarch’s “What Planet Are You On?” microsite, users could find out their astrological signs and planetary chart at their time of birth and then share it with their social networks. Because this content was not specific to the brand, the test was likely of interest to more than just brand fans, giving Anya Hindmarch the opportunity to spread awareness.

Bergdorf Goodman’s SXSW social scavenger hunt
New York department store Bergdorf Goodman asked South by Southwest attendees to spot its social media manager, Cannon Hodge, wearing clothing from its new contemporary collections at the conference and share a photo of her on Instagram to enter.

Part of the prize package was a Monsur Gavriel bucket bag, which was so coveted by consumers that it had a wait list. Because the winner of this contest was judged on quality of photo rather than at random, Bergdorf was able to amass valuable user-generated content.

Bringing the social media conversation to real life, Ms. Hodge told consumers in her blog post that if they spot her at the conference they should introduce themselves. This allowed Bergdorf to interact with its customers outside the store environment.

Elie Saab’s Light of Now magazine
Lebanese couture fashion house Elie Saab enhanced its social outreach with a new digital magazine that debuted with a live-stream of the brand’s ready-to-wear collection runway show in Paris.

Elie Saab’s “The Light of Now” magazine launch coincided with its showing during Paris Fashion Week on March 3. Although Elie Saab does not currently offer ecommerce, its magazine joined the couturier’s active digital presence which includes Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and social videos that enhance the consumer experience.

With an editorial team based in Paris, The Light of Now features interviews, industry profiles and articles focused on craftsmanship across industries. New content will be added nine times per month with a focus on brand influences.

Fendi’s fashion show drones
Italian fashion house Fendi gave consumers a different view of its runway show live-stream on Feb. 20 through high-definition cameras attached to drones.

In addition to the standard view of the runway, consumers watching the brand’s fall/winter 2014 show on Fendi’s Web site during Milan Fashion Week had the ability to switch to the camera angle of the aerial drones. This new way of filming the runway show allowed viewers at home to have a unique experience and feel more a part of the action, as they can switch vantage points.

As they watched, fans could switch between the four or more cameras flying in the air to see different angles of the runway. After the show, the live-stream was available for replay along with the drone footage. Following the show, there was also content about the genesis and creation of this drone-enhanced runway show, including a making-of video.

Harrods’ #TwentyAteDays
London department store Harrods worked to establish itself as a one-stop destination for consumers by increasing foot traffic to its 28 in-store eateries.

Harrods used its social media accounts to show top dishes to its foodie followers and general community so that consumers grasp the diversity of the department store’s restaurants. Since Harrods is so well-known for its exclusive, high-end apparel and accessories, showing off its culinary side likely motivated consumers to spend more time at the store.

The retailer organized its pun, #TwentyAteDays, to coincide with February due to the 28 days in the month. Each day, Harrods shared a photograph of a signature dish found on the menus of its 28 restaurants.

Lexus and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Toyota Corp.’s Lexus teamed up with volunteer-driven charity St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise awareness of children’s cancer leading up to St. Patrick’s Day with a contest that promoted solidarity.

Fans were invited to shave their heads on their own or at a local St. Baldrick’s event and create a 15-second Instagram video stating what bold action they would take if they won the $2,500 prize. Not only did the contest leverage the time-tested solidarity move of shaving one’s head, but also furthered the IS promotion through the bold component, thus increasing the scope of people that potentially got involved.

The Lexus Bold IS contest asked participants to upload their video to the Lexus Bold IS registration page, where others could view submissions in a public gallery. Videos were judged based on creativity, how compelling the story was and the amount of likes garnered on the Web site.

Marc Jacobs’ Daisy fragrance and social currency
U.S. fashion brand Marc Jacobs built a community for its Daisy fragrance lovers by creating a virtual daisy chain that incorporated social media, the scent’s ongoing campaign and in-store efforts.

The label reinforced its promotion of the Daisy fragrance throughout the month of January with fan-submitted images that created a sense of community among enthusiasts. Marc Jacobs elevated the promotion of Daisy with a series of physical events that fortified the relationship established online to increase engagement.

From Feb. 7-9, consumers were invited to visit the brand’s temporary SoHo boutique to experience Daisy and take time to relax during the chaos of New York Fashion Week. The pop-up featured Daisy-themed artwork by artist Langley Fox Hemingway and music provided by DJ Jilly Hendrix in addition to Wi-Fi, snacks, fragrance samples and a Daisy photobooth.

Interestingly, the pop-up, which only had Marc Jacobs apparel, accessories and fragrances for sale, only accepted “social currency” as payment and not the United States dollar. To make a purchase, the consumer had to use the branded hashtag #MJDaisyChain on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Saks Fifth Avenue’s #SaksIn6
U.S. retailer Saks Fifth Avenue focused on the products offered by its beauty department with Vine videos that recreated an in-store tutorial in six-seconds.

Saks’ #SaksIn6 was accessible across all of the retailer’s social channel to ensure maximum exposure for the featured products. Although six seconds is a short time frame, consumers likely appreciated that the video did not disrupt their day but still provided ample time to learn about a beauty product.

The retailer introduced its #SaksIn6 initiative on Feb. 18. The starting Vine was posted on Saks’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to increase the amount of consumer views.

In the first post, Saks explained that it would be featuring its favorite beauty products and showing the techniques to use the items, all in six seconds. As mobile consumers frequently look for quick solutions to shopping, such as click and collect and two-click purchases, this mini beauty tutorial was likely appealing to individuals short on time.

Van Cleef & Arpels’ high-jewelry Flipboard
French jewelry maison Van Cleef & Arpels combined its social media accounts into the jeweler’s first Flipboard magazine issue for a seamless experience that promotes sharing and educates consumers about the brand’s inner workings.

According to Van Cleef & Arpels, the jeweler introduced the first Flipboard publication on the social magazine application dedicated solely to the works of a high jewelry maison. Branded magazines of all types are a popular trend among luxury brands and are used to expand awareness among dedicated consumers and entice unfamiliar individuals through curated content that highlights achievements, innovation and craftsmanship.

Based on titled images, the consumer can select what interests her about the jeweler. Included content ranges from campaign videos to pieces of high-jewelry as well as everyday pieces on Pinterest and Instagram to Van Cleef & Arpel books available for purchase from Apple’s iTunes store and articles on Tumblr.

Versace V-Signature watch debut on Pinterest
Italian fashion label Versace introduced a new collection of women’s wrist watches through a dedicated Pinterest board to expand awareness for its entire range of timepieces.

Officially debuting during Baselworld in Basel, Switzerland, March 27 through April 3, Versace’s Pinterest board allowed consumers not attending the watch fair to explore the new collection before it hits retail locations. Touting a new watch also drove traffic to the Pinterest board where consumers may repin other watches available from Versace.

On Pinterest, the watches included a brief paragraph citing the maison’s inspiration for creating the series. The V-Signature watch was inspired by the latest fashion accessories and is meant to reflect “the iconic style and glamorous aesthetics of the maison.”

All watches seen on Versace’s Pinterest board had been pinned by the brand, with no user-generated content available. Versace included the hashtag #VersaceWatches and #Versace to each pinned watch to increase conversation among consumers.

Final Take
Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York