TikTok Luxury: How Luxury Brands can Dominate on TikTok Now

TikTok luxury: not an oxymoron! TikTok is where to capture Gen Z’s attention - and they’re integral to luxury brands. Here’s how to make yours a success.

In 30 seconds:

  • The fashion industry is waking up to the potential for marketing on TikTok. After all, it got more traffic than Google in 2021.
  • The TikTok community is mainly Gen Z, making it a prime spot for connecting with new, younger audiences, who are key to growth in the luxury sector.
  • On TikTok, luxury brands can use the platform’s video-first nature to create forward-thinking digital experiences for customers. Here’s how.

There’s no doubt that fashion and beauty brands belong on TikTok, but luxury brands have hitherto been more reluctant to join the social media platform admired for its relatable, un-polished content.

But that’s no longer the case. TikTok luxury is growing, as luxury brands have spotted the opportunity to connect with younger audiences, connect deeper with customers and be at the forefront of digital experiences.

Gen Z’s favourite social media platform is TikTok, and they’re the fastest growing luxury consumer base. By 2025, 130% of the growth of luxury personal goods will be from Gen Z. Even better, TikTok users are itching to see more from luxury brands on TikTok

So, here’s some ways we suggest you go about it.

The 7 ways luxury brands can leverage TikTok

TikTok is the best platform to unlock a new audience of Gen-Z consumers – and amongst them, new luxury shoppers. Generation Z are hard to please, but mastering the platforms they love can win them over. Even better, these young consumers become dramatically more brand loyal as they age. 

We dig into detail on why Gen Z loves TikTok so much (and what that can tell you about them) in our article here

Fewer luxury brands are on TikTok – and even some of the larger players on the social media platform aren’t posting content yet. There’s space to stand out.

All this means there’s a short but incredibly powerful window of opportunity to connect with a valuable new audience on a fresh channel, in time for them to form long-term loyalty to your brand.

Here’s how.

Fanbytes | Luxury shoppable campaigns

TikTok luxury tip 1. Optimise for shoppable campaigns

Shoppable campaigns on TikTok are a critical asset for luxury brands connecting with young online audiences. TikTok’s recent Shopify integration marks a dramatic step as the social platform gears increasingly to facilitating in-app shopping. There’s more to come, and TikTok shopping experiences will only become more integrated and smooth, ensuring higher sales conversions.

Balenciaga became the first luxury fashion brand to launch a shoppable campaign on TikTok. They used the TopView TikTok ad format, which is the equivalent of buying TikTok’s front page for the entire day. This shoppable campaign featured a 5-60 second video, guaranteeing millions of views from younger shoppers

Balenciaga’s video promoted shoes, bags and other accessories. It linked to a landing page that was directly shoppable within TikTok. They later used the same videos in a Top View Lite format (which limits to 5 seconds of content). They tested this format in France and the UK, expanding to other markets after seeing good initial results. This approach resulted in 23 million impressions, an impressive 18% click rate, and 25 million video views

Even if luxury brands aren’t ready to buy the entire front page, it’s worth noting that shoppable campaigns can be successful across different ad formats. We know this better than anyone: our paid ads services offers clients a 360-degree approach to Gen Z performance marketing and we have crafted blockbuster paid ads campaigns on TikTok for brands such as Vestiaire, Mattel & Plato. To find out how we can do the same for you, get in contact today. 

Fanbytes | Luxury TikTok challenges

TikTok luxury tip 2. Use challenges

Understanding TikTok’s culture is crucial to ensuring your brand’s popularity on the platform –  and hashtag challenges are a core facet of TikTok culture. This is because challenges encourage participation and brand interaction – both of which are appealing to Gen Z. 74% of Gen Z dislike traditional ads, so brands need to take an ‘advertainment’ approach: blending fun with sponsored content

Italian luxury brand Furla understood the importance of ‘advertainment’, creating their own branded hashtag challenge, #FurlaDance. In true TikTok fashion, this included an easy-to-recreate dance routine, with catchy custom audio. The videos were typically in bright primary colours, making them stand out in TikTok users’ feeds.

By kicking off the campaign with well-known TikkTok influencers, Furla saw more than 127,000 videos and a 12.96% engagement rate. Furla did well introducing itself to the Gen Z market, who may not have heard of the brand before. 

Luxury brands on TikTok can benefit from both starting their own challenge or joining an existing one. Creating a custom sound to accompany your challenge can also boost the popularity of your campaign, as TikTok users like formulaic audios that help them easily create content, plus TikTok always indicates the originator of trending sound.

Fanbytes | JW Anderson Cardigan Harry Styles

TikTok luxury tip 3. React to organic content

Every luxury brand on TikTok has the same opportunity to leverage viral engagement. The algorithm doesn’t discriminate – if your content is popular and on trend, it’ll do well. 

Paying attention to TikTok trends is important for brands: most ‘viral’ trends start off organically, and can propel your brand to the forefront if you join in at the right time, without being heavy-handed. 

A great example is the infamous #HarryStylesCardigan trend. This organic trend started when Gen Z icon Harry Styles wore a JW Anderson rainbow cardigan during a rehearsal for the Today Show. The oversized cardigan inspired a viral crocheting craze on DIY TikTok, with its influence extending to other social networks like Twitter. It went so viral that the V&A added Styles’ JW Anderson cardigan to its collection of important historical clothing, and Vogue covered the story.

Savvy brand JW Anderson hopped on this trend in just the right way: they published details of the colour pattern online, posted a tutorial video and gave advice on how best to recreate it. 

The trend garnered 52 million views, setting the hype for JW Anderson’s Women’s SS21 show, which would premiere exclusively on TikTok as part of TikTok fashion month.

Another example comes from Italian fashion house Gucci, who reacted to the organic Gucci Model Challenge by reposting TikTok users’ videos on their profile, and creating their own high-end videos to join the trend. It supercharged the trend’s virality, boosting brand awareness and brand sentiment as TikTok users saw the brand’s fun side.

These are great example of how keeping an eye on TikTok trends can help luxury brands spot opportunities for your luxury brand on TikTok. JW Anderson and Gucci’s teams hopped onto trends without hard-selling: they simply encouraged it. 

Fanbytes | Luxury hip hop

TikTok luxury tip 4. Listen to more hip hop (no, really)

Hip hop is extremely popular on TikTok, propelling hits like 14x platinum-certified Old Town Road by  Lil Nas X, Savage by Megan Thee Stallion, Say So by Doja Cat…the list goes on. 

Helpfully, hip hop musicians tend to name-drop luxury brands. The song ‘Fashion Killa’ by A$AP Rocky is one example: referencing Prada, Balenciaga, Escada, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang, DKNY and Jean Paul Gaultier. 

So, if your brand is mentioned in a trending hip hop song on TikTok…good news! You can leverage this for great content

This is exactly what Italian luxury brand Moncler did in their branded hashtag challenge, #MonclerBubbleUp. Spreading the word with TikTok influencers, Moncler challenged users to create warm outfits from found items at home (such as duvets or sleeping bags), to the tune Bubble by 24hrs, feat. Ty Dolla $ign, which features the line, “all up in a Moncler bubble”.

The result? 7.6 billion TikTok views (and counting).

If you’re not au fait with Hip Hop’s finest, don’t worry: TikTok influencers can help there, too. Check out this video, set to ‘Dior’ by Pop Smoke. French TikTokker @franklinnoet includes Dior’s Sauvage perfume in his OOTD video, gaining 135k views and 2195 comments. This organically inserts Dior into the conversation, rather than feeling like an ad. 

TikTok influencers are naturals at finding elements that help their videos perform well. This second example comes from @marc.unbox who purchases items from a designer brand to review. His Versace video is set to Versace on the Floor by Bruno Mars. His Valentino video is set to Valentino by 24KGOLDN

Luxury brands should remember this tactic: if you’re in a hip hop song, get in contact with the artist: it’s perfect material to leverage for branded content that feels fresh, and makes a handy catchy tune for branded challenges to encourage user-generated content (UGC).

Fanbytes | Sustainable luxury

TikTok luxury tip 5. Take sustainability to TikTok

Gen Z truly cares about sustainability and climate issues. They’re more likely to purchase from brands who share these values, too.

Luxury brands are well placed to capitalise on this trend, as they are higher-quality. They are a sustainable purchase. Fast fashion is critiqued for its ethics and climate impact, so if luxury brands can demonstrate the opposite, they’ll be well-received by Gen Z

A great example of a luxury brand doing this right is And Again – a luxury fashion brand with sustainability at its core. They’ve driven 214k followers and  5.2 million likes with their content

A second example comes from Stella McCartney. This luxury brand is well-known for its animal welfare ethics, but its strategic gifting of TikTok influencers has recently demonstrated the brand’s sustainability credentials, too: it gave old stock to  thrift influencers to ‘repurpose’ – an upcycling process that means the stock would not go to waste.

Gen Z audiences are more likely to pay a premium for a product they perceive as less harmful to the environment and respect brands with good values. This also provides an opportunity to talk about craftsmanship, or use surplus end-of-season stock to boost brand sentiment.

Fanbytes | Luxury TikTok audience

TikTok luxury tip 6. Celebrate your audience

On TikTok, there’s less divide between influencers and normal TikTok users: 83% of TikTokers create videos themselves, and the TikTok algorithm takes an egalitarian approach to promoting content: if it’s deemed engaging, a video will reach people – regardless of the size of its creator’s following.

That means luxury brands are often on an equal footing with their audience. But rather than let this frighten you, it’s an opportunity to embrace the personalities that interact with your brand

Gen Z cares about diversity and inclusion, so make sure you’re focusing on this in any campaign. Represent multiple ethnicities and identities. Engaging with UGC is one step brands can easily take – but it’s important to be inclusive in all your operations. Work with a diverse group of influencers, and feature a diverse cast of models. Talk about steps your brand is taking to promote diversity behind the scenes, too.

Gen Z are more likely to purchase from brands who represent their values, so this will help drive those sales while boosting brand sentiment. Another way you can celebrate your audience is through giving a platform for discussions on mental health. Burberry recently did this with their #AreYouHappy campaign.

A further step luxury brands can take on TikTok is to include TikTok content creators in their editorial branded content for the platform. This can be big TikTok influencers, or even small creators whose videos featuring your brand have gone viral. By promoting this audience, you’ll encourage even more user-generated content from fans of your brand, exploding your reach on the platform.

Fanbytes | TikTok luxury influencers

TikTok luxury tip 7. Work with TikTok influencers

76% of Gen Z follow influencers on social media, making them essential to brand success. Gen Z trusts social media influencers more than other forms of advertising. 

Trust is vital for luxury brands reaching online audiences, because would-be customers may not have engaged with your product in real life – and they’re parting with larger sums to purchase it.

This is heightened for Gen Z, who are young in the workplace so have less cash, or may not have heard of your brand before (think of Bottega Veneta – it’s one of the most luxurious of Italian fashion houses, but is more of a brand for those “in the know”).

Influencer marketing is how you can help demonstrate that your products truly are the essence of luxury.

TikTok users look to influencers for advice and guidance like they’d get from their most fashionable friend.

Want to know more about Luxury Influencer Marketing on TikTok? We’ve got the full details for all you need to know in our article on the top tips for luxury brands* working with TikTok creators here*

If luxury influencer marketing sounds exciting to you, get in touch. We’re experts on luxury influencer campaigns on TikTok – from conceptualising the campaign through to finding and managing influencers for the best results.

For more insider info on how luxury brands can win over audiences on TikTok, check out our Luxury TikTok Guide. It’s free, and has a helpful breakdown of how the best luxury players on TikTok have achieved their success.

TikTok luxury at Fanbytes

We’re aware of the time, effort and resource that goes into influencer collaborations and TikTok marketing campaigns. 

At Fanbytes, we do the vetting for you, through our industry-leading analytics tool Bytesights. This ensures you’re using the best influencers for your campaign and brand, and that you’ll get the results you’re hoping for. If you’d like to learn more about what we can achieve for you, get in contact today.

As Gen Z partners, we know what messaging resonates with younger audiences – on TikTok and on other channels. If you’re looking for campaign ideas that will capture Gen Z’s attention, you’ve come to the right place.

Get in touch and we’ll talk you through how we’ll make your brand shine on TikTok and beyond.

Want to know more about how to beat the likes of Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Givenchy when reaching younger consumers? Want to make sure you’re prepared for the increased number of Gen-z consumers with higher disposable incomes? Check out our lessons via the links below:

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