Versace for H&M Campaign
Chances are you can’t login to Bloglovin’ and read your favorite fashion bloggers without at least half of them discussing their purchases before the Saturday debut of Versace for H&M. From Rumi, to Bryan Boy, to Andy, Dennie, to tiny Wendy. They are ALL discussing the second coming of Versace. I will admit that Versace is doing more than a fantastic job of getting their collection out there for the masses and reintroducing itself to the world. The luxury brand is conquering this task by taking advantage of Generation Y buying power, marketing like bananas, price point being… well… on point, and the most important aspect of it? They aren’t JUST selling Versace, they are selling exclusivity.
Growing up in an Air Force family the only thing I really had was music. I was young in the 90’s and (real) Hip Hip was alive. Right at the height of the East Coast West Coast wars we had Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace (if you don’t know who these cats are I’m going to need you to pause and Google). These 20 something year old men were rapping about coming from the bottom and seeing the top. They rhymed about the hood and Hollywood, and most of all they rhymed about Versace. The more notorious these rappers became the faster these brands rose. This, in turn, cemented the relationship of Hip Hop and luxury. Little Kim herself was (still is) ride or die Versace. However, the rappers either passed away or just simply became older. Versace had to change its direction to appease their older audience and were not creating a name for itself with the new buying power, Generation Y. Generation Y (I HATE the term Millennial … so lame) are the children of the smartest generation, the Baby Boomers, and the marketers have learned that they don’t buy what they want, they buy what they need. GenY has more disposable income because they are having children later, focusing on having establishing themselves, and having fun right now. Something their parents have always wish they had done.
The obstacle for Versace and H&M is trying to figure out how to separate this generation from their tight wad hands. Due to the good marketing most know that Versace will unleash it’s line at H&M on November 19th, 2011. Versace is using AMAZING ad campaigns to get this line to sell out. To accomplish this the collab is doing something analog yet in a digital way. They are using style bloggers to get their name out. The pair is using the internet as the new word of mouth.
Last week you could view Bryan Boy, Rumi’s, Andy’s, or Wendys’ blog (just to name a few) and see how they were all invited to New York to party with Donatella, Prince, and Nicki Minaj while being able to purchase the line before it the debut on Saturday. Anticipation is being built up seeing your favorite fashion bloggers rocking the MUST HAVE line. This peeks the interest of future buyers. They want to see what the clothes look like on non models. Seeing these people who are of GenY status and looking (for the most part) fabulous in Versace is a unbelievable tactic. I have to give kudos for Versace and H&M for the pivotal game play. They are teaching others, especially slow to accept older luxury brands, how to work social media to the best of its ability.
The Marketing Game
The marketing for the collaboration of these fashion titans has been exceptional. Versace is doing for H&M what Missoni did for Target (but multiplied it by 100 billion). If you don’t recall, Missoni released its line for Target and women went berserk for techni-colored blankets selling for $60 a pop. Before you knew it these items were for sale on Ebay for at least twice what the consumer paid for. H&M is doing much of the same thing except this go around they have greatly utilized the internet to stretch its name. Missoni broiled its name while H&M is putting it on a long simmer to bring out the flavor. This will ultimately end up with H&M selling out quicker than what most people expect because a larger audience is aware and has become reacquainted of with the luxury of Versace.
That’s exactly what Versace is luxury. It’s not a need it’s a pure want that is clearly obtainable by higher incomed household. However, Versace gives us all taste of the good life by bringing luxury to the masses. Realistically, are most of us willing to drop $250 on a dress that we will only wear once? For a regular H&M dress, no. But for a Versace H&M dress, HELL YES! H&M is known for its simple aesthetics with a great price point. Versace is known for outrageous and fun fashion with price points for dresses running from $1,400-$7,000 USD. Buying a $250 is a lot to the middle class but no one can argue that it’s a straight up deal to own a Medusa head in your closet for a fraction of the cost (from $30-$400).
Versace for H&M is going to be the most covetable item for Fall/Winter 2011/2012 because it’s exclusive. If companies want GenY to buy something they need to be convinced it’s for a good reason. A good enough motive for me is that not too many people will have it and the brand is
ONLY selling for a limited time. It feels good when you’re the ONLY person that has the item everyone wants. It’s the same reason fan boys buy every version of the iPhone, because you want to be the first to have it, own it, and rock it. It’s the same reason Facebook was first invented, exclusivity. While Generation Y does not typically buy because they want it. They will be buy because they feel they need it. Some believe they will need this exclusive, purely luxury, line from H&M for the simple fact that they have it and you don’t.
In the end Versace for H&M is doing a marvelous job in taking advantage of the buying power of Generation Y, utilizing marketing effectively, using price points to not cheapen the brand, and creating exclusivity. However, Bryan Boy stated it best on his blog, “I’m gonna try to wear them as much as I can before they hit the stores in a week’s time. I like the idea of wearing things not worn by everyone else. Once they hit the shelves, mama mia, it’s time for me to move on.”