21 Oct Chic Influence: Interview with Luxury Columnist Suze Renner
Luxury brands occupy a unique niche in the marketplace, and reaching their ideal target audience increasingly involves working with key social influencers. As both a luxury lifestyle influencer and an industry insider, we figured that the Luxury Columnist (real name Suze Renner) was the perfect person to ask about this dynamic and how high-end brands can make waves in the social media sphere. Read on to learn all you need to know…
Luxury Branded: Thanks for speaking with us, Suze! Could you please let our readers know a bit about yourself and what you do?
Suze Renner: I’m Suze Renner, aka the Luxury Columnist. I’m a specialist in luxury with a mission to help others discover the highest quality brands and experiences. Having worked as an event manager for many years, I have an eye for the little details that make a difference. I’ve travelled to 39 countries in my quest to seek out the best of the best.
Luxury Branded: Among other things, you’re a luxury blogger. Any advice for brands pitching to influencers in this space? Any pet peeves you have when getting requests from luxury brands?
Suze Renner: Brands should familiarize themselves with influencers and personalize their pitch. It’s important to tell them precisely what you like about their website and how you hope to work together. Considering the time and effort that goes into writing, brands cannot expect someone to write about them for the love of their product alone. There are so many ways to engage with influencers: affiliate links, direct advertising, sponsored posts or running a contest.
Luxury Branded: Based on your experiences working with luxury brands through online PR, what’s the most effective way to garner a lot of attention in this day and age of rapid social media?
Suze Renner: In the short term, contests are an effective way of getting people to talk about your brand. In the long term, personalizing the product and storytelling are key. Brands are now catering not just to existing clients but also to aspirational customers who may not make a purchase for several years. Burberry was at the forefront of this trend with its Art of the Trench campaign. Users posted a photo of themselves wearing their trench coat on a micro-site. This boosted engagement and a sense of ownership, and the brand’s e-commerce increased by 50 percent.
Luxury Branded: I’m personally finding luxury brands are now flocking to Instagram over Pinterest. Are you seeing the same thing, or am I crazy?
Suze Renner: Up to a point – both Instagram and Pinterest have pros and cons. Instagram is king for luxury brands; it has the highest year-on-year growth for mobile apps, and three times the level of engagement. This makes it ideal for increasing brand recall and product awareness. In Asia, business owners are now creating online stores with product information and contact details. Pinterest is useful if you want to drive sales, boost average order value and conduct client research. The good news is that both platforms are considered to be positive networks by users, as interactions are generally aspirational and mood-lifting.
Luxury Branded: What’s a brand you’ve enjoyed working with in the past, and why?
Suze Renner: I really enjoyed working with Fortnum and Mason, they’re internationally renowned with a long history. They have successfully built on this and modernized their approach. I also found Belmond excellent to work with – they are the luxury hotel, train and river cruise group. I put together a feature on the journey via their iconic British Pullman train to Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the Michelin starred restaurant. Their staff are so proud to work for them, and their enthusiasm is contagious.
Luxury Branded: Have any future plans for work, clients or travel that you’d like to share?
Suze Renner: Yes, I’m planning to develop Best of British and Best of International Design spotlights on the website. I’ll also be working closely with agencies and luxury hotels on affiliate hotel marketing, so expect to see lots more travel features.
Luxury Branded: Where can people contact you online, see your work and get to know more?
Suze Renner: I’d love to stay in touch!
My Website: LuxuryColumnist.com
My Facebook Page: facebook.com/LuxuryColumnist
My Instagram: LuxuryColumnist
My Pinterest Page: LuxuryColumnist
My Twitter Profile: @LuxuryColumnist
My Bloglovin Page: bloglovin.com/LuxuryColumnist