How Luxury Brands Are Using Influencer Relationships To Their Advantage


Luxury brands typically produce exquisite adverts with outstanding production values, and yet they still have to accept the fact that ad-blocking software and the “skip ad” button on YouTube means many times they will simply go unseen.

This is why in pasts years it has become increasingly important for luxury brands to communicate through other channels and many top names are now turning to influencer relations as a way to reach key markets.

There are three key points to understand when looking at this approach.

Celebrities are often influencers but influencers don’t need to be celebrities

Celebrity brand ambassadors can still play a significant role in modern marketing.In fact, it’s hard to think of a luxury brand without an A-list brand ambassador. However, these A-list names come with an A-list price tag and even luxury brands need to think carefully about how they spend their marketing budget.

Some celebrities are indisputably worth the spend if they are a great fit for the brand, however in many cases, micro-influencers can offer just as much, if not more value.  Micro-influencers are recognised and respected in their niche and they have an engaged community which is influenced by their opinions. This community is very likely to make buying decisions based on their recommendations.  This allows you to target a specific audience in a relevant niche without using a generic celebrity who may be known for something like acting or modelling.

Micro-influencers tend to be “digitally famous” in the sense that they typically interact with their community through various online channels. This could potentially be particularly useful for emerging luxury brands who are perhaps not as established as their competition. Using influencers who can create beautiful, engaging content is a great way to showcase your products to the right audience in a relatively short space of time.

Influencers must fit the luxury brand perfectly

As an absolute minimum, an influencer must make content that ties in with the ethos of the brand and must be aware that they are acting as a brand ambassador, both online and in the real world.

Ideally, luxury brands should look for influencers who have already shown some interest in their products and services and those who are selective about their endorsements. A high-profile beauty influencer who’s content consists mainly of make-up tutorials on YouTube would be a better fit for brands like Charlotte Tilbury or Anastasia Beverley Hills than an influencer with a high number of Instagram followers but no history of make-up consumption.  In contrast, Oprah Winfrey delivered a valuable lesson to marketing professionals when she famously sent an enthusiastic tweet about the Surface tablet she endorsed – from her iPhone.

It is vital to look for influencers who will consistently support your brand and be seen to do so rather than simply accept a wide range of endorsements for financial benefit.

Long-term partnerships deliver the best results

In the old days, brands, even luxury ones, often organised a number of short-term collaborations with as many influencers as they could find, on the assumption that the best way to get results was to get their message out to as many people as possible.

While there is some truth in this, if an influencer just mentions a brand once and then never talks about it again, it’s very likely that their community will soon forget about it and the message comes across as ‘unreal’.

Because of this, it is far more preferable to develop long-term partnerships with key influencers so that the brand is regularly mentioned to their community (with sincere enthusiasm), making both the influencer and the consumer think of your brand when they are making purchasing decisions.