Consumer opinions matter—even the negative rants on Twitter. Also, as consumers are always looking to be inspired on social media, these opinions matter even more. When it comes to luxury brands, sales are heavily affected by the kind of sentiment it generates online. NetBase says in its 2018 Luxury Brands Report that creative managers need to sit up and take note of how consumer passion online is capable of driving sentiments around their brands.
In its report, Netbase found that many luxury brands that made stunning gains on social media in 2017 were the ones who were most keyed in to these ‘consumer opinions’. Its research in seven categories—automobile, beauty, fashion, high-end brands, hotels, jewellery, and luxury e-commerce & retail—showed that shifting focus on millennials (an emerging demographic for luxury brands) paid rich dividends to drive conversation and increase awareness. An overall strong global economy and rapid international expansions made by many also garnered a positive sentiment online.
Here are the top 10 companies in the luxury segment that found highest mentions (35% share amid 100 luxury brands) on social media in 2017:
Land Rover registered a net sentiment score of 90% becoming the most positively viewed brand. It found 2.5 million mentions on the internet with the phrases ‘awesome experience’, ‘great selection of quality’ and ‘comfortable’ being used most frequently by users describing their impression of the car.
Louis Vuitton came in at a distant second with a sentiment score of 76% and 13 million mentions online. A majority of these (51.7%) mentions were found on Twitter where customers used hashtags supreme and luxurious to describe their experience with LV.
Burberry is one of the few luxury brands that not only publishes user-generated content on its own social media platforms but is also among the early adopters of newer channels such as Snapchat and Periscope. This digital strategy paid off for the brand as Netbase ranked Burberry at third position with a sentiment score of 77%. Its main customers come from the US and the UK and they take to Instagram most often to share their opinion about it.
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabana is another company that enthusiastically engages with its social media influencers. According to a report, instead of models, it chose millennials—the darlings of social media to showcase its Spring 2018 collection. The result — it was ranked as the fourth highest luxury brand with a sentiment score of 80%.
Mercedes Benz’ online campaign ‘Generation Benz’ actively engages with people aged between 20 and 39 to stay up to date on buyer habits and preferences across these demographic groups. This ‘social listening’ has propelled it to the fifth position on the Netbase survey with a sentiment score of 58%
The makers of signature red-bottomed heels rely heavily on ‘word of mouth’ strategy to create a buzz around their new launches (it has 85% organic reach on its Instagram). Netbase ranks the French fashion brand at sixth position with a sentiment score of 77%.
BMW (sentiment score 60%) is the third automobile major to feature in the top-10 list along with Land Rover and Mercedes. Its consumers use the phrases ‘complete beauty’ and ‘sleekest’ while describing their experience of driving the car.
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent has had a dismal social media performance in the last few years. In 2016, it deleted its entire Instagram history after a fall-out with its creative director, Hedi Slimane. Then in early 2017, it faced backlash for a ‘misogynistic’ ad campaign. Under the new creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, however their social media seems to have lit up in the recent months. Their 3.7 million users on Instagram have been the driving force behind the positive sentiment (85%) generated around YSL in 2017.
Audi’s last year Super Bowl ad was highly talked about as it evoked equally strong negative as well as positive reactions. While some felt it was too provocative and politically inclined, many loved the ad for generating a dialogue on gender pay-disparity. The buzz that it created online helped it receive a positive sentiment of 66% in 2017 putting it at the ninth place on Netbase.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts uses a genius social media strategy to engage with its guests real time. It relies on Facebook messenger’s instant messaging service to take meal orders and resolve any issues over chat. They also regularly tie up with blogging influencers to generate positive sentiment around their service. Last year, the brand garnered 78% positive sentiment on social media, coming tenth on the index.