DVF Doesn’t Know Just Dresses-She Knows Social Media

As social media becomes the new “it” marketing tactic there are inarguably brands that just don’t get it.  While many brands are missing their mark with social media there are many who are dead on. One of the brands that definitely gets “it” ,whatever “it” maybe, is Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF).  Diane Von Furstenberg found a formula for tapping into the social media realm well before using social media.  For those who are not familiar with the DVF brand here is a quick run down. Diane Von Furstenberg created the iconic wrap dress in the 1970’s that took women’s fashion from 1960’s conservative to 1970’s sexy and free. Today, the DVF brand has expanded to ready-to-wear, accessories, and shoes. As Von Furstenberg watched her clothing line grow she began to notice an increased number of young followers. Thus, she began framing her line to appeal and match this new demographic. What better way to reach out to her younger demographic than by joining Facebook. Joining Facebook was simply not enough. Von Furstenberg understood that it was not enough to be present but she knew that she had to engage her consumers.

The DVF brand has been successful in using social media because they use tools such as Twitter and Facebook to talk and listen to their consumers. On the DVF Facebook Fan Page, customers can find videos from latest fashion shows, get exclusive invites to online sample sales, and participate in discussions with other DVF consumers. More than that consumers are able to actively participate on the fan page by uploading pictures of their favorite DVF outfits and send messages to Von Furstenberg herself. While Facebook is used as a tool to promote the DVF brand, Von Furstenberg uses her Twitter to create dialogue directly with her fans. The two social media tools serve two different purposes but all link back to the DVF brand. Customers are not just loyal to the brand they are also loyal to the designer because she has created a relationship with her consumers through social media. The relationship is not a closed system but an open system that is mutually beneficial. Not only do her customers get the inside scoop but she has the chance to hear how her consumers are responding to the brand. That’s the trick-using social media to establish a mutually beneficial relationship.

Where many brands fail in using social media is they have create a closed system. They use Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter as a tool to kick-out out information but fail to respond to their consumers when there is a need to do so. An example of a brand that is not getting “it”,whatever “it” maybe, is Victoria’s Secret (Vickies). Here is why Vickies is not getting it; there are atleast 20 unofficial Victoria’s Secret fan/group pages on Facebook. It is difficult to determine which fan page or group is the real one. Once you finally come across the page it is not updated regularly. You will receive notices when a sale is approaching but you can get that in e-mail. When consumers seek out brands in social media arenas they are looking for dialogue not just notifications.

I believe that the key to social media is finding your brand’s niche and target that niche audience. But more than just targeting that audience you have to engage it. This is where DVF suceeds and Victoria’s Secret fails. Consumers are looking for conversations with their favorite brands. They are no longer just customers but also investors. Therefore, brands are no longer able to treat consumers just as customers but they must communicate with them as investors.

-Shakes

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2 Responses to DVF Doesn’t Know Just Dresses-She Knows Social Media

  1. Good choices of two brands in the same industry to compare and contrast. The points you raise about how DVF uses social media work well from a promotional point of view. This post did make me wonder how conversational the brand truly is … do they respond to tweets sent to them? Do they answer questions on the Facebook wall? Their Twitter account has over 5000 followers, but they only follow about 100 back – is that a sign of anything? On Victoria’s Secret, they are largely missing from social media as you note, but I would love to hear your thoughts about what they could be doing that they are not. Finally, it’s always good to include links to the elements you are talking about to prove the points you are making. (3)

  2. Shakes says:

    To answer your questions Rohit, yes Diane Von Furstenberg does answer to tweets sent to her. Although she does not follow everyone who follows her she definitely tries to engages those who tweet her. And just for clarification purposes her twitter page is supposedly used as her own Twitter account and not as an account for the DVF brand itself. Although, I don’t doubt her PR rep tweets for her.

    As for the second question, I think that Victoria Secret should do more than just send out constant alerts about sales. Perhaps they can offer Twitter and Facebook contests that allow people to actively participate on their Facebook. I know from first hand experience that offering giveaways via FB and Twitter garner participation and are a great way to open up dialogue. They can also offer video tutorials on knowing the proper bra size because over 50 percent of women in America wear the wrong bra size. They should really use their social media outlets as a resource for their consumers. I will be sure to include links in the future. Thank you!

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