Should luxury brands be completely transforming 2021 comms strategies?
Insights from Francoise Peretti, Founder and Managing Partner, Peretti Communications
Since the Covid19 outbreak, have you been working with clients in a different way?
As an agency, our role is to keep our clients updated at all times with the media landscape, as well as upcoming trends and launches – our clients rely on us to react quickly with ideas and consult effectively.
I therefore wouldn’t say we worked differently – but our role was certainly magnified and we did a lot more consultancy, and updated our creative strategies frequently. That is to be expected in a time of uncertainty.
Our prime objective is to work as efficiently as possible and deliver the targets we promised. Whilst working remotely the use of platforms such as Zoom have been crucial to our daily communication, our role this year has been a lot more centred around storytelling and creativity, as well as organising digital events.
Are there particular sectors which you are seeing flourishing despite the circumstances?
Online businesses have certainly had an upper hand during the pandemic, from online purchasing, and online masterclasses to online communication platforms. Businesses that were able to offer exclusive access such as private accommodation, and yachting have been keeping afloat (pardon the pun). Video Games and entertainment streaming services such as Netflix have also flourished, even more so with the closure of cinemas across the world.
We have also seen an increase in small businesses supporting the community, the environment and offering a service relevant to the moment and in response to demand.
Should luxury brands be completely transforming communication strategies for 2021?
Covid has enabled brands to think differently, and in a way it has remodelled the luxury industry. Yes there is a need to adapt to a constantly evolving world. But let’s remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re all itching for face to face interaction soon. 2020 was about survival, 2021 will bring new trends, new ideas whilst remaining true to our identities.
Luxury brands have shown immense community support and with that comes a new sense of purpose. This automatically changes how brands do business, and in turn has an impact on how they communicate.
Luxury is a lifestyle, an experience. Covid has shown that this can be reflected online through online purchasing, virtual events and social media – a crucial tool that has acted as an engaging and interactive space when you can’t physically go somewhere.
Strategies need to reflect brands’ craftsmanship and expertise coupled with modern technology and engaging social platforms, to create value and inspire their consumers through storytelling, authenticity and emotional connection. And of course sustainability will take centre stage as consumers’ purchasing behaviours become more eco-conscious.
In particular, do you see this moment as an opportunity for the hospitality industry to rebuild?
Absolutely, whilst this year has had many challenges, it’s also the time to look at new opportunities. It’s impressive how so many hospitality businesses rose to the challenge offering delivery services and at-home experiences.
Consumer behaviour will have evolved and somewhat shifted – with that, the hospitality industry needs to respond with new ways of providing a service. For example in the retail industry, stocks have turned into successful outlets, and there have been more opportunities online enabling consumers to participate globally. There’s certainly scope for the hospitality industry to reinvent itself in an innovative way to combine guest experience and engage with consumers in a different way…
More importantly though, the hospitality industry’s biggest priority is their duty of care – more than ever that messaging needs to be reinforced through positive campaigns.
With tightened purse strings on client side, what should luxury brands be doing more of?
Something that has been highlighted during Covid, is that support for the community. Within this digital world, the emotional connection between brands and consumers has been key in ensuring brand loyalty. Their messaging through storytelling needs to reflect that.
With that in mind, personalisation is what makes luxury brands stand out. It’s in their DNA. Brands need to show consumers how much they mean to them – whether it is by sending a personalised note alongside their purchase or gifting them samples of a new collection in line with what they would usually buy, using their data. Dior and Chanel have been amongst brands that have gifted selected samples that consumers can choose from, when buying beauty products online.
And less of?
Honestly… internal meetings – let’s have less talk about what can’t be done and more action on what can be done.
Can you tell us about your work with Comité Champagne?
Champagne Bureau UK is the educational and promotional arm of the Comité Champagne based in Epernay – France. Comité Champagne brings together the winegrowers and Champagne houses through economic, technical, environmental, communications and defence of the appellation actions and campaigns internationally. I started my PR career in NYC with Comité Champagne, and have been their UK spokesperson since 1994. Our main activities are media relations, education, on-trade activations to reach out 25-35 neo-consumers and wine tourism. During Covid we ran successful virtual masterclasses many of which I tutored personally. We created exclusive digital content, organise virtual events for leading influencers on pairing summer entertaining with champagne, champagne and vegan food in partnership with Wild Food Cafe, Champagne and afternoon tea in partnership with The Dorchester. A new initiative we created and are proud of is our ‘Reinventing Champagne service without mixing’ activation and our various partnerships including with Kwant ranked No6 in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2020 and Mr Lyan Studio. Champagne is a magic world and we feel very privileged to be part of it.