Luxury fashion’s biggest fear is TikTok. Whilst to us TikTok might seem like the simplest method of marketing, with business accounts like @clancysautobody going viral from a single post, for luxury fashion brands it’s harder than it looks. Being a successful brand on TikTok means dropping everything you learnt at marketing school, and instead compiling a collection of the weirdest filters, funniest captions, and catchiest sounds. It might seem simple to those of us racking up over 6 hours spent on the app everyday, but for brands that have been around for decades it’s something completely new and terrifying.
Whilst we’ve seen luxury fashion brands flock to TikTok as the industry began to recognise the growing buying power of Gen Z, most of their accounts simply don’t understand the requirements of a TikTok post. Many fashion brands simply rehash the videos they post on Instagram and YouTube, not realising that on TikTok you’re required to be a lot more relatable, interactive, and responsive than on other sites. As a consequence, their accounts end up coming across as impersonal, out of touch, and often boring – so, not ideal.
One of the few brands which seems to be getting TikTok right is Loro Piana. Despite having existed for almost a century (one year off to be exact), Loro Piana has demonstrated a genuine understanding of what works on TikTok and what doesn’t. Founded in 1924 and quickly growing into the largest distributor of cashmere products in the market, luxury fashion brand Loro Piana wasn’t about to accept its fall into irrelevance due to an inability to market to Gen Z.
One of the ways in which Loro Piana has shown a deeper understanding of what works on TikTok is through appearing on influencer’s accounts, like user @gstaadguy. Showing up on pre-established accounts on TikTok is one of the quickest and easiest for brands to be recognised. In this instance, Loro Piana linked up with an influencer who’s own fan-base almost perfectly matched the audience the brand was looking to tap, meaning that a simple, organic post about Loro Piana on @gstaadguy’s account immediately appealed to the right group of people.
Even better than that, Loro Piana’s representation by a Gen Z influencer meant that it didn’t have to worry about the thing that most brands tend to get wrong: tone. @gstaadguy’s tongue-in-cheek depiction of an old money upper class character named Constance has a perfected personality that’s sarcastic, funny, and ridiculous, which resonates well on TikTok. Even by simply mentioning Loro Piana in some of his TikToks, @gstaadguy is doing all of the work for the brand without any heavy lifting needed.
Loro Piana also showed its understanding of TikTok by successfully recognising a viral trend and tapping it for a video in promotion of its new selection of bags. In a TikTok which we produced as part of our CULTED ASMR series on TikTok, Loro Piana identified the mass appeal of the #ASMR trend, which already has over 642.1B view views, and used this to its advantage. Featuring a model dragging her nails across the brand’s new selection of sleek calfskin bags, the ASMR experience is as satisfying as it is Gen Z oriented.
Whilst tapping TikTok might seem like rocket science to big brands, as Loro Piana has demonstrated: it’s really not that hard. Simply by researching what popular influencers are doing right, understanding your audience’s interests, and adapting content to be more engaging, relevant, and relatable, luxury fashion brands will undoubtedly soon be dominating the app, and looking to Loro Piana for an example of good practice might be their best first step.
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