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Shoreditch is cool, but is it really luxury? Gucci’s surprise 2021 Circolo pop-up, which included a boutique, café and bookstore to celebrate its 100th anniversary, speaks volumes not only about its ambitions but also about the push for highly localized marketing. “Gucci 100” pop-ups included New York’s Meatpacking District, Miami’s Design District and California’s South Coast Plaza.
Earlier this year, Balenciaga launched its 2022 Cities campaign, photographed by Francois Prost, which included £85 souvenir porcelain coffee cups celebrating individual cities or resorts in London, Berlin, Seoul, Miami and Saint Tropez. It is part of Balenciaga’s Objects line of limited-edition pieces produced outside of its fashion collection calendar. They were only available in stores.
It’s indicative of the end of the decades-long focus on one-size-fits-all global marketing campaigns. Some luxury brands are now refining their marketing strategies to target individual cities in key markets, focusing on building closer relationships with their customers.
Why the change of direction? Marketers are finding that international reach is not enough and mass marketing is less effective. Consumers prefer more meaningful connections.
The attractiveness of local marketing
Brands are experimenting with enhanced localized marketing to get closer to their customers. Saint Laurent, one of the first to take this approach, used to produce the YSL manifesto, a 20-page document inside a limited-edition cotton bag with the YSL logo painted upside down. – found in surprise locations in different international cities. Customers appreciated the personal touch, while the bag and document became coveted collectibles.
People in Shanghai were the target of an innovative fall/winter 2021 initiative by Prada last September, which displayed its print at a wet market in the city, with fruits and vegetables wrapped in the brand’s packaging. Limited-edition paper bags, covered with designs used in the brand’s AW21 collection, were offered to customers who spent more than 20 yuan ($3). Prada plans to replicate the idea in bakeries and food markets in Milan, Florence, Rome, Paris, London, New York and Tokyo.