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“5 ways luxury brands can stay relevant with millennials.” And Why?




Focus on the “Why”

There are currently 80 million Millennials in the U.S. – nearly one-fourth of the total population. And, with an annual buying power of $200 billion, they are a lucrative and growing market for luxury brands. As a millennial myself, I know how we interact with luxury brands and what luxury brands can do to engage with us. Millennials embrace authenticity and love to engage with brands through social media.

Like Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. Luxury brands must tell a story about themselves and let the consumers know what they stand for on social or political issues. It can be a risky move yet many millennials expect their favorite brands to take a stand and give back to society. According to a joint study between Forbes and Elite Daily, 75% of respondents said that it’s either fairly important or very important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit. Millennials are sick and tired of corporate greed and are loyal to brands that demonstrate the “why” value beyond just “what” and “how”.   

Partner with Influencers

“Cash is king” is no longer relevant in the digital age; information is. Millennials love to read reviews and get shopping recommendations from influencers. 33% of millennials rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to fewer than 3% for TV news, magazines, and books. You can almost find an influencer for any type of shopping category today, especially in fashion. Influencer marketing is a perfect match for luxury brands. Fashion brands are all about selling a lifestyle and influencers provide the perfect vehicle to put that lifestyle in front of consumers in an accessible and desirable way, leading them toward featured products.  Companies can boost their brand image and relevancy by targeting influencers that match with their target consumer demographics.

Test New Channels like Snapchat

As ubiquitous as Snapchat is today, only a handful of luxury brands are on the platform. Snapchat has 150 million daily active users globally, while 60% of that base are millennials. Although the conversion rate for Snapchat may lag behind Facebook or Instagram, Snapchat can be extremely powerful to engage with millennial audiences on mobile platforms. Fendi once created a campaign on Snapchat called Snapchat Tour, which saw different influencers including Kendall Jenner, Zara Martin and Irene Kim taking over the brand account for various moments around the globe. It is a brilliant way to test new channels leveraging clout from celebrities and influencers.

Give Out Swag

All brands want to have their millennial audience rave about them on social media. But why some do better than others?  Swag! Luxury brands who have planned branded events where millennials received featured products and swag like t-shirts, personalized water bottles, or battery packs see returns. Millennials love to share their brand loyalty on social media and live stream how happy they are at branded events. In fact, the event marketing platform Splash found that 81% of millennials shared photos on social media at a branded event, 71% used the event’s hashtag, 67% followed the brand on social and 56% signed up for an email list.

Get on Platforms likes Swaggle

It is a constant struggle for luxury brands to retain the loyalty of the existing customer base and acquire new customers. Joining a marketplace like Gilt, TheRealReal or Swaggle can help to increase brands’ exposure. Often times, these marketplaces have a strong brand with a loyal and devoted millennial following because they serve as centralized hubs for millennial consumers to directly engage with many brands at the same time.

For instance, Swaggle is created for millennial young professionals to shop for quality high-end men’s fashion from the designers they love at a discounted price. It is the perfect opportunity for luxury brands to engage with millennials who can’t afford their products at the retail price and want the look of the luxury brands. What will these millennials do as they progress in their career? Shop from the luxury brands of course.


Eric Niu is the co-founder and CEO of Swaggle, a peer-to-peer closet sharing app for men that helps men to sell their closets and shop for quality menswear at a discounted price. Eric graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2012 with a double major in International Business and Economics. He was elected as the President and CEO for the Associated Students Incorporated, CSUF, where he managed a $7 million-dollar non-profit organization.

After college, Eric moved to Washington DC and worked in President Obama’s Administration at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. That’s when Eric had a problem that he couldn’t find a solution to when he first entered the workforce. As a young professional who recently graduated from college, he couldn’t afford the designer look that he wanted. Many men are interested in high-end fashion but can’t afford the retail price. Consignment shopping is fun, but most men don’t know where to start. At the same time, the majority of brick-and-mortar consignment shops don’t have an online presence because the cost of establishing and maintaining an online store is costly and time-consuming.

Swaggle is a mobile marketplace connecting high-end men’s fashion resellers with interested buyers for a curated and personalized shopping experience. It helps consumers easily find quality menswear at discounted prices while helping fashion resale sellers reach more customers.

Founder & CEO of Swaggle, a mobile marketplace for men's resale fashion. Dual degree in International Business and Economics with resourceful technical & change management expertise in public, private and the nonprofit sectors. Proven experience leading cross-cutting teams, working with senior leaders to distilling and framing human capital, knowledge management and innovation issues across all levels of organization. Fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and intermediate in Spanish. Specialties: startups, fashion, management consulting, corporate development, product development, business operations, strategy, product marketing, non-profit governance

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