Content Marketing Conference Prague

January 29th, 2020

The Association of Content Marketing (ACM) is hosting its annual conference in the heart of Prague, Czech Republic. In its fourth year running the theme centers around a brands’ responsibility to create high quality content, and how this can be tackled. The program will introduce brands such as Ambiente, LMC, komunikace USA, and Vogue. There will also be numerous speakers from fields such as gastronomy, publishing, PR, and marketing.

Luxury brand communication and the overall luxury segment development in the upcoming 5-10 years.

Luxury brand communication may seem to be a marginal theme which only affects a small pool of potential customers and marketing experts. However, in many ways, it can be perceived as highly inspirational. The luxury segment according to McKinsey & Company, a consulting company, appears to be growing at a rate of 3-4% in the year 2020. At the same time it’s a segment which is currently experiencing a negative market forecast, and 57% of the field’s professionals are extremely sceptical about its growth, especially in fashion. There is a change in business model which expects that profit won’t be generated by increasing turnover, but rather by changing the margin of the business which is clearly dependant on Generation Z and Millenials. The segment itself is currently driven by these two generations, and according to research they are 100% responsible for its growth. This specific target group has completely different expectations from a brand. According to professionals from the luxury industry, the most prominent themes are sustainability, ethics, and transparency of the business. McKinsey & Company has done a research which showed that up to 9 out of 10 customers from this given group expect the brand to behave ethically, and will maintain a respectful approach to our planet’s resources, from the production stage to the product delivery stage. Therefore luxury brands make this a primary goal for the upcoming year, emphasising a new responsibility. After Burberry’s scandal, which concerned the luxury British brand burning their unsold products from pre-existing collections, the brand hired a Communications Specialist specifically for clothing ecology, sustainability, and engaged in numerous international initiatives.

Customers who are members of Generation Z or Millenials are demanding because they live differently, away from the economical human. They were described by Paul Collier, professor of Economics and Public Administration at Oxford, as people who quickly approach individualism, seek to build a sense of personal style, and they have a need for a brand to reflect their viewpoint. In this moment there is a high claim for a change in in-store presentation which needs to raise the bar highly above expectations, unlike the eshop service. It is expected that in the upcoming 5 years, 25% of all business will take place on ecommerce platforms (currently it is 10%). At the same time 100% of luxury buying was somehow linked to the brand’s online presence or communication.

Related to this is also the question of how important are “spotlight moments” or specific forms of a brand’s presentation in the digital world which has the ability to increase traffic, for example in two hours by over a thousand percent. A prominent example would be the French luxury brand Jacquemus which live-streamed their fashion show hosted in a lavender field. This resulted in a rapid growth of brand value solely based on this event.

The progress of online communication places high demands on different work with visual identity and logo. Brands need to be ready to let loose of set graphic manuals for the purpose of multi channel communication and operational adaptation during different types of collaborations with other brands. It’s a given that brands need to work with their logos differently, look at the top 20 brands which rule the luxury segment, paying special attention to the development of their logos in the last 5 years. Rebranding in this segment is often related to a change of Creative Director, the most current examples being Celine and Burberry. For instance brands like Fendi or Valentino took a different approach and returned to previously used logos.

Two strong generations are significantly more willing to invest into luxury rather than products that belong somewhere between two segments: mass and luxury, brands which profile themselves as more investable. An interesting challenge will be an expected entrance of luxury rental at which stage brands will experience a difficulty seeing a fall in their investment into communication where the conversion of profits will go partly to the sharing segment, as is already the case with housing, car rental, and the general “de-denial” of the young generation. This whole market is going through a rapid change which will of course also strongly influence the internal structure of individual companies. As a result of the move from an advertising age to a digital reality, and changes in the customer journey, there is a need for change in teams and individual positions within companies.

In 2014 I was highlighting the creation of a new role, Content Marketing Manager/Curator. In the year 2020 Alexander McQueen, a British luxury fashion brand, had a job posting for a Curator of Visual Identity so that the brand could be coherent in all communication channels and delivered maximum quality to their customers at each point of contact. Brands are starting to perceive their communication with a new responsibility. These topics will be discussed at our annual conference which will take place on the 6th of February 2020 at which I will be discussing themes of ten main challenges in the luxury segment.

Kateřina Borovanská

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