The continuous importance of choice in today’s society has changed the way in which consumers are directly impacted by media messages. In the past, audiences were impacted by messages with no say on their part in which they preferred to receive. Now, though, consumers are active, rather than passive. These active consumers specifically select what messages they want to receive and ignore the rest, all based on their preexisting beliefs and attitudes, the messages’ relevancy, and their interest in the messages. Given the current prevalence of social media, the validity of this idea only becomes more solidified.
Despite the shift to this new, highly-selective and active consumer base, the fashion and retail industry is keeping up with engaging them. From previews on Instagram to live tweeting at fashion shows, more and more fashion brands are opening themselves up by letting consumers choose which of their messages they prefer receiving through social media.
A specific example of this ‘opening up’ is seen through British luxury fashion brand Burberry. Recently, Burberry has given fans exclusive access to their Spring/Summer 2016 collection photo shoot through Snapchat, which is a brand new concept for the fashion industry.
By following the brand on Snapchat, Burberry let each follower have access to watch and follow their story, which showcased pieces from their collection, and gave followers a peak at the makeup selections for the London Fashion Week show. Aside from the novelty of allowing fashion-forward consumers to view these looks through Snapchat, Burberry’s campaign was impactful and noteworthy for a different reason; it was early, and it was raw.
Never done before in the fashion world, Burberry used Snapchat to unveil part of its collection an entire day before it was on the runway. Additionally, the campaign photo shoot was completely unedited and candid, which was typically unheard of. As a stark contrast to the highly edited, labored-over, and perfected photo shoots that are usually seen on traditional fashion news outlets, Burberry’s raw and in-the-moment Snapchat campaign photo shoot signaled a large shift for the industry.
Along with the early release and it being candid, Burberry’s campaign was successful for yet another reason; the latter half of the photos told a captivating and artistic story.
On their Snapchat story, after the reveal of the outfits, Burberry switched gears to a specifically selected series of photos and videos including characters performing actions. An example shows a messenger sending invitations by hand and speedily driving off down the street. In a highly art-inspired manner that is characteristic of Burberry, this story took steps beyond what is normally expected from Snapchat photos and videos, and added a new dimension to consumer engagement, which was met with notable success.
Similar to previous accolades on Snapchat such as delivering over 100 million impressions through promoting a menswear show, Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection photoshoot reveal was beneficial to the company in a non-traditional way. Instead of aiming to increase short-term sales or to achieve a certain ROI, Burberry’s main goal with their campaign was to build long-term brand reputation and equity, and this goal was definitively achieved. Their innovative and artistic use of Snapchat, by giving consumers a behind-the-scenes look at future runway outfits, solidified its position as a fashion powerhouse, and ultimately showed consumers that the brand is at the forefront of how it reaches and engages the public.