[Posted by Mary Beth Kemp]

Mary Beth Kemp

I recently wrote about the need for luxury brands to balance exclusivity with accessibility.  It turns out that European luxury consumers enthusiastically use the Internet, often to talk about the brands they love.  Luxury consumers are both more active in all Social Computing activities and depend most on the internet for information about luxury products (see full report:  Social Computing Strategies For Luxury Brands). 

Brands like Louis Vuitton are beginning to take these consumers to heart.  At our European Marketing Forum last week – was it only last week? – Kamel Ouadi, Louis Vuitton’s Global Digital Media Director shared how they are opening the brand to online consumers, and working to create buzz everywhere. 

As Kamel said, “We sell to all consumers, so this makes sense.  Now, are we willing to listen to them, discuss with them?  It’s a state of mind.”    Louis Vuitton is a relative newcomer to Facebook, with their official fan page.  This presence created a splash in October with the live broadcast the brand’s fall fashion show.  “What was before for only about 200 Elite VIPs, is now for everyone,” explained Kamel.   This reaching out seems to be paying off.  There are over 760K brand fans today. 

It will be very interesting to watch what Louis Vuitton does with its fans.  Sharing content with them is a serious first step, but I’m keen to see if that interaction helps mold the stories the brand tells.  One never knows where a discussion can lead. 

The question Kamel asked goes out to all marketers: If we're interested in selling to all consumers are we willing to listen to them, and discuss with them?