Amid faltering handbag sales, accessory brands are attempting to leverage social media in an effort to reverse dismal sales projections.
Analyst firm Wunderlich Securities Inc. evaluated the social media feeds of seven top accessory labels over a two-week span and found that labels including Coach and Michael Kors are curating their social imagery in an attempt to widen their audience and change consumer perception.
According to Wunderlich, Coach — which has recently struggled to lure consumers toward its higher-end product assortment designed by Stuart Vevers — is utilizing social media to heavily promote its “Coach Pup” campaign featuring celebrity dogs “in order to raise further awareness of the updated collection.”
“We believe the campaign will allow Coach to reach a wider range of consumers, and possibly increase traffic into stores,” said research analyst at the firm Eric Beder.
Michael Kors is similarly engaging social media to reinvigorate consumer attitudes toward its designs. “To stem the decline of its waning popularity, Kors elevated its marketing campaign, complete with higher-margin products,” Beder said. The newness may bring freshness to the brand, which is currently stagnating with lackluster products.”
Michael Kors’ Instagram posts, the firm said, featured “more elevated and fashion-forward leather goods.” The consumer response was mixed, and Beder said that “fans overwhelmingly love the new styles; however, some had concerns about price and longevity of the product.”
At Vera Bradley social media is being leveraged as a tool to raise its back-to-school profile. The firm noted that “this endeavor may be successful in raising traffic into the stores for this specific collection. We believe that Vera Bradley still needs to do more in order to further raise brand awareness.”
Not all of the research firm’s observations were negative. From its perspective, Louis Vuitton “continues to be a vanguard of the handbag luxury industry.” Beder observed that the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned fashion label “continues to showcase its creative director Nicolas Ghesquière’s designed collections. Fans are still flocking to the collection due to the innate fashion-forwardness.”