In a marketing world so heavily reliant on social media, luxury retailers still predominantly rely on print catalogs and magazine advertising to get their fashionable brand from the catwalk to their consumers.
These high-end brands have been slow to hop aboard the digital bandwagon, especially social media, for the same reasons you won’t find their labels at your local mega-mart or mall: Exclusivity.
Because social media is consumer-driven, many fear that too much exposure could make them appear too accessible and even watered down. These brands want to keep creative control, focus, and identity in-house, and print is the hands-down best way to do this.
This reluctance to join a digitally-driven world leaves many wondering if these brands run the risk of getting left behind. Surprisingly, no. Many are carefully and selectively dabbling in digital; however, they’re not taking the plunge at the expense of their print campaigns. Instead, they’re adjusting budgets and expectations without cutting back on print advertising and promotion.
According to DMN’s recent coverage of the Colombia Business School’s BRITE ’17 conference in New York, this is a common approach across several luxury brands. Take high-end shoes and leather goods company Ferragamo U.S.A. for example. The President and Regional Director Vincent Ottomanelli noted the label has boosted their digital spending by 50% year after year — but they’ve consciously done so without taking away from their traditional print advertising spend.
“We’re not prepared to go 100% digital,” he says. DMN adds, “Ottomanelli said that time-honored channels, like print, are still important to the brand. As a result, it’s important to find a happy medium between the two.”
The question remains, though, is this a successful approach? According to ad-sales intelligence firm Media Radar, high-fashion catalogs and magazines are doing just fine. Print ad spending hasn’t taken as hard of a hit in the fashion industry, which is due in large part to consumers’ ongoing enjoyment of this traditional medium.
“Fashion ads have a better insulation from the print decline than most other industries,” said Media Radar CEO Todd Krizelman. “In Vogue’s 700-page September  issue, the customer perceives ads as a value rather than a distraction.”
Knowing this, it’s easy to see why luxury and print are a perfect match. And unlike the next fashion trend, don’t expect this relationship to ever go out of style!