Lux jewelry brand Swarovski is putting its bets on digital through a new partnership with Instagirl supermodel Karlie Kloss that was announced Tuesday and the launch of a Snapchat channel.
Kloss, part of a coterie of well-known models who have become big thanks to a hefty social following (other members include Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner) will be the new face of the high-end crystal jewelry brand. She follows Australian model Miranda Kerr, who’s been the face of the brand since 2013.
Swarovski, the first company to work with Kloss’s YouTube channel, is hoping to use her digital presence (she has 469,626 subscribers to her channel) to develop a closer connection with millennial consumers, something it hopes a recent move to Snapchat will help with, too. The company was set to go live on Snapchat May 24, with influencer Bryan Boy manning the Snapchat account at the cocktail party where the partnership will be launched.
Swarovski will use Snapchat to showcase event coverage, influencers and friends of the brand, behind the scenes photos and products.
The company already rates high among younger consumers in the U.K., who consider Swarovski as among the top five luxury brands.
Glossy spoke to Yelena Aschberger, vp of communication, PR, and events for Swarovski, about the company’s digital presence and the challenges it faces. Answers have been edited for clarity.
How is this campaign different from what you’ve done before?
This campaign really has an element of digital integration, and not in the sense that we post some of the visuals and videos from TV on Instagram or YouTube, but really thinking digital first and thinking about how people interact with the brand and consume information. It’s not about repetition, it’s more about delivering something that they’re already interested in. So for example, when we decided to develop [a video where Kloss shows people how to pronounce the brand’s name] it’s really about answering the search demand that’s already there. How to pronounce the company’s name is the third-most popular search term that pops up when you search for the brand.
In what way is digital technology and social media contributing to the company’s global growth and sales figures?
We definitely don’t ascribe a specific value in terms of how much revenue we’re actually making as a result of a specific digital activation, because the role of digital is more to get into our core consumers’ consideration set. We see it as an integral part of communications, but we don’t count on digital purely for making sales, we see it as a brand building opportunity.
We’re in over 50 markets. The U.K. and U.S. is quite strong in digital, and generally markets where people shop online, we’re seeing constant growth.
Swarovski launched Snapchat yesterday, why? And what do you hope it will achieve?
We’re launching on Snapchat because it’s really popular with our core customers. It’s where people are spending their time, and it’s an opportunity to get in touch with them. It gives us a really unique opportunity to drop the pretense of a glossy print ad, and actually be very real and find a real connection with consumers.
What challenges does the company face in terms of digital and social media?
It’s always a challenge to make sure we have an integrated effort in terms of how we bring things together, because in the past you had above the line advertising separate from e-commerce, separate from PR, and with my role — it’s a newly created role in the company — which brings together digital, PR and events because the things are starting to merge.
We talk a lot about, ‘is e-commerce taking over brick and mortar? Is digital going to become the only way to communicate?’ at least at the moment, it’s all about the mix, so making sure if things start to shift, we’re agile enough to shift with it.