I find Kmart to be an EXCELLENT example of a brand that understands the value of using social media as a marketing tool. When you go to K-mart’s website you can, at the very least, find links/widgets on their homepage that suggest that the brand has a online presence on Facebook, YouTube, Myspace and Twitter. However, I am finding that many high-end couture brands like Gucci are not quite as active in the social media pool and definitely do not appear to be using it in a manner which leads one to believe that they fully embrace the value of having an online presence in these various platforms. Sure, Gucci has a Facebook fan page, but it appears as if that page was created by fans who love the brand, NOT by the brand itself. I found NOTHING for the brand on Twitter, NOTHING on FlickR and NOTHING on their company website which indicated that the brand has any sort of significant engagement going on online between the brand and its consumers/admirers.
Although completely opposite in “class”, (one being a department discount store, the other being a supplier of Italian fashion and leather goods) BOTH of these forementioned brands have been around for many years and BOTH have a valued reputation among their target markets. Notably, both are well-established retailers of clothing/ accessories of which I have purchased. So why would a discount store like Kmart be more plugged into social media networking scene than the prestigious and world renowned, Gucci? Is it that Kmart feels more pressure to keep up with today’s advancing technology in order to maintain and grow its base of loyal customers, while Gucci feels their brand is too elite for the likes of… Twitter??
I suggest high-end brands like Gucci not get too engulfed in their own hype that they forget that the consumers is what makes them hot and keeps their brand relevant. Gucci should look at what brands like Kmart are doing in social media and consider how they too can keep their admirers better engaged. Many people like myself shop at Kmart AS WELL as Gucci so it does not escape our notice that one brand offers more opportunity for interaction then another.