It's not every day that a fashion house turns 90, but you'd expect a huge glitzy event if it were to happen. Well, that's precisely what occured on July 7th, when Fendi celebrated its 9th decade in business with an elaborate star-studded fashion show in Rome.
But more importantly: did the label get its money's worth on Instagram? Metrics, meet ROI.
The dreamy storied Italian maison is as heritage as it gets, now officially having turned 90. But that doesn't mean a mature dog can't learn new marketing tricks - Fendi has embraced Instagram as a brand-building marketing tool, leveraging the visual social app to maximize momentum. When celebrating their anniversary last week with a larger-than-life
couture fourrure runway show, the label tapped the who's who of the elite Insta set to propagate the message of cool luxury and refinement by sharing the exclusive event with the world.
We've seen in the past that this type of strategy can be extremely beneficial and yield tremendous quantitative results for brands. The other, less measurable factor is just as important - if not more - for these luxury houses that want jurisdiction over every aspect of their image: qualitative results. By recruiting the right influential ambassadors to attend their event, they're maintaining authority over their narrative and safekeeping their story.
It doesn't get more on-brand than this!
Fashion's relationship with digital has been precarious from the get go, and the rise of social media hasn't made anything easier for brands in the luxury sector to adapt to the present landscape. To say that it's unrequited love is an understatement. But some have come around to it. (If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?)
For example, Fendi posts to Instagram on average 17 times a week, compared to 8 at Chanel, 8 at Chloé and 9 at Louis Vuitton. While overall average engagement rates in this particularly niche industry remain rather low, we're seeing tremendous improvement when it comes to utilizing the social tool to their advantage and embracing its possibilities.
Karl Lagerfel, Fendi's creative director, is notorious for disliking nostalgia, pooh-poohing the concept of retrospectives. Fendi's 90th anniversary runway couture show was a milestone celebration, yet the Legends and Fairytales theme seemed to honor the glorious locale, the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Perhaps a wink at the masterful craftsmanship of both the location and the collection? But I digress.
In short, it was basically an ideal setting for a visual Instagram feast. The content created around the event was so terrific that we simply had to put our data excavation tools to use and find out what kind of impact the affair made on the 'gram.
Let's begin the dig!
This graph illustrates a few key things: Fendi's average engagement rate (0.50% - believe it or not, that's high for the sector), their best-performing content of the week and how each post fared against their average. We can see that the top posts all relate to #Fendi90Years, and that they completely crushed their average.
The Fendi Instagram account normally adds approximately 6k new followers every day. Over the 2-day period surrounding the anniversary show, they added nearly 35k. Now I'm no math genius, but...
Speaking of adding a gargantuan amount of new followers, let's check out what likely prompted the influx: UGC. All that content created by their guests, many of them enlisted influencers tagging the @fendi account, facilitated the growth spurt. Here's looking at you, Vanessa, Maja, Chiara, Caroline, Evangelie, Chriselle and Margaret (not to mention Kendall and Bella, who both walked in the show).
Fendi's own account engagement also spiked around the show, as observed in the graph below.
It wouldn't be a great modern-day event without hashtags! This party happened to have two: #Fendi90Years and #LegendsAndFairytales. They got a lot of traction - both hashtags combined received over 200 million impressions in the span of 2 days.
A true Instagram success barometer? Content performance. And boy did this 90th anniversary haute fourrure show deliver: Fendi's two most-engaged around posts of ALL TIME were from the event. Talk about impact!
One last doozy before we go: in true KarJenner form, the most liked and influntial post of the entire affair came courtesy of none other than Kendall Jenner herself, she who opened the show and recipient of 'Most Well-Rounded Feed' superlative.
It's been proven time and over that a well-orchestrated affair can be worth its weight in gold in terms of Instagram equity. The folks at @Fendi proved that the brand's know-how is not limited to fashion design, but that it also trickles all the way to a super tight event marketing strategy. Ciao!
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