More and more luxury brands have joined TikTok, shining a light on the potential for reaching new, younger audiences (Gen Z and Alpha will soon make up a significant portion of the market). Social has become the top source of brand and product discovery for Gen Z with 40% using Instagram and TikTok for search over Google.
How are luxury brands using TikTok in 2023? And what are the golden nuggets of success for any brand in the premium circle to diversify its target audience?
Let’s find out.
The Prestige Factor: How 15 Luxury & Premium Brands are Taking on TikTok
In this exclusive Goat Report, we take a comprehensive look at 15 luxury and premium brands on TikTok to find out how they’re approaching the platform, who’s getting it right, and what we can learn from them.
Luxury brands know they need to start building loyalty amongst younger audiences, a lot of this will be achieved through social media and influencers. When it comes to TikTok, many luxury and premium brands are finding it hard to fit in.
How are they creating their own brand personality? How does it translate on TikTok? What are the pitfalls and challenges? What can we learn from the successes?
Download the report to find out!
The opportunity for luxury brands on TikTok
For any brand, TikTok is a dynamic platform that makes it easy to engage with younger audiences. Its short-from approach to video content enables brands to tap into a vast username, leverage trends and challenges to promote brand specific products or messaging. For brands of the luxury persuasion, TikTok is primed with In-feed ads and branded content partnerships that allow for targeted marketing. Influencer collaborations are a powerful tool for endorsements, helping to reach niche markets. TikTok’s e-commerce integration enables direct sales, while analytics provide valuable insights for refining marketing strategies. Sounds great, right? But is any of this relevant to luxury brands?
Since the majority of TikTok’s audiences comprises Gen Z, anyone between 11 and 26 years old, would it make sense for luxury brands to target a demographic with limited spending power?
The likes of Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Lamborghini, Estee Lauder, and more in the luxury sector would argue that it does make sense to invest in TikTok. TikTok has become a great way for even the most prestigious brands to connect with younger audiences, cultivating the next generation of luxury consumers.
The types of luxury brands on TikTok
Luxury is a broad term. While brands like Porsche and Tiffany & Co might be perceived as premium brands, they operate within vastly different sectors. Here are some of our favorite TikTok luxury brands, filtered by their industries:
Luxury fashion brands on TikTok
Luxury beauty brands on TikTok
Luxury automotive brands on TikTok
Other luxury brands on TikTok
The differences between luxury and mainstream brand marketing on TikTok
There are a lot of similarities between luxury and mainstream brand marketing on TikTok. Successful marketing on the platform typically consists of brands participating in trends, utilizing hashtags to cultivate communities, and partnering with creators, all elements that should be included irrespective of industry.
As far as differences, there are some considerations. Luxury brands are using TikTok to raise brand awareness among younger audiences, which differs from a brand using the platform’s ecommerce capabilities to sell products in real-time.
Another difference between mainstream and luxury brands is the content itself. Lamborghini, Louis Vuitton, and Versace, post high-quality, high-production, video content that reinforces themes of prestige. Other brands like Ryanair for example create more handheld, in-the-moment content shot within the TikTok app, which feels more authentic to the TikTok experience.
The goal for luxury brands is to stand in a more prestigious stead than their competitors, reinforcing opulence over accessibility. Luxury brands are using TikTok to plant the seed for future generations, whereas mainstream brands are on TikTok to reach consumers in the here and now.
Top tips for luxury brands utilizing TikTok
Leverage Influencer partnerships
Partnering with TikTok creators who align with brand ethos is one of the most effective methods for reaching a wider, more engaged audience without sacrificing authenticity.
We’ve seen top fashion labels find success with the platform’s top creators. Hugo Boss made popular TikToker Khaby Lame a global brand ambassador in 2022. Similarly, Gucci partnered with TikTok trainspotter Francis Bourgeois at the peak of his fame.
Partnerships with creators are an excellent way for brands to capitalize on hype, show they understand the influencer landscape, and meaningfully connect with audiences on TikTok and the wider social space.
Encourage user generated content
User-generated content (UGC) makes TikTok tick. The platform relies on trends and hashtag challenges to drive such high levels of engagement.
To reach Gen Z on TikTok, brands should consider encouraging UGC. This could be through encouraging users to share their experiences with a product, or by issuing a challenge that requires submissions via a branded hashtag.
UGC can be the perfect blend of highlighting real customer experiences, fostering credibility, and driving engagement through participation.
Highlight sustainable business practices
Gen Z is known for its strong affinity toward different initiatives, sustainability being one of the values they support the most.
Luxury brands looking to connect with Gen Z on TikTok would benefit from promoting sustainable business practices, products, and supporting sustainability measures where possible.
Earlier this year, Gen Z TikTokers aimed at products from the beauty sector that they felt were a product of over-consumption, and promoted poor sustainability standards – the kind of scrutiny luxury brands should want to avoid when trying to build a rapport with younger consumers.
Try out branded effects & filters
Luxury brands may benefit from using branded effects a filters, though they should be created in line with their brand image. Branded filters can be designed to reflect the luxury of a brand’s aesthetic and style. They’re also a great way to get influencers involved, getting them to use filters across their content, which can lead to audience participation and increased visibility for the brand.
It’s crucial for luxury brands to strike a balance between utilizing these features and upholding the exclusivity and prestige associated with their brand. Overusing filters could dilute the sophisticated appeal, so their implementation should be strategic and consistent with the brand’s identity and objectives.
AR try on experiences (effecthouse)
Effect House is an effect development platform launched by TikTok. Here, creators can build augmented reality (AR) experiences and effects. Affect House boasts all types of creations from makeup looks, floating castles, interactive games, and even options to test new clothing items.
Back in 2021, Nike partnered with UK trainer and sports fashion retailer JD Sports to launch the UK’s first AR shoe try-on. Consumers had the chance to virtually see how the Nike’s Air VaporMax trainers looked on their feet.
The AR try-on formed part of the wider #JDVaporMaxShuffle branded hashtag challenge, encouraging users to try and match their feet to the beat in order to win a year’s supply of Nike trainers.
TikTok Paid ads
Luxury brands looking to tap into a vast Gen Z audience, boost brand awareness and engagement may want to consider paid advertising on the platform.
TikTok’s precise targeting tools help reach specific demographics effectively, while its interactive ad formats and creative options enable unique storytelling. Then there’s TikTok’s analytics offerings that help advertisers tailor and optimize future campaigns with previous learnings.
Paid ads on TikTok can empower a luxury brand to connect with the rich tapestry of diverse, tech-savvy consumers found across the platform through data-driven campaigns.
Luxury brands getting TikTok right
Now we’ve established some of the ways in which luxury brands can connect with audiences on TikTok, let’s take a look at some of the brands leveraging these methods.
This British automotive company and manufacturer of sports and racing cars has a unique approach to TikTok that nails everything about how the platform works, and what its audiences have come to expect.
Lotus has been cultivating a large Gen Z following on TikTok by participating in popular trends, and sounds synonymous with the meme community – even adopting the way Gen Z communicate, using the same language and terminology. Case in point, this post, which has nothing to do with racing or luxury sports cars, but simply catching members of its community “lacking”.
TikTokers have flocked from all over the platform to follow Lotus for its unique style. Sure, the brand posts high-production value content depicting its luxury cars in all their prestige, but what Lotus does best is play into the hands of Gen Z by posting the type of content they resonate with.
This luxury and hair care brand leans into its luxurious qualities without trying to hide them.
Working with Goat on their TikTok influencer strategy, the brand has attracted a strong fanbase, with TikTok remaining a key channel for growth.
Augustinus Bader creates oddly mesmerizing TikToks that show off their products in a fun, engaging way. The brand has also started adding a face and personality to the brand. Together, we helped them create a TikTok where users were asked to pronounce the name, culminating in Augustines Bader himself explaining its pronunciation. This was a great way of getting people to remember the brand, and build intrigue.
Concluding thoughts – TikTok for luxury brands
TikTok is a great tool for luxury brands looking to connect with a younger audience, and ultimately plant the seed for the next generation of luxury consumers. We’re seeing some of the most prestigious brands from fashion, automotive, beauty, and more industries use TikTok to raise their profile amongst Gen Z.
Typically, TikTok is seen as short, easy to digest, content that prioritizes authenticity and transparency over opulence and high-production – that’s what Instagram is for. However, the brands finding success on TikTok have been able to reflect themes of splendor, while communicating through the mediums that Gen Z know best – memes, trends, hashtag challenges, AR filters, behind-the-scenes content and more.
it’s exciting to see so many brands breaking the “rules” around what a luxury brand’s advertising should look like. TikTok and social media has been a catalyst for the industry becoming more inviting, inclusive and daring within their marketing. And with Gen Z soon to make up a high proportion of luxury buyers, it will be interesting to see how these brands adapt to the growing power of Generation Z.
Are you a luxury brand looking to scale and connect with Gen Z audiences on TikTok? Find out more about how we can help you grow through social first marketing in the luxury space!