The global pandemic has hit the fashion, luxury and beauty industries hard not only in terms of consumption, but also by forcing fashion, luxury and beauty brands to immediately redefine their marketing and communication strategies in an unprecedented context.
For months, brands had to innovate, be smart, adapt, and find other ways to get in touch with their consumers and finally get closer to them.
Launchmetrics, the first Brand Performance Cloud for fashion, luxury and beauty, analysed and compared – in a report entitled Marketing Reset: Voices Impacting Brand Performance during the Covid-19 Crisis– the performance of marketing activities before and during this period in order to understand how the crisis has impacted the overall performance of the brand, what the future of the fashion, luxury and beauty industries will look like now and what kind of marketing strategies will shape it.
For this study, Launchmetrics drew on a global panel of 500 brands from 8 different segments in the fashion, luxury and beauty industries and used its unique Media Impact Value ™ (MIV®) algorithm to evaluate in monetary terms the impact of the different actions launched by the brands over the period January to April 2019 and 2020.
Refocusing on brand values
During this difficult period, brands stayed connected with their consumers through their own social channels, – otherwise known as their Owned Media. However, whilst the MIV® generated by Owned Media did not change significantly between 2019 and 2020, the type of content used to generate impact has changed significantly.
High value-added publications and communications about brand values rather than product promotion, have generated a much higher MIV®. For example, Louis Vuitton generated $501K in MIV® by publishing a post on its Instagram in which it shares its solidarity initiative: requisitioning its factories to produce protective masks.
This approach, more focused on values, notably enabled Louis Vuitton to increase the value of its MIV® by 33.67% compared to 2020 during the crisis period. In comparison, the luxury fashion sector grew by only 12%, making Louis Vuitton’s performance particularly noteworthy. Also, Louis Vuitton’s average MIV® per post increased by 132.4% during the crisis, compared to 13.6% for the Luxury Goods sector in general. This means that with this type of communication the quality of Louis Vuitton’s posts has increased considerably and shows a very good ability to adapt.
Turning to Voices of Confidence
During containment, a return to tradition was observed in the way consumers informed themselves. The Voice of the Media increased its MIV® by 44% between 2019 and 2020. Consumers were looking for reliable ways to find out about the situation, so they turned to traditional Media, which without publishing more (similar number of publications in 2019 and 2020) increased their average impact per publication. This search for stability was also observed in the incredible surge of the Voice of Celebrities, whose MIV® reached $614M. What is noteworthy is the increase in the quality of the posts, +58% in the average MIV® per publication.
For example, Balmain has followed this pattern and shows a noticeable evolution of its Voice Mix with a 5% additional share by Celebrities compared to 2019 – with this Voice making the most progress.
Getting ready for what’s next
In a situation where the marketing plans of fashion, luxury and beauty brands have been paralysed around the world, the data suggests a “return to realism”. The question now is what will the future of the sector look like and what kind of marketing strategies will shape it? No one is in a position to anticipate it at this time. However, the data that Launchmetrics has analyzed before and during the crisis, allows us to make some predictions.
First of all, brands will have to invest their efforts in building their brand equity. Consumers, impacted and influenced by the global crisis that is creating distrust after the pandemic, will only believe in truly transparent brands – those that maintain strong and consistent values in an ever-changing climate.
Secondly, brands will need to optimize their resources. Digital transformation has been accelerated by this crisis and budgets are likely to be reduced. It will therefore be a question of doing more with less, and for this to happen, brands will need to be able to better measure the ROI of their actions in order to allocate their budgets intelligently and make the most of every euro.
“Over the last few months we have gone through a transition period, and now, as companies re-open and brands look to review their development plans for the end of the year and for 2021, they will need to use the right tools and the right data to make the best decisions,” says Michaël Jaïs, CEO of Launchmetrics. “In the future, it will be about making the smartest decisions with tighter budgets; that’s why digital transformation and having a deep understanding of ROI is vital, so that your brand can react in real-time to make informed, strategic decisions.”
Read Launchmetrics’ full report on the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis and the avenues for recovery.