How can Luxury & Fashion brands adapt to a world in consumer lockdown?

- Ensure your brand is ready for a likely surge in consumer spending in Q3 2020

- Offer flexibility on payment, and promote this to your consumer audiences

- Adapt your messaging to match changes in consumer behaviour as a result of lockdown

- Consider partnering with streaming services to engage consumers as they're very popular right now

The past month has seen a drastic shift in consumers lifestyles, and naturally brands must consider how to adapt their strategies to respond to both this change and the aftermath.

Using recent data provided by GlobalWebIndex which tracks global Luxury and Fashion consumer perceptions relating to the Covid-19 outbreak we’ve provided here some insightful recommendations for the steps Luxury and Fashion brands can take.

The audience data here is based on three groups of global consumers, those who actively purchase Luxury Fashion, Mid Market Fashion and Luxury Watches & Jewellery.

1. Prepare for a Consumer Purchase surge in the Summer

Whilst at present many Fashion and Luxury consumers are not spending, they are instead saving and likely to want to reward themselves post-lockdown. Furthermore it is likely summer vacations are unlikely to happen for many and so we expect a focus on consumer goods instead.

This outcome is supported by the available global data too - with the largest share consumers anticipating that their country will return to normal within 2 -3 months and a strong sense of optimism, especially from Luxury Fashion audiences Asia Pacific countries which were impacted first.

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With this in mind we strongly recommend Luxury and Fashion brands focus on preparing for a busy summer, especially via online sales as traditional retail may well be slower to return to normality.

Also - appealing to the sense of optimism we’re already seeing in brand messaging would likely see good response too.

But meanwhile….

2. Keep on marketing - but understand that consumers will need flexibility in purchases

One interesting insight we identified in our research was that a large share of consumers are not concerned about continuing to see advertising.

However, when it comes to purchasing goods we identified that a the majority of Fashion and Luxury consumers surveyed expected some form of flexible payment to be in place during the outbreak.

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We recommend that any brands that currently offer flexible means of payment focus on promoting these - and those that do not strongly consider introducing them as a priority and informing consumers they are available.

3. Ensure your messaging responds to changes in consumer behaviours

When it comes to marketing messaging we believe showing some understanding and empathy towards consumers changes in lifestyle is critical - as no one honestly believes anything is ‘business as usual’ at present.

The chart below features data around how behaviours are changing for Luxury and Fashion audiences and indicates a strong trend towards spending more time together with family - as well as focusing on hobbies and cooking.

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Since that social media use is clearly also increasing we recommend developing social content and advertising which responds to these shifts in behaviours - especially where this can align with brand values. So for instance if creativity or togetherness are part of your brands DNA then there are clear opportunities for authentic messaging here.

4. Streaming Services and Virtual Music Concerts are perfect lockdown brand partners

It is hardly surprising that the likes of Spotify, Netflix or Amazon Video are seeing vastly increased usage during this lockdown period.

Given the commercial opportunities available for brands with these services, such as direct advertising and branded entertainment partnerships we recommend that Luxury and Fashion brands focus on this area for the next few months.

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We also identified that there is currently a strong interest in live streams of music shows from Fashion and Luxury audiences - especially for those of Luxury Fashion brands.

As many labels and artists in the music industry are currently seeking new revenue streams due to the outbreak’s impact on live events there are clear opportunities here for Fashion and Luxury brands to sponsor these virtual concerts.

We hope these insights have been of use to you - and we are happy to connect and share our further thoughts and direction with Luxury and Fashion brands, so if you’re keen to learn more then please feel free to get in touch or arrange a call with us.

However most of all - stay safe, stay well and stay positive!

(A revised version of this article was also recently published on Fashion United)

Edward Bass

Edward Bass

EntSight Founder & Director