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Luxury brands tap festivals

News, 14 April 2015

NEW YORK: A number of luxury brands are looking to connect with affluent millennials by getting involved with outdoor music festivals.

Luxury Daily highlighted the approaches fashion brands and retailers have been taking, from curating a range of items that will be useful to festival-goers to having an on-site presence.

"Brands are increasing their participation in experiential and grassroots marketing due to the increasing fragmentation of old media," observed Nicole Larrauri, managing partner at the Long Island marketing agency EGC Group.

And she noted "a dramatic increase this year" in the number of music festivals and the attendances.

"Music festivals give brands the change to engage with consumers in new and interactive ways," she explained, including pop-up booths, product sampling and the use of brand ambassadors.

"Brands who aren't participating in events, should be curating," she added.

In that vein, the current theme of Nordstrom's monthly Pop-In shop is helping consumers get "festival-ready" with a range of clothing and accessories.

And Neiman Marcus recently ran its second annual Make Some Noise brand platform activation at this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

Larrauri advised that "brands should be focusing on the complete path to conversion with a program like this … Starting with the awareness of festival-themed products, to well-executed where-to-buy mobile programs and targeted social media efforts".

In the UK, upmarket label Mulberry has established a branded tent at August's Wilderness Festival, which has been described as a festival for upscale music lovers and which has attracted attendees such as the governor of the Bank of England.

Festival goers can see how one of its handbags is made and even make a personalised bracelet for themselves, so creating a closer bond with the brand.

"Music festivals are attracting a very hard-to-reach audience: the affluent millennial," Larrauri said. "This target audience cares less about brand status and 'stuff' and more about experiences and are harder to reach through advertising.

"They'll spend money on the concerts they want, but need to create a real relationship before buying products from a brand," she went on. "They also want a brand that is aligned to their own passions and interests."

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff