Digital is radically transforming how luxury brands can reach and engage with their affluent consumers.

We’ve talked before about the effects that digital are having on the entire high-end luxury retail industry, for example. Luxury brands are now able to speak directly to their customers and tell their story in new unique ways.

But some brands are doing it better than others and it shows when looking at their online popularity. According to a new research by Luxe Digital, the top 15 most popular luxury brands online first and foremost excel at generating buzz but also deep connections with their consumers.

The ranking of the hottest luxury brands is a good way to see who will do very well this year. Online popularity today is indeed a strong indicator of increasing sales at the end of the year. The list also makes for a great source of inspiration. By seeing how the best brands are communicating online, we can better understand why they are so popular and how their approach could be replicated.

Unsurprisingly, Gucci is dominating the list this year, followed by Chanel and Louis Vuitton. More surprising is the dramatic rise of Balenciaga in 2018. The upcoming luxury fashion brand is capturing consumers attention with its fresh and original takes on the high-end sneakers and streetwear.

Balenciaga luxury sneakers (source: GQ magazine)

Fashion Brands Dominate Digitally

Overall, the list is largely dominated by fashion brands, although Rolex and Tiffany carved themselves a position in the top 10. Interestingly, Lancôme is the only high-end natural beauty brand present in the ranking, only appearing as number 13.

Luxe Digital highlights the Direct-to-Consumer retail model as a clear trend in the sector, with increasingly more luxury brands adopting the approach. DTC is indeed seen as the best way for high-end brands to maintain control and ownership of their brand online.

Social media influencers are also being recognised as key players in 2018. Virtually every brand in the top 15 is working with online influencers to shape the social media conversation around their product and help with brand discovery.

For luxury fashion specifically, high-end streetwear is clearly leading the online conversations this year. Other noticeable trends for 2018 include more interest in eco-friendly production, recycling and social causes. Natural cosmetics, vegan and cruelty-free beauty products, in particular, are also generating a lot of online interest.

Social Consciousness Leads the Way

These trends are driven by the growing portion of affluent Millennials and Generation Z luxury consumers. The new demographic is indeed more socially-conscious in their purchase behaviour. The disruptive impact of technology combined with shifting consumers’ values and preferences is challenging the traditional notions of what luxury is. As brands seek to engage the modern, sophisticated luxury consumer, the ability to pivot to this new reality will continue to widen the gap between top-performing luxury brands and those that are slower to evolve.

As younger generations become important buyers of high-end goods, modern luxury brands are evolving their offer to meet the changing tastes of affluent consumers around the world. Luxury brands are also adapting their marketing strategy to appeal to younger affluent consumers by providing a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels online and offline.

Luxury leaders are finally embracing digital technologies, aware of the critical role these new technologies play in driving their narrative.

If you’re wondering how your brand would fare against the 15 most popular luxury brands of the year, Luxe Digital shared their methodology in details so you can easily reproduce their evaluation process for your own business.

Luxe Digital
Author

Luxe Digital is the publication of reference for professionals of the luxury industry. A must-read among leaders of high-end brands and influencers responsible for shaping the future of luxury. We feature original content crafted with an informed and analytical point of view. Our goal is to connect and inspire the world’s leading luxury professionals with clarity and depth of understanding. Luxe Digital is brought to you by the senior leadership team of mOOnshot digital, a digital marketing agency for premium and luxury brands.

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