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Opinion

Why are Luxury Brands Getting Left Behind on TikTok?

If you’re a brand that targets a younger audience, or recently you have felt that your brand could do with a bit of a refresh to target Gen Z and millennials, then it’s likely that you have at least tried your luck at building a presence on TikTok, although for some, the short video platform has taken a backseat.

There are so many brands killing it on TikTok, creating exciting, engaging, and recognisable content that in turn boosts their sales. This approach may be the key for fast fashion brands and high street beauty retailers to become a hit amongst young consumers, but for big names in luxury fashion, TikTok appears to be a bit of a miss. 

In its new report, influencer marketing agency Fanbyes, which specialises in engaging Gen Z on their native platforms, took a dive into why luxury brands may be getting left behind on TikTok. 

Stay true to your brand – or follow the crowd? 

As reported by Vogue, the number one reason that consumers give for engaging with luxury content on TikTok is for entertainment – but do luxury brands and entertainment truly and authentically come hand in hand? 

To put it simply, as stated in the report, TikTok is predominantly made up of young Gen Z and Millennial users who are less likely to have the disposable income to spend on luxury goods. And so, the likes of Louis Vuitton or Aston Martin may not see TikTok as a ‘priority platform’ when compared to traditional channels like out of home, print, and TV, as the chances of converting content to sales is minimal. 

In a recent interview with Vogue Business, Saint Laurent CEO Francesca Bellettini said the brand wouldn’t do something in the gaming space, “simply because it is something Gen Z is into”, and only if it was “coherent with the aesthetic of the brand” and “makes sense with the vision”. When it comes to luxury, it appears that the big names invest more in retaining their loyal customers than experimenting to engage new ones. 

But what about the altering purchase behaviour of the consumer? 

Although the TikTok style of content may be contradictory to the exclusive and deluxe message that luxury brands present, changing consumer behaviours may leave luxury brands with no choice but to get on board. 

As reported by Fanbytes, research by Bain & Company found that sales of personal luxury goods are expected to equal €283 billion this year as we start to see a bounce-back post-pandemic. Much of this has been driven by Gen Z/millennial consumers and it’s estimated that they will make up 70% of the luxury market by 2025 (WARC, 2021). Meanwhile, 35% of TikTok’s global audience is aged 19-29, meaning it’s a prime place to reach them (BOA). And according to Vogue Business, 31% of respondents in a survey it produced said that they were already purchasing luxury goods via social commerce. 

If you want to dive deeper, in its report, Fanbytes aimed to deliver valuable and actionable insights for readers by exploring the ways luxury brands are currently using TikTok. In order to do this, the team has put some of the top luxury brands under the microscope by putting them head-to-head.

Though the current opinions of some of these key players may be leaning towards steering clear of TikTok to stay aligned with their exclusive appeals, watch this space, as 2022 could be the year that luxury brands dominate our TikTok feeds.

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