Luxury Fashion risks: Social, product, and sustainability challenges

Resolver
October 24, 2023 · READ

While most luxury goods makers understand that today’s online informational environment is a global and a 24/7/365 undertaking, creating and managing healthy environments for customers and brands can be complex.

In particular, while providing luxury fashion brands unfettered access to an interconnected and global consumer audience, embracing digital communication platforms has significantly increased their operational and reputational risk.

To better understand the most significant digital threats facing luxury fashion brands in today’s bitterly contested online informational environment, our team analyzed a dataset of over 649,000 comments across a network of 17 luxury fashion brand accounts between January and June 2023, and flagged 177,000 of these posts — 27% of user content — as harmful. These harmful posts broke down into six primary categories of risk: Social issues, product or service complaints, corporate governance, environment and sustainability, reputation, and supplier issues. Of the 177,000 posts, three categories account for the vast majority:

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Fashion and social issues

The denizens of social media platforms are not shy about which issues they do and do not want luxury brands to speak out on. Playing defense across this fractal landscape of attack surfaces is a task most brands never foresaw when they embraced social media to promote their new collections.

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Customer feedback

Widening the communications channel with customers allows for customers to air their grievances to companies. Moreover, social media managers are not trained to detect instances of online manipulation such as astroturfing, cross-platform operations, and coordinated inauthentic behavior, and thus may only realize what they are dealing with once it is too late.

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Sustainability, greenwashing, and managing public perception

Sustainability is another potential minefield for brands that must back up their words with legitimate action. Attempting to influence public perception courts its risks, as young consumers have never been quicker to boycott if they feel their brands are deceiving them.

Conclusion

The early identification of risk signals embedded in online discourse is key to limiting the damage they can do to a brand, ensuring relationships with influencers and celebrities remain healthy, and ensuring investments in new product lines are not jeopardized. If brands are unaware of how their messaging is being received, and even more importantly, what people are saying to one another about them, nipping these issues in the bud is all but impossible.

While these issues are too large and complex to be reasonably handled by individual humans, humans armed with sophisticated monitoring technologies and expertise in handling risk, powered by cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning, can make a world of difference.

Learn more about the severity of digital threats facing luxury fashion brands and how partnering with Resolver can help brands minimize the disruption caused by these risks and ensure they are always the first to know and the first to act in the full Couture in Crisis Report.

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