Instagram Marketing or Instagram Maddening?
This past week saw some pretty directed and focused Instagram Marketing from two brands that I love and admire - Nordstrom & Dior.
What was maddening about it is the aggressive and almost intrusive nature in the approach of these fashion retail powerhouses.
For those of you that aren't caught up, let me start from the top!
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
I'm sure most of you are SICK of the mere mention of these three words. Now don't get me wrong - the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is one of my favorite shopping events of the year! What really got myself and a lot of the Instagram population worked about is the constant bombardment of paid endorsement to get people to participate in the sale.
I don't know if Nordstrom's social media marketing budget went up this year or what, but the in-your-face-go-shop-the-anniversary-sale frenzy just wouldn't stop. Story after story, post after post it just kept going.
Dior Iconic Saddle Bag - Relaunch
Carried by everyone from Paris Hilton to Carrie Bradshaw, the distinctly-shaped bag largely defined the fashion of the early aughts. And if you weren't lucky enough to wear the bag back in 2000, here it was! Dior relaunched the Saddle Bag last Thursday and before I could even fathom what was happening, every influencer was #SponCon-ing this all over my feed.
So how are these two events related?
Targeted marketing is known to really move the needle in terms of sales. Both Dior and Nordstrom being "niche category" retailers in their own space, represent a kind of luxe appeal to shoppers worldwide.
But do you see the paradox there? Something that is perceived as a luxury item becomes not so luxury once everyone has it!
As an influencer or a brand owner, here are a few takeaways that I learned from this past week:
1. Even if you're an influencer, you're still being influenced
Apparently, Dior recruited what they called the "Global Top 100" influencers to promote the Saddle Bag. But what was worse was, most of the sponsored posts went live all at the same time. So if you were one of those coveted influencers who was super duper excited to show their #instaFam how amazing the Saddle Bag is, guess what? They were already kinda sick of it!
But on the flip side you have Gucci. The Gucci Marmont logo was EVERYWHERE in 2017. But nowhere did you find #sponsored or #ad which made you feel like damn I need Gucci because its so it and every fashionista out there has it.
2. Degradation of the Brand Equity
When a fashion powerhouse like Dior which epitomizes luxury and the unattainable decides to bombard social media with a singular product, it degrades the brand's equity. What to them is iconic and beautiful has now shown up way too many times to way too many people and isn't so much "unattainable" anymore. Brands need to remember that the "less is more" approach still applies. Case in point being Zara. The European high street brand does not engage in any sort of influencer endorsements and create an "artificial scarcity" of their products. Zara is known to manufacture minimal supply of their clothing to gauge demand and then ramp up production. Because they know that the shortest horror story out there is a "Sold Out" sign!
3. How much is too much?
The Nordstrom sale is a prime example of too much and too in your face. You want to get people to want to buy your products, but subtly. Not so much pushing them to buy buy buy! Another thing that really hurt Nordstrom is the affiliate link portals such as LikeToKnow.It. While I love LTK and the convenience it brings to shopping, I get turned off when EVERY influencer out there is telling me how great the Nordstrom anniversary sale is and how I need to get OFF insta and get on the LikeToKnow.It app and shop THEIR picks of the #NSale. Like kbyeseeyounever.
4. The product will always take center stage
If you made a good product, believe in it. An overly marketed product will give off the exact opposite vibe to the customer. Because the human psyche is made to feel that something that is easy won't be good, and something that is good, won't be easy.
5. Diversified marketing vehicles
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Simple common sense right there. A really good strategy for brands is to diversify the channels they use to market their product/initiative. Email marketing is still a great way to get people interested. Because the people who are sick of scrolling through their feed seeing the same brand propagating they buy their stuff are probably going to close that pesky app and decide to maybe check up on their emails. And guess what? If they've already seen 50 odd influencers talk about the best sale in town, they're not going to click into that email you sent them and actually look at all the great stuff you have out there. So go ahead and limit AND diversify your marketing per channel.
And lastly, a word for all the influencers out there - while its great to have a certain brand on your resume, be aware and sensitive of what your followers really come to you for. Amidst this last week I connected with a few popular bloggers who chose NOT to sign up for the above assignments because it didn't fit their follower base. Remember, you're the influencer. There's a reason top brands are coming to you to market their products. Don't forget your super power.