WHY INDEPENDENT LUXURY BRANDS COULD BE THE NEW HOT THING POST COVID-19
ARTICLE BY Stéphane JG Girod
The Forbes Magazine talks about La Vallée Switzerland and other luxury companies in their agility transformation during the lockdown COVID-19.
What if COVID-19 was about to create a more levelled playing field for independent brands? This question seems iconoclastic. But there are precedents of changing fortunes in other industries. Take beer and the way smaller brewers managed to challenge even the likes of AB Inbev because they were on the pulse with changing consumer tastes and able to boost quality.
There is a convincing argument that independent luxury brands are much more in tune with post COVID-19 trends than the bigger players. Could now be the time when the “magic” of independent brands also helps them rise above the heavyweights?
At first sight, the decline in consumption that the likes of Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, fears will happen in the wake of COVID might seem dangerous for any luxury brand.
But because independent brands are used to competing by playing contrarian, ultra-responsible and sustainable and authentic cards, they could be ideally placed to seize the opportunities of new trends.
On this point of digital ubiquity during COVID-19, the distance to end customers has become more democratic and is now more equal to all brands, providing a chance for smaller independent brands to have equal impact and similar presence. This is the view of Knirke Fester Schindler, Brand Director at La Vallée Switzerland, a Swiss independent luxury cosmetic brand.
The smaller brands also seem to appreciate how less is more and are applying this to digital.
As Fester Schindler continues: “Luxury companies have had a tendency to panic, searching for quick fixes during the lockdown to keep their employees busy and remain visible, offering online beauty consulting and webinars. The result and impact seemed somehow as a panic reaction and solution and did not always live up to the image that I had of the brand. Digital solutions have advantages but a clear strategy, even under exceptional circumstances, must be in place and aligned with the brand image.”
Consequently, she did not take La Vallée down this route.
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