A recent Gucci runway show in April showed the power of unorthodox marketing techniques for luxury fashion, that could become more popular in the future. Kering is the parent company of Gucci and Balenciaga (and many other well-known luxury brands). They decided to combine the forces of Gucci and Balenciaga to create a collection like no other.
This collaboration was not a known thing before the show, but viewers began to notice the subtle additions of Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia, and then the actual combination of logos, with accessories having both the Gucci and Balenciaga logos. This was an unexpected marketing technique for a fashion show, especially for two well-known designer brands, but this could open up the floor for more collaborations in the future, and new ideas when it comes to marketing luxury goods.
Here is a guide to what we will be talking about in this article:
- The Gucci show
- Kering’s idea
- The future of unusual marketing techniques
1. The Gucci show
The runway show began normally, with new pieces walking out on the runway. But viewers quickly began to note the similarities to Demna Gvasalia, the current creative director for Balenciaga. They pointed out the sharp silhouettes of the jackets that were reminiscent of other Balenciaga collections. After that, models began walking out with jackets, jewelry, and bags that had a blend of the logos.
However, the creative director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele, is not calling it a collaboration between the two brands. He is calling it hacking or taking some designs from Demna Gvasalia and using them for his own. However, the credit was still given to Balenciaga through the use of logos.
The show’s soundtrack also featured songs that had Gucci in the title, such as “Gucci Flipflops” by Bhad Bhabie and “Gucci Gang” by Lil Pump. This is another smart marketing technique because people recognize the songs, which makes the show more interesting.
This is one of the first runway collections that combined two iconic luxury brands and put them in the same show. There have been a few other collaborations, like the Louis Vuitton X Supreme collection. However, Balenciaga is considered Gucci’s biggest competitor, and vice versa, so there was a lot more surprise with this collection.
2. Kering’s idea
As stated before, Kering is the parent company of many luxury brands, including both Gucci and Balenciaga. They decided to combine forces of two of their largest brands and create a genius collection that surprised a lot of people.
This collection was a great marketing technique because no one seemed to be expecting it, so when the models began walking out with never-before-seen Gucci X Balenciaga logos, people went crazy for it. Viewers immediately went to social media to talk about it, and then there were articles written about it, hyping it up even more. This type of collaboration was bound to get a lot of attention, and Kering knew that going into it.
Additionally, it made the collection seem more exclusive. This collaboration, or hacking, is very rare, so people are going to want the pieces from it that much more. Not many people can say they have a Gucci X Balenciaga jacket, so it creates more demand for such an exclusive set of items.
I mentioned before how Gucci and Balenciaga were direct rivals, and that is one of the biggest driving forces behind this fashion show. For years Gucci and Balenciaga have been fighting for the number one spot of luxury wear. Kering used this to their advantage and realized that instead of wasting time competing, they can unite the two and combine the different styles to create one powerhouse collection.
Kering is a genius for this runway show since the value of the items is now doubled by using both Gucci and Balenciaga logos, and they were able to get more brand recognition for people who shop at just Gucci, or people that shop at just Balenciaga. Overall, they are getting more hype and more money by creating an iconic collection.
3. The future of unusual marketing techniques
This Gucci and Balenciaga collaboration is just one example of unusual marketing techniques that brands are starting to use. Collaborations are not a new thing, but the use of them among rivalry luxury brands is. A lot of brands are realizing that times are changing and new techniques need to be incorporated to stay on top of their game.
I think that this is going to become more popular in the future, and large brands will continue to collaboration to double their power. Just think of how successful a show like Chanel X Dior would be, or maybe something outside of the box with Versace X Fendi.
This unique marketing technique grabs the attention of viewers, gains more press articles, and creates a higher demand for the products featured. Fashion shows happen twice a year, every year, but how often is it where two companies combine their logos in a show? It is very rare, which makes it more special. Thus, creating a high demand for once-in-a-lifetime items that will probably never be brought back.
This is just the start of unorthodox marketing campaigns and we will continue to see new additions in luxury fashion in the next few years. However, this Gucci X Balenciaga fashion show was a showstopper and a great start to a probable trend in the future.
I think that both Alessandro Michele and Demna Gvasalia were very intuitive with this idea and I think the outcome was extremely successful. The fashion show happened in April, yet people are still talking about it.
Luxury brands are unique because their marketing techniques are already very different than other brands because their clothes and accessories are marketing within themselves with logos. People see the logos on the clothes and automatically know where it’s from. They have brand recognition down perfectly, so when they incorporate a new technique, it catches people’s attention.
Kering had a great idea, and I will be curious to see if they do this with any of their other brands, or if other luxury brands will decide to do a similar thing after seeing the success of this campaign.