TikTok might not seem like a natural place to be for luxury brands, but it actually has huge potential. If you offer higher-value products or services, here’s how to make the most of the platform.
Even today, people love dismissing TikTok. It’s a place only for inane dance trends and funny cat videos, apparently.
In particular, many higher-end, luxury brands don’t take the platform too seriously. They don’t feel it’s for them — perhaps they don’t think their audience is there (after all, it’s the preserve of skint Gen Z and Millennials, right?). Or maybe they think that being on TikTok doesn’t quite align with some sort of sacrosanct brand guidelines...
Why your luxury brand needs to be on TikTok
TikTok is actually the perfect place for luxury brands and retailers. It’s an awareness and sales-driving behemoth, whose potential remains criminally untapped for so many premium businesses.
Who’s familiar with the ‘TikTok made me buy it’ refrain? It seems the platform has some mysterious selling superpowers for facilitating those spontaneous luxury purchases — great for DTC brands.
TikTok users are 31% more likely to buy a premium version of a product than the average social media user.
65% of TikTok users have been prompted to make an unplanned purchase after seeing it on TikTok.
Not only that, but TikTok plays a special role for premium names; it can help with community building, developing a connection with your audience and cultivating loyalty to your brand.
If you’re a luxury brand, this is particularly important because, typically, your consideration phase is longer as customers weigh up their purchase.
So, whatever your sector, dismiss TikTok at your peril as a luxury brand.
Our award-winning TikTok marketing experts are coming at you with tips, ideas, tactics and real-world examples of it’s being done — all to help you succeed on the platform.
A key component of TikTok marketing strategy success for luxury brands are creators — which we will segue into.
What are luxury TikTok creators talking about?
Influencers in the luxury fashion sphere use their knowledge and expertise to unpack products in more detail, ‘upskilling’ the regular customer to understand product values and informing them about what to look for.
Mandy Lee (@oldloserinbrooklyn) is a fashion writer and trend analyst. A microtrend expert, she entertains her followers whilst sharing her industry knowledge.
TikTok has a wide range of niches within its communities, meaning there are conversations about all different kinds of brands. Perhaps luxury watches are your thing? Of course, there are creators discussing that.
Here, @minutemon shares their recommendations, knowledge and expertise to ‘unlock’ this niche, making these luxury items more accessible for the new customer, assisting them in making an informed purchase decision.
Speaking of inaccessible… Hermes are infamous for their purchase journeys. You can’t just walk in and buy a Birkin Handbag, you have to be invited.
Perfect for debunking on TikTok. Customers who have got their hands on this holy grail of leather goods have shared their experiences on TikTok, with guides to help users understand this unusual sales process.
“TikTok users are 31% more likely to buy a premium version of a product than the average social media user.”
Some niches have set the tone for their whole industry. Luxury Real Estate leads the way for short-form video house tours, with this example from @tanyabaker.co.uk. This is a style that’s been emulated by estate agents up and down the country.
One of the reasons why consumers don’t mind spending a few more of those precious pennies is the quality of the product. With consumers starting to shun fast fashion, they’re looking for products to invest in. And TikTok is a perfect location for brands to showcase this.
Many are reviewing their luxury purchases ‘one year on’ to show why, sometimes, spending more is worth it. Buy cheap, buy twice, right?
This can help consumers understand that often luxury goods are an investment, rather than a ‘flash in the pan’ purchase. Here’s an example from @theannaedit, who reviewed her Loewe Puzzle Bag 6 years post-purchase.
@tanner.leatherstein dissects luxury leather goods with an expert eye. This helps customers understand more about what they’re buying, and whether it’s worth it. Brands are actually starting to send their products for his review.
Then there’s creators like Andrea Cheong (@andreacheong_) who reviews both high street and luxury fashion to ask ‘is it worth it?’ — whilst helping and educating people to know what to look for when it comes to materials and stitching.
How luxury brands are approaching their TikTok strategy: examples & ideas
Many luxury brands are diversifying their advertising portfolio by incorporating TikTok ads into their marketing strategy.
@dior used Community Interaction campaigns to grow their presence, using ASMR — autonomous sensory meridian response, a pleasant sensation from certain sounds (popular on TikTok) — to showcase their construction process.
Brands are also working with influencers to promote their products — as demonstrated with this example from Jo Malone.
Many luxury brands aren’t afraid to do away with notions of grandeur. They’re getting stuck in with ‘normal’ TikTok content. Case in point: luxury fashion retailers are using TikTok to broadcast their Paris Fashion Week shows.
“65% of TikTok users have been prompted to make an unplanned purchase after seeing it on TikTok.”
Many higher-end retailers aren’t afraid to treat TikTok ads like they would any other paid media platform.
Then there’s others who have a bit more ‘fun’ whilst still playing it fairly safe.
Brands breaking out of the gilded brand box
@valentino, a luxury Italian fashion house, have fun with their TikTok feed, sharing a range of different content, not being afraid to mix things up.
They engage with trends and trending sounds: one tried and tested TikTok tactic. They love a voiceover! As you’ll see above, Ms Mannequin helps them stand out from other brands.
They also produce ‘high brow’ content, such as interviewing their team behind the scenes to explain their craft. They explain more about their products too, which fits with what creators are doing on this platform.
The video reply feature is another great way of engaging our customers and addressing questions they want to know the answers to — as superbly executed by @coach. They entertain, they educate, they have fun!
Another example is Rhodes Wood (@rhodeswood), a high-end bespoke tailor only two minutes’ walk from our office in ever-so-lovely Harrogate.
Jeremy and his team are always creating a range of informative, ‘how-to’ content about their products — for example, different styles of tie knot.
“68% of luxury consumers agree that TikTok content has inspired them to buy luxury brands or products.”
They’ve alluded a number of times to the power of this viral content for driving online orders and even physical footfall to their store!
3 key TikTok tactics for luxury brands
1. Use Commerce Manager (if you’re DTC)
Commerce Manager is an excellent way for luxury brands who sell direct-to-consumer for showcasing their products. These can then be used in Collection ads, which operate as an in-platform digital storefront.
2. Explore Creator Marketplace
TikTok Creator Marketplace allows you to collaborate with TikTok creators that align with your brand. You can use Spark ads to boost your own content, but also work with creators to use their videos to advertise your brand.
3. Creative, creative, creative!
Don’t just let your product do the selling — optimise your content for the platform. Having strong creative is a vital tactic for both organic and paid social; thankfully, we’ve written a blog post containing six thought-provoking social ad creative ideas!
For inspiration, visit the TikTok Creative Center to see the hashtags, trends, songs and ads that are popular within the community.
So, to sum up, YES — luxury brands have a place on TikTok, as you can see by the success so many continue to enjoy.
We’d recommend taking some time to think about your brand positioning to understand the best approach for you. Of course, our award-winning social media team can help you with this… 😉
Extreme's resident Instagram queen, Beth lives and breathes all things social media! After graduating with a degree in Advertising, she explored all aspects of the digital world before firmly finding her feet in the land of social. Day to day, you can find her brainstorming for campaigns, drafting up witty content and strategising to help clients soar on social.
Since forming Extreme’s social media department back in 2012, our Head of Social Donna and her team’s work has been recognised nationally. With extensive experience spanning mutiple sectors, Donna specialises in social strategy, ideation and paid social advertising.
Laura joined Team Extreme in 2017 and through the years has refined her social media skills to become our Paid Social Strategist. She works with our social clients to plan and execute content across a broad range of sectors and channels, helping clients maximise their results and ROI.