Few people today are clueless about who Balenciaga is. It is one of the top leading fashion brands in the world today, and it is over a century old. Kering, a French luxury conglomerate, currently owns Balenciaga. It is a top brand with over a billion Euros revenue, making it one of the fastest-growing brands. Balenciaga competes with top brands like Gucci and several others. Balenciaga is turning out to be quite popular in terms of numbers. It is enough to make many people curious about its success and how the brand can make over a billion Euros in revenue in just a year. Luckily, we’ve researched for you. This article covers Balenciaga advertising which includes their strategies, campaigns, and ad spend. However, it’s only fitting that we begin with Balenciaga’s history to understand its roots.
Balenciaga Advertising: A Brief History of the Brand
Balenciaga has been at the forefront of fashion for over a century, continually redefining fashion codes. This brand started in 1937 with Cristobal Balenciaga as the founder. Balenciaga took a rebellious approach to art, and some would say the brand owes its success to this. His art was in clear opposition to the popular curvaceous hourglass shapes that many contemporary brands promote. Instead, the brand was famous for its clean, flowing lines and simplified silhouettes. This element was the defining factor of Balenciaga at the beginning, and it continues to be.
Cristobal didn’t like the ready-to-wear trend that the fashion industry had taken and chose to set out his path. He used minimal ornamentation in his gown to keep it simple. He was a dedicated designer whose country and rich culture greatly influenced his designs’ details, fabrics, and colors. All Cristobal’s designs flattered all female forms. It created slenderness, graceful movements, and height where none existed. His designs drew attention to the women who wore them, and he regularly transformed his clients into elegant nobles. Some of his clients were royalty, and he had a reputation of being a stylist who wasn’t committed to any conventions or standards. Cristobal was a free artist and often referred to by Christian Dior as the master of all.
He retired from the fashion industry in 1968, and many would argue that his death ended the era of true haute couture. The media mocked some of his designs at the unveiling. However, today many in the fashion industry appreciate the brilliance and beauty in his designs. In 2001, Kering acquired Balenciaga, and many more talented designers have succeeded the talented designer behind Balenciaga.
Balenciaga Marketing Strategy
As a part of Kering, Balenciaga advertising strategy connects with the overall brand strategy. However, Balenciaga has an organizational structure that maps and implements a unique advertising strategy for the brand. Over the years, Balenciaga has implemented several advertising strategies that have driven growth for the brand. Below are some of the strategies the brand has implemented to improve revenue and remain one of the leading fashion brands in the industry.
One of the defining elements of Balenciaga advertising strategy is sustainability. The brand, like many others under Kering, continues to pursue sustainability. They implement sustainable designs that ensure the reduction of its environmental footprint and preserve the earth using innovative tools and practices. The brand also collaborates with suppliers and preserves its heritage through training programs. Sustainability is also apparent in the diversity of workers in the workplace.
Accessories and shoes are some of the top luxury gateways in the fashion industry. They’re also one of the best ways to build your brand in the fashion industry. Therefore, it is no surprise that Balenciaga also has a diverse share of accessories. Some of them are bags and shoes, especially shoes. Research shows that the brand dedicated 18% of its collection to the shoe category. A Kering report in 2019 showed that shoes made up 31% of the brand’s shares. This indicates that Balenciaga knows what sells and continually places focus on it.
Competitive Pricing Strategy
When it comes to luxury, prices don’t usually matter. That’s why the luxury fashion industry is famous for being price-insensitive. Balenciaga understands his well and uses them to his advantage. Although it is not the most affordable luxury house in the fashion industry, it avoids being expensive. Balenciaga understands that Gen Z is slowly taking over the global market and uses this information to its advantage. The brand can reach a younger demographic with a lower income by providing their clients with a mid-price range and regular prices on the lower side. By achieving over a billion euros in under a year, Balenciaga successfully clarifies that price isn’t an issue for its clients. It also shows that aesthetics and brand identity matter for a brand to scale.
Balenciaga Advertising Strategy: A Focus on Gen Z
Like Balenciaga, many brands are shifting their focus on the Gen Z market as it grows and impacts the fashion industry. This generation places their importance on the environmental impact of what they purchase. However, Balenciaga’s sustainable feature is not the only reason the brand is quite popular with Gen Z. Additionally, this generation consumes trends on social media, and Balenciaga uses this to their advantage. One of Balenciaga advertising strategies that ensure it is so popular and out-hypes other brands in the provision of memes.
The brand has a list of top-selling products that feature anti-high fashion designs. These trends took over the internet and quickly redefined the way people think about luxury and high fashion. Balenciaga shows Gen Z that they do not conform to the old industry standard like its history. However, in apparent contrast to top luxury brands like Saint Laurent and others, Balenciaga releases pieces that shock and generate conversations in the fashion industry. Their releases are usually only fashion-relevant for a couple of weeks before attention shifts to new releases.
This feature is precisely why Gen Z seems to be taking a liking to Balenciaga, as they’re constantly searching for new things to catch their attention. Balenciaga knows this and continues to use it in its advertising strategy to capitalize off these trends. As a result, the brand continually adapts to stay buzzworthy, relevant, and attractive to the younger generations.
Balenciaga Advertising Strategy – The Pull Strategy
If you paid attention to the Balenciaga mashup with The Simpson in a single episode, you understand the pull strategy. This strategy naturally draws people’s attention to branded content. Most brands implement the push strategy, which requires constant discounts or steady ads that push the brand into people’s lives. However, the pull strategy, the Balenciaga advertising strategy, uses the principle of inclusion, making it more appealing to a broader market. With the pull strategy, the brand can draw its customers closer and make others interested in the brand. It also shows authenticity because the brand doesn’t utilize the call to action or push marketing tools. Instead, focusing on making their clients feel good, the brand can build its value.
Balenciaga Advertising: Ad Spend and Campaigns
Although Balenciaga is a fashion house that has been around for over a century, it has experienced an alternating life. There was a decade where Balenciaga was presumed to be a dead brand before its revival. However, with talented designers leading the brand, the brand can remain a post-modern, meme-worthy brand. This brand connects with its audience and shares its message through its ad campaigns. That’s why in this section, we explore the five best ad campaigns that were a part of the Balenciaga advertising campaign.
As a part of the Kering Group, Balenciaga spends less than $100 million on advertising. This amount also includes digital and prints every year. Below are the campaigns that Balenciaga ad spend covers
Real Balenciaga Capsule Campaign
This campaign is one of the most recent video campaigns. This campaign focuses on the Real Balenciaga. This video almost frames the acronym of a popular TV reality show that follows the life of an eponymous family. Chris Maggio, who is an American photographer, shot this campaign. It also features the music of Sam Shrieve and Liz. This video’s genius is in its recontextualization of fashion in the trash culture of several reality shows.
Summer 2020 Campaign
This Balenciaga advertising campaign might be the most bizarre one yet. It is a dystopian newscast that portrays men and women speaking like puppets. This campaign dressed the men and women in prosthetic makeup in the video campaign. This campaign also aims to draw light to the dystopian society and criticizes the empty language of policy and the press. They portray this criticism through the use of the blue color, which represents the European Union. In addition, this campaign traced politicians’ election photos but with a twist of exaggerating the corporate aesthetic by turning credit cards into earrings.
Winter 2019 Campaign
Before the dystopian video campaign of Summer 2020, the brand’s ad campaign shows its Parisian side. This campaign features real Parisian couples of different ages, orientations, and ethnicity. These couples are immortalized on the city’s street wearing ring-colored dresses. Although there have been many Balenciaga campaigns, this remains the most delicate and sentimental. It focuses on inclusiveness, youthfulness, and love. Greg Finck, a professional at wedding photos, shot this campaign. Also, a video where several couples spoke about their relationships accompanied the images.
Summer 2018 Womenswear Campaign
Another Balenciaga advertising campaign that makes the list of best campaigns by the brand is their womenswear campaign in summer 2018. This campaign featured several photographs where the models walked down the street and were continually photographed by angry paparazzi. The models, who were posing as models, covered their faces and hid behind their bodyguards. This Balenciaga advertising campaign draws attention to the toxicity of celebrity culture.
Summer 2018 Menswear Campaign
In the same year, the men introduce their collection using a campaign. This campaign shows the kitsch world of family portraits from the 80s and 70s. It exhibits the narrative behind various photographic techniques through different stylish wallpapers and washed-out colors. In addition, the brand erases the pre-concept of glamor and beauty by showing several faded campaigns. This Balenciaga advertising campaign channels the awkwardness that lies in the concept of fashion.
As a prominent brand in the fashion industry, Balenciaga shows its strength by focusing on the right customer. They also owe their success to a series of advertising strategies, campaigns, and impressive ad spend. Additionally, this brand targets Gen Z through its edgy advertising strategy. The best part of Balenciaga is that the brand is aware of what works for them. They’re also continually developing and evolving as a brand. Another top strategy that is very successful for the brand is its sustainability approach. This shows that the brand understands what it takes to stand out from the crowd and successfully speak to a Gen Z audience. Overall, this article briefly explains the top Balenciaga advertising practices that make it the coveted brand today.