gucciIn our fifth annual 2013 Digital IQ Index: Fashion report released last week, Gucci came in second out of 85 brands ranked for their digital competency. Among Gucci’s strengths were shoppable videos, new mobile and tablet sites that increased traffic by 150%, and emails that notified customers of new products. The most memorable piece of the Gucci’s digital strategy, however, was how Gucci celebrated – or used as a marketing strategy – the 60th anniversary of the iconic Horsebit loafers, born in 1953.

Along with decorated store windows and an online video ad, Gucci’s campaign enlisted influential fashion bloggers. Matthew Zorpas (The Gentleman Blogger), Leandra Medine (The Man Repeller), Chiara Ferragni (The Blonde Salad) and Shea Marie (Peace Love Shea) styled the loafers. Ferragni picked out the black loafers with gold studs as her favorite. Medine referenced the shoe’s image as an icon of the past by recalling memories of her father wearing them.

As another part of its campaign to make the classic loafers resonate with a new generation, Gucci invited users to post pictures of them on Instagram with the hashtag #Gucci1953HorsebitLoafer.

Gucci’s social media efforts have been successful. Our latest report shows that Gucci has one of the top ten Instagram and Facebook communities of Fashion brands, with 976,511 and 11,776,224 followers respectively. Gucci’s Facebook platform grew 23% year-over-year.

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Anniversary campaigns based on an iconic product or first store opening are ideal for luxury brands because they draw on a rich history that is an integral part of their identity. Cole Haan, Gifted and ranked number twenty-two in our latest report, launched the #SilverGrandSweeps campaign this October on its 50th anniversary. Cole Haan’s Facebook and Twitter communities increased by 21 and 19% during the campaign. We’re likely to more heritage campaigns in the near future as other Fashion brands look to emulate Gucci, Cole Haan and others’ success.

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