By Erica Stonehill
As Snapchat has picked up momentum among millennials, brands of all industries have been working to establish themselves on the platform. The fashion industry specifically has struggled the most with this, unsure of how to use the app to their advantage. Burberry, however, may have cracked the code.
Burberry has often been an early adopter of new media; they were the first fashion brand to launch a channel on Apple Music in September 2015. They proved their innovation, yet again when they tapped into the curiosity of millennials and shared their spring and summer lines on Snapchat a day before the London Fashion Week launch. This approach was such a success, earning them the number six spot in Ad Here’s “Top 10 Influential Social Media Campaigns of 2015” that they decided to try it again by taking fans behind-the-scenes of their spring 2016 photoshoot. Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief creative and chief executive officer said they wanted to, “play with the traditional format of an advertising campaign to make it much more immediate and accessible.” Queue the first ever 24-hour fashion campaign.
Through their partnership with Snapchat, Burberry became “instant and genuine,” two very important attributes in today’s society. The fashion industry is often criticized for not being transparent or honest enough in their campaigns. This approach allowed fans and followers of the brand to see what goes on behind-the-scenes of a fashion shoot, and while the brand was able to pick and choose what they posted to the live story, it still appeared to be raw and unrehearsed.
Similarly, the spontaneity of the campaign created a sense of urgency among followers. Since the snaps would only be live for 24 hours and the actual campaign wouldn’t be released until January of 2016, fans were given a reason to follow along with the story. Marketing Magazine dubbed the campaign “the best piece of marketing in 2015,” saying, “FOMO [fear of missing out] is rife, and exclusive Testino shot fashion ranges that last 24 hours are as good a reason as any to be there in the right place at the right time.”
A way for Burberry to extend the success of this campaign would be to partner with prominent models in the fashion industry and have them promote important release dates and collections. A New York Times article quotes a 12-year-old from Manchester, England saying rather than follow brands on Snapchat, he and his friends follow people “close to the streetwear brands” who snap release dates or locations where products can be bought. So while Burberry’s target audience is probably a bit older than 12, the same principle applies. Because Snapchat allows for fans to feel more engaged with celebrities, they enjoy following those people who are prominent in the industries they are interested in. If Burberry wants to increase engagement and conversion rates with their target audience, they should utilize those models or designers who are already engaged with that group.
Other fashion brands like Louis Vuitton and Micheal Kors have tried, and ultimately failed, to use Snapchat as a springboard for fan engagement, but Burberry seems to have conquered the beast. By focusing on the innate sense of curiosity we all have, as well as the need for instant gratification, Burberry was able to partner with Snapchat for one of the best social wins of 2015.
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