Storytelling and Social Networking in Luxury Fashion

In a new blog post on the CommsWomen platform, Jamie Ryan, a student at the University of Alabama, College of Communication and Information Sciences, analyses an article on storytelling and social networking in luxury fashion by Zahaira Fabiola González Romo, Irene García-Medina, and Noemí Plaza Romero published by International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies.

In their 2017 article “Storytelling and Social Networking as Tools for Digital and Mobile Marketing of Luxury Fashion Brands,” Zahaira Fabiola González Romo, Irene García-Medina, and Noemí Plaza Romero investigate the marketing strategies luxury fashion brands use to connect with customers. The study examines the three luxury fashion brands with the most followers and greatest mobile interactions: Prada, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton. After identifying the three brands by cross-referencing previously published data sets from Millward Brown and Digital Luxury Group, research was conducted to analyze the communications tools employed by each brand. Finally, the authors conducted in-depth interviews with luxury fashion professionals to complete the analysis.

The authors cite beauty, rarity, quality, and price as the four dominant characteristics of luxury and note that luxury brand consumers first choose a brand, and then decide which product to purchase. This portion of the article heavily draws on Bastien and Kapferer’s anti-laws and conclusions, and three important trends, which are business consolidation, digital strategies, and globalization. The brand histories highlight the ways in which Prada, Chanel and Louis Vuitton employ digital strategies, particularly storytelling, to distinguish themselves from other luxury brands and drive sales.

The authors’ conclusions are four-fold: first, they cite globalization and emerging markets for a portion of recent growth in the luxury fashion industry, and note that brands have adapted to target the markets most eager to purchase luxury goods. Second, they state that digital marketing is the most used tool by luxury brands and it allows brands to engage in storytelling, a key technique to connect with consumers. Forming relationships with online influencers is also noted as a common strategy. While digital marketing is an excellent way to motivate a target audience, the authors note that many luxury brands are still not selling products online, so employees at brick-and-mortar locations must have a vast to keep up with informed customers. Third, the authors conclude that brand strategies are essential to luxury fashion, so much so that the industry would not exist without the brands.

The authors again note the successful use of storytelling to connect with consumers and convey brand essence, identity, history, and values, and they reemphasize that luxury consumers choose the brand before choosing a product. Finally, the authors address Millennials, digital natives who have grown up during a time of globalization for the industry. Members of this age group are savvy consumers who are influenced more by peers than professionals. Millennials show up to stores armed with knowledge and ready-to-buy specific products, but brand loyalty is a harder sell with this demographic.

How luxury brands adapt to new technologies and younger audiences will determine their market success, and it would be interesting to see this study replicated today with more current data. Technology moves at a fast clip; the evolution of social media since this article’s 2017 publishing date and influencer relationships with luxury, in particular, would make for an interesting comparison.

The full article can be read using this link.  


González Romo, Z. F., García-Medina, I., & Plaza Romero, N. (2017). Storytelling and Social Networking as Tools for Digital and Mobile Marketing of Luxury Fashion Brands. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (IJIM), 11(6), 136.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *