Gucci: A Marketing Case Study

With a complete digital reinvention and a place defined in the cultural zeitgeist, the Italian brand lead by Alessandro Michele show no signs of slowing down.

Creating a luxury brand requires heavy investment into marketing communications as well as an excellent product, service and quality. Above all, however, luxury brands have to remain on trend, which in today’s consumer landscape is notoriously difficult. Gucci, however has recently seen a resurgence in popularity.

Gucci have moved from the traditional marketing mix towards a more experiential approach. They have recognised the risk of democratising the brand and their market strategy retains an aura of exclusivity whilst remaining relevant.

With a ground-breaking reinvention and soaring sales, the Italian brand shows no signs of slowing down. This could be attributed to creative director, Alessandro Michele and his pioneering perspective on digital media for the luxury fashion industry. He has introduced a revamp in terms of style and imagery and has embraced a more-tech savvy approach towards marketing. Under his leadership, Gucci has cleverly utilised the visual nature of online platforms to create an innovative and successful digital strategy.

Gucci’s Millennial friendly risk taking has broken down traditional communication barriers between luxury consumers and brands. Their current brand identity is influenced by historical references, steeped in escapism. The brand, however feels more modern than ever, from ready to buy runway and previewing collections on Snapchat, Gucci tells one cohesive brand story capturing the attention of current and aspirational luxury spenders. Navigating and innovating within the entire multichannel experience, they have created seamless experiences in all aspects of brand interaction.

Today’s Gucci has parted ways with the sleek and sexy aesthetic long associated with the brand. They now explore an identity from design down to marketing – one that is gender fluid, youthful and eccentric. As brands turn to the future for inspiration, Gucci offers a contrasting vision, turning to the renaissance era for inspiration. The creation of an aspirational lifestyle which people want to emulate has built an authority that now permeates popular culture.

Pairing company history with a sense of ironic humour, Michele revived the brand logo. Collaborating with graffiti artist, ‘GucciGhost’ the logo was spray painted across the collection, giving it an injection of street style. Michele also tackled bootleg fashion head on, by creating items adorned with phrases like ‘Guccy’ and ‘Guccify Yourself’, resembling fashion pieces seen on the luxury black market.

Luxury brands in particular have had to part ways with tradition to court younger consumers. Now, 92% of all social interactions for luxury brands take place on Instagram. Gucci has been a pioneer across this social platform, embracing the medium to spark interest amongst young customers.

Maintaining an aura of exclusivity is of primary concern for luxury brands like Gucci, however the changing face of retail has put pressure on brands to perform. The introduction of shoppable social media and influencers has introduced new ways to connect with younger consumers. To succeed heritage brands must adapt their marketing strategies to connect across all aspects of the brand.

For Gucci, it’s digital strategy reflects a brand first, channel second mentality that results in a visually engaging, fully functioning e-commerce store with full product offers on sale, and a social media strategy that does what it needs to do without overreaching. From a commerce standpoint, users demand frictionless experience, however there is nothing luxury about functionalities, Gucci has successfully redefined what service looks like for their customers without prioritising grandiose lifestyle imagery and video over simple functionality. 

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