Under the shadow of COVID-19, many luxury brands are getting more proactive in operating their social media platforms, which used to be an complement to offline stores and fashion shows, as a demonstration of brands’ comprehensive branding capabilities and an important gesture to maintain the bond with consumers during the pandemic.
Prada is the most noteworthy brand as it has been consistently extending its core value. Instead of saying commercially that it is Prada’s strategic moves in response to the pandemic, it is better to regard this series of cultural activities as Prada’s move to establish a new dimension of the brand and adapt to consumers’ new luxury consumption orientation.
Focusing on business plus aiming at culture
Recently, Prada Mode, the contemporary cultural club of Prada, has returned to offline since January. In the historic mansion Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai, renowned Chinese film director and producer Jia Zhangke conceived and presented a cultural program named as “面MIÀN”, a project inspired by the director’s cinematic work.
In an interview with Luxe.Co, Jia Zhangke said: “Faced with the confinement and political changes brought about by the pandemic, we, as practitioners engaging in art works, should work hard, even with difficulty, to maintain contact with the world. Working with Prada this time is a case: under such difficult circumstances, a Chinese artist and an international brand made a joint art action. We still need to maintain such a close interaction, taking the initiative to establish human communication, cultural exchanges, and convey confidence.”
In April this year, Prada launched the #Possible Conversations project on Instagram, a program inviting representatives from the fashion, the art, the architecture and the film industries etc. to talk online. The theme of the first session is “Fashion in Times of Crisis”. In the following activities, Prada has launched a series of dialogues with the themes of “Future Women and a More Powerful Life” and “Community and the Power of Resistance”. 9 such events have been held as of today, and the series gained great exposure on Chinese social media platform Weibo, with a total of 7.89 million views.
Expression of humanity, feedback on business
Consumers speak highly of Prada’s social humanity engagement as a luxury brand. For example, in warm-up for the May 20 campaign, Prada balanced the needs of both business and humanity. Teamed up with Cai Xukun, brand ambassador and youth icon, Prada created a series of commercials with the theme of “Embracing the New Normal”, appealing to consumers to pay more attention to real-life communication under the pandemic and gaining more than 620 million views on Weibo.
From the business perspective, sales in Asia have rebounded sharply since June, according to Prada Group’s first-half 2020 financial figures released in July. The group’s sales in mainland China grew 60 per cent in June, and 66 per cent in July. Besides, Prada’s online sales also reported triple-digit growth during and after the confinement period of the pandemic.
In fact, Prada’s engagement in the humanity projects also complies with the context of the consumer goods industry as a whole. Facing the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on everyday social life, consumers are focusing more on brand’s initiatives on sustainability, environmental and social issues. Immersive interaction with consumers is the next key. It is the next step for Prada and the next step for the business industry to move forward.