How has the digital age profoundly affected the luxury industry?

The economic weight of the luxury industry in France and around the world is considerable. Models, photographers and all other creatives working in this sector, know or must know the luxury industry is constantly evolving.

The transformation of the customer experience in the field of luxury

Last November, the Vogue Fashion Festival 2018 was held in Paris. This year, the theme of the festival was very timely and reflected the profound transformation of the luxury and beauty industry on a global scale.

“New fashion frontiers”

Among all the conferences that took place during this festival, the one entitled “New frontiers for luxury beauty” with Edgar Huber, president of Coty Luxury, was particularly interesting.

In his speech, Edgar Huber emphasized on the ever-growing need to improve customer experience, making a clear distinction between the quality of service rendered and the product itself. He also discussed the challenges around transactions and market prices.

As a matter of fact, these questions have undergone significant changes in recent years.

Take, for example, prices. The latter do not differ from one country to another anymore, and this, for the simple reason that the Internet has completely changed the industry practice. Obviously now, a customer can check and compare a product’s price at any time and for any location, shipment fees put aside, with a simple click.

Brands must, therefore, become more and more transparent about their prices vis-à-vis their customers. That change alone deeply affects organizations that now have to harmonize their campaigns across the globe.

The customer experience transformation

The arrival of Amazon Prime has, for example, revolutionized the luxury industry by radically transforming the customer experience and the way people shop.

The Click & Collect option at Seoul Airport in South Korea accounts for 70% of sales.

What does this tell us? This means that today, sometimes, individuals prefer to shop online and pick up their product directly at the airport.

Why? Because unlike a spontaneous purchase in a store, by buying online, the buyer can obtain more details and can, therefore, focus more on his needs, desires, details, and values of his/her purchases. Put another way, purchases are no longer spontaneous and uninformed.

Interesting, isn’t it? And yet, this is just one of the many changes digital technology has brought to the fashion and beauty industry.

The role of digital and social networks in the fashion and beauty sector

Digital technology is one of the factors at the origin of the transformation of the luxury industry, among others. For brands you work for (or will work for) as a model or as a photographer, digital is a real windfall.

With digital and social networks, luxury brands have completely transformed their marketing strategy; starting with their number of digital marketing teams. If before, they had several marketing teams, scattered around the world, today, they have only one.

As professionals, it makes a big difference for you, because if you want to work for one of these brands, you will only have one entry point.

Social networks are key

It is important to know the differences between social networks and traditional media. Social media has had such an impact on the industry, that today to evaluate their market, the big brands refer to it first and foremost. Whereas before, it was more about the assets they held.

Today, financial analysts use online presence and engagement rates to define the market value of companies relying on their brands.

Therefore, if you are an influencer, have a large community on social networks and a strong presence on the web, this could pay off.

If your audience matches the one of the brand you want to work for, you will have your chance.

So it’s official, social media can be an asset in the industry. Sure, there are still brands focusing on traditional advertising through tv ads and print campaigns. But overall, advertising in the luxury world is distributed across more and more digital channels, and traditional television advertising now only accounts for 35% to 38% of the entire advertising campaign.

Luxury fashion and beauty: when borders fade

With social networks and hyperconnection, everything goes very fast. Trends come and go.

Meanwhile, there is a widely recognized movement that relates to well-being, sustainable development, self-respect, and nature.

How does this translate into the fashion and beauty sector?

First and foremost, the fashion industry is now striving for inclusiveness and diversity. Finally.

A great example to illustrate the search for diversity and for more inclusiveness is definitely the 2017 launch of Fenty Beauty by Rihanna and LVMH, which offers a range of makeup foundation for more than 40 shades that adapt to any color skin. It was about time.

Additionally, you have certainly heard about the search for more gender inclusion. The separation between men and women gets blurred. New clothing lines and cosmetics are taking that path by creating more and more unisex products and garments.

We see more and more advertising for cosmetics, makeup, and facials for men. This change is based on a general idea:

Everyone can be beautiful in their own ways and self-acceptance and personality now matter more than ever.

This idea, supported by big brands, that self-acceptance is positive but also valuable opens doors to multiple opportunities.

Understanding the industry to boost your career

The perfume market represents 46% of the luxury market, and of all the fragrance ads, only a small percentage are advertised on television. This is because the creation of perfume and the production of the advertisement run over a period of two years.

Which means that statistically, your chances to land a job for a perfume campaign are very low. There’s not much you can do about that.

As the fragrance industry takes a lot of space in the luxury sector, standing out is a real challenge. And while the European and American market are dominated by perfume and makeup, the Asian market only has eyes for skin care products.

On the other hand, there is a strong demand in the makeup industry.

A boon for models, because if you have a beautiful face or a beautiful hair or hands, you have all your chances, and this, even if you may not be a perfect size.

On the other hand, the cosmetics industry faces major challenges with advertising, because the nature of their products leaves less room for creativity and glamour.

If you want to work and have an edge, do your homework!

As a professional in the sector, it is important to be informed, to understand the pace of iterations of the luxury industry and to know or even anticipate their impact on your career.

We hope this article helped you better understand how understanding the industry can influence your career progression.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions by commenting below and good luck.