Louis Vuitton, a Digital Advertising & Strategy Case Study
As one of the most recognizable names in the luxury space, Louis Vuitton certainly enjoys its position today. One could argue that Louis Vuitton’s success has been over 150 fifty years in the making. Since its founding in 1854, the French fashion house has carefully built and sustained its image of preeminence—a must for luxury brands who are developed on the aura of exclusivity. Of course, the turn of the new millennium has ushered in a vastly different world from that of the century Louis Vuitton was founded. With it, comes the need to engage with consumers in a way that still upholds the values the luxury brand has sustained.
In the midst of seismic consumer shifts, Louis Vuitton has doubled down on the strengths of its name and adopted new ones that herald continued growth heading into an increasingly more digital consumer landscape. In this take on Louis Vuitton’s advertising strategy, we dive into what the famed fashion house has done, what it is doing at the moment, and what it plans on doing in the near future.
At the heart of Louis Vuitton’s advertising are their very own products. It’s said that the best form of advertising is an unwavering focus on a brand’s core offering, and Louis Vuitton exemplifies that mantra. The handmade and traditional craftsmanship in every Louis Vuitton bag denotes the premium quality for which the brand is known for. Even as modern times have expedited the manufacturing process, Louis Vuitton remains steadfast in having handmade leather goods done by experienced workers that produces a virtually impossible-to-replicate ware. And it is precisely this level of wardship over its production line that makes Louis Vuitton the sought-after luxury brand that it is.
Then there is the distinctive use of the brand’s LV initials prominently displayed on every one of its goods that consumers can exhibit and signify to the world that they are a devotee of quality design and craftsmanship. But while the artistry that goes behind every luxury good is certainly a contributing factor to Louis Vuitton’s long history and success, it is only a single element that the brand relies on as it navigates through the increasingly more digital world. What that means for Louis Vuitton is the need to champion progressive changes to attract today’s luxury consumer.
As part of its digital strategy, Louis Vuitton has hired some of the most notable icons in fashion today. From rehiring handbag ace Johnny Coca to naming Off-White CEO Off-White Virgil Abloh as artistic director of men’s wear, Louis Vuitton demonstrates it is making the rounds to draw the younger generation of shoppers, who by and large are becoming a bigger portion of the luxury market.
Coca’s rehiring is a full circle journey that signals the French fashion house will continue to cherish its long and rich heritage while embracing innovation. For his part, Abloh represents a move for Louis Vuitton that it values a modern approach to fashion, as well as inclusion and diversity. Again, both of the male fashion hires point to one thing: Louis Vuitton is intent on capturing the attention of the increasingly younger luxury market.
In addition to Louis Vuitton adding a gauntlet of talent successful with younger shoppers, the French fashion house has also tapped on some of the biggest style icons and celebrities today to act as ambassadors for the brand. Angelina Jolie, Pharrell Williams, Jennifer Lopez, and Billie Eilish are just some of the various names Louis Vuitton has starred in its campaigns.
Though Louis Vuitton has been known for its use of print media to target consumers, it has recently invested into its digital marketing strategy to more comprehensively reach the segment of the audience who lives online. While there is not much known about how much Louis Vuitton spends on its digital marketing strategy, we can infer that the brand has delved deeper into social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. As two of the most visual mediums, Louis Vuitton perhaps chose Instagram and Twitter to demonstrate the more graphic-oriented material the brand wishes to broadcast, such as their steps to become more sustainable or the campaigns featuring some of the aforementioned style icons—each made to capture the attention of younger luxury shoppers.
A view at Louis Vuitton’s social media profiles also reveals their efforts to build a consistent and coherent strategy for undeviating brand integrity. No matter what social media outlet you choose, Louis Vuitton’s visual content is the same throughout. Also sustaining this solidarity in brand image is Louis Vuitton’s use of both conventional and event-specfic tags. All posts from the brand are tagged #LouisVuitton, with event-specific tags allowing for its followers to track any specific updates. One such example was Louis Vuitton’s New York Volez, Vogues, Voyaguez Exhibition, for which it tagged all related event posts with #NYCVVV for a streamlined manner of labeling their experiences.
In a homage to how it started, Louis Vuitton has also incorporated red-stamped initials in some campaigns, most notably featuring modern-day style icons like Jaden Smith, Alicia Vikander, and Léa Seydoux. The famed monogramming service Louis Vuitton has built its brand upon and its promoting of it encourages luxury shoppers to join them. “It’s this ingenuity that both appeals to the younger generation and plays on what Louis Vuitton does best that makes their digital strategy uniquely captivating,” says Juan Manuel Gonzalez, founder of UI/UX and luxury marketing agency G & Co.
But Louis Vuitton’s advertising strategy is not only limited to the expenditures it makes to promote the brand itself. The brand most definitely considers its products’ artisanship to be their most perceptible selling point. The personalizing design of its custom goods is what allows Louis Vuitton to demand a high figure for their wares. In an age of cheap, mass production, Louis Vuitton has committed to its long history of workmanship quality.
And to preserve the reputation of superior goods, Louis Vuitton has kept a close guard on how its products are distributed. Until recently, if a shopper wanted to buy a Louis Vuitton good, they would have to go to a Louis Vuitton officially store or a licensed distributor in-person. And while Louis Vuitton has in recent years upgraded its eCommerce strategy and digital transformation, the brand still has a tight hold over how it sells its products. Because of its trained sales staff and endowment in delivering an exceptional store experience, Louis Vuitton believes it is best that the shopping experience be as close to the brand as possible.
Additionally, Louis Vuitton has been adamant in maintaining its premium pricing policy. Under no condition is a product from Louis Vuitton to be reduced in price. The perception of its wares is something sacred to Louis Vuitton, and in its more than 150-year history, the brand has never deviated from its value-based pricing. Of course, the trade-off is knowing that a Louis Vuitton product is a mark of guaranteed quality.
What Louis Vuitton is doing in addition to continuing to put out some of the most meticulously crafted luxury goods is an accommodation of the digital world as part of its advertising strategy. Counting the Volez, Vogues, Voyaguez Exhibition, Louis Vuitton has integrated the perceptible lifestyle component as part of its brand. That includes broadcasting events and featuring celebrities with a high affinity with the young luxury consumer today.
Among the various campaigns Louis Vuitton has launched as part of its advertising strategy is its Make A Promise collaboration with UNICEF, in which the French luxury brand supported vulnerable children around the world through donating the revenue made from exclusive bracelets. That particular campaign invited people to post a photo with the hashtag #makeapromise, with Louis Vuitton models spurring what would turn into a flurry of user-generated content that raised nearly $10 million in donations.
Then there is the 2017 Cruise show, in which Louis Vuitton made the best use of the scenery in Rio de Janeiro. Like the Volez, Vogues, Voyaguez Exhibition, Louis Vuitton featured Jaden Smith and Alicia Vikander, as well as Zendaya, Alessandra Ambrioso and Isabeli Fontana. The Nicolas Ghesquiere collection displayed at that show was published for all of Louis Vuitton’s more than 15 million Instagram followers.
For its spring-summer 2020 line, Louis Vuitton’s show included a diverse cast walking the runway for the first time to demonstrate the brand’s esteem for inclusion, talent, and artists. The show included Arsenal star Héctor Bellerín, skateboarders and Louis Vuitton collaborators Lucien Clarke and Evan Mock, and models Gigi Hadid, Swae Lee, with Scottish pop star Sophie’s music video for “It’s Okay to Cry” serving as the backdrop for the event. These high-profile appearances are very much in line with Louis Vuitton’s marketing strategy to attract the increasingly younger luxury consumer.
Through a presentation of its lines as an interactive and personalized experience, Louis Vuitton’s advertising strategy is one that embodies a lifestyle rather than just a purveying of its luxury wares. Unlike the typical marketing strategy, Louis Vuitton exemplifies an approach to advertising that encompasses the entirety of its offerings as part of the luxury experience. In its long history, Louis Vuitton has never wavered from the craftsmanship of every product it places on the market, nor has it relented in providing the utmost shopping experience.
“But the further we turn deeper in the digital age, we should not mistake the storied French luxury brand as resistant to change,” says Juan Manuel Gonzalez, head of the luxury digital agency G & Co. “If we’ve seen anything in the last few years from Louis Vuitton, it’s that there’s certainly room for brands to stay true to what has made them prosperous and still innovate for the changing times. We can say that as an advertising agency and as an admirer of the brand’s legacy, the push for breaking new barriers has us excited to see what more there is to come from Louis Vuitton’s advertising strategy.”
How much does Louis Vuitton spend on digital marketing and advertising?
Louis Vuitton spent an estimated $100 million on both digital marketing and advertising, mostly consisting of its print media.
What did Louis Vuitton do for a digital transformation?
Louis Vuitton’s digital transformation consists of an overall strengthening of its user experience. In 2017, Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH launched its multi-brand fashion eCommerce site, 24 Sèvres, to fortify its digital strategy and bring itself up to speed with the times.
Louis Vuitton specifically has benefited from LVMH’s naming of Michael David as the newly-created chief omnichannel officer, a sign that the luxury conglomerate is taking eCommerce seriously in the midst of pandemic-induced store closures. Now, Louis Vuitton offers online support features such as info on item availability, click-and-collect ordering and payments, or scheduling appointments to try on products—a move that considerably matches the convenience that luxury consumers expect from high-end brands.
What is Louis Vuitton’s digital strategy?
Louis Vuitton’s digital strategy was a task in transferring the success of their in-store experience to the online world.
Because younger consumers continue to make up the luxury market, Louis Vuitton needed to adapt and meet them where they spend the majority of their time: online.
The hesitation behind embracing the online world and employing a digital strategy in recent years has dissipated, with Louis Vuitton now employing a more functional eCommerce platform that grants consumers the convenience of being able to select and purchase one of their high-end wares online.
Of course, Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH keeps a watchful eye over its 75 brands and each of their distribution channels. Hence, the route Louis Vuitton is delving into its digital strategy is most identifiable to compare to would be that of the direct-to-consumer model (DTC). With this digital innovation approach, Louis Vuitton has complete control over its brand, its image, and has no barrier in between they and their customers to better understand the dynamic in their relationship through behaviors and preferences. All this allows the luxury brand to iterate, improve, and deliver on the things their customers want most. It surely will help Louis Vuitton’s digital strategy become better than anyone had previously thought.
What is Louis Vuitton’s customer experience (CX)?
Nothing could be more important than the customer experience for Louis Vuitton. In their eyes, what matters most is that the luxury brand provides a personalized and rewarding experience for every one of their customers. Louis Vuitton understands that in luxury retailing, the service their customers receive is the pinnacle of a luxury experience.
As part of extending the customer experience to reach beyond in-store shopping, Louis Vuitton has invested heavily to develop their online stores into more than the transactional eCommerce model to become a comprehensive and creative platform for customers to utilize and shop from. Louis Vuitton understands that to carry the same level of high-quality in their customers received in-store, they would have to translate that experience online to reach younger audiences.
Who is Louis Vuitton’s target market/customer?
Louis Vuitton’s target market are consumers residing in metropolitan areas such as Paris, London, Hong Kong, New York, and Toronto. These consumers are aged 18-54 and with annual incomes exceeding $75,000, though more focus seems to be shifting towards attracting the younger segment of the luxury market.
What is luxury brand digital marketing, how is it different?
Because of the brand positioning, a luxury brand’s digital strategy will have to look different than any other brand’s in terms of how it engages with customers, showcases its products, and communicates its value.
As a luxury marketing agency and advertising agency, we understand that instead of the push promotion strategy, luxury brands need to pull consumer interest through relevant and engaging content. How a luxury brand chooses to pull that interest is for them to choose.
Have a question about luxury digital marketing? Shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Why is UI/UX important for luxury brand eCommerce stores?
A good user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) is essential for any eCommerce store in that it helps browsers easily navigate a website for the sole purpose of making their customer journey easier to finish. Most importantly, an eCommerce store is a window into a brand’s image; the first impression a browser makes when coming across a shop can easily determine whether or not they will continue browsing and ultimately purchase something.
Why is eCommerce important for any luxury business?
In the rapidly changing world we live in, it’s important now more than ever for brands to adapt to evolving consumer needs. And that includes meeting them where they are. As an advertising agency and luxury eCommerce agency, we know the value in a consumer-centric strategy to help luxury brands excel for the future.
It’s not enough for luxury brands to have a branded site just to check the box off on eCommerce. Consumers today want an experience that matches the quality of a luxury product they purchase. That’s why luxury brands place a great emphasis on tailoring their approach to play on consumer sentiment and meet the mark of exclusivity.