Pinterest: A Scrapbook of Luxury Brands

Pinterest Gets a Fan Following in The Luxury World

Pinterest is quickly becoming the latest buzz word on the interest. This picture posting website even has celebrities like Reese Witherspoon hooked to it.  And it is easy to see why. The website is addictive with innumerable pictures of everything from women’s apparels to arts and crafts that will make you go aaaww for ‘n’ number of hours. Though sites such as Tumblr and Flickr already have picture sharing service, Pinterest is probably gaining more popularity as it is much easier to do it here. One can re-post pictures from anywhere on the internet on their Virtual Pinboard for all your followers to see. There is no need to download the pictures and upload them again. It is like having a virtual scrapbook of all things you love. With 11 million weekly views in December last year and a 4000 percent growth rate, it was only time before fashion brands decided to use this platform to leverage their products. Plus, the invite-only feature for signing up has helped it maintain an air of exclusivity, adding to its charm among rich users.

How Pinterest Works for Luxury Brands

It has become almost an imperative in luxury retail to increase their consumer base with the burgeoning trend of digital marketing.  But will this website actually help these brands to increase their revenues? The most obvious case for the affirmative is the sheer traffic that Pinterest is witnessing. It is a visual based website, and having a visual presence will definitely arouse some interest. You see something you like, you more often than not want to have it. Simple human psychology. But it is going to take much more than human psychology to get cash registers ringing. Some people are saying that Pinterest does not have the kind of data structuring required to enable seamless e-Commerce. Even ebay started out with random product listings, but after its business grew, it had to go back and structure it properly in order to make it more user-friendly and hence drive significant purchasing.

But apparently, Pinterest does not even have sufficient data on the pictures to undertake that kind of organizing.  What it needs to do is to connect the pictures to the product catalogue so that viewers can actually buy what they like. Net-a-Porter is one website that has quite successfully organized specific brands and trends, and made them available to its users. But I think Pinterest is in a league of its own. While with most networking sites, the presence of brands makes people feel like they are paid advertisement, which lets face it, they are. But the trend on Pinterest is to stay away from such promotions. Atleast for now, the website has maintained its innocent charm of genuine recommendations. That is something, which sets it apart from the other websites and actually ends up giving it more credibility.

While some might argue that if brands are going to take the time to showcase their products on any website they would expect that promotion to directly push up sales. But what they are forgetting is that the word of mouth can actually be more powerful than spending millions on ‘in your face’ kind of advertising. Right now companies are content with using this incredible platform for creating brand awareness, which in my opinion is enough for now. The pinned pictures usually have enough information for viewers to find out the brand in question and make a purchase on their websites if they have liked what they saw.

Luxury stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom are the early birds who have caught hold of this tool to build visual presence of the brands housed by them. Nordstrom has created Pinboards with headings like Top Trends – 70s, holiday sparkle, coats etc to list brands and their items. Bergdorf Goodman has also created lookbooks with interesting titles such as “I never forget” or “I have a weakness for” to catch the eye of their customers. To make things easy, these retailers link the images to their internet stores. Among fashion brands, Burberry (one of the pioneers in digital marketing), Oscar de la Renta, and Katespade among others have already joined.

Pinterest has a very clear demographic- women under 45. And anyone in marketing would agree that this group is the most crucial one when it comes to making purchasing decisions. You get their attention, your sales are bound to go up. But how do brands use Pinterest to get them interested? Land’s End used the ‘contest idea’. They held a contest called “Pin It To Win It” where the contestants were asked to browse through their website and make a pinboard consisting of all the products they liked. The most creative pinboards won prizes. Since the demographic here is more filtered as compared to other social networking websites, it can be used for focussed market research.

 

 How to Join Pinterest

A brand can join the website by either filling a form on their homepage or by receiving a Pinterest invite from some who is already a member. Follwing this they will get an email invite, which will them open their doors to this magical world through thei Facebook or Twitter accounts. The brand can then select a category, of which there are many, like art, women’s apparel, photography, and then Pinterest will suggest accounts that might be of interest. One then has to install the “pin it” button onto a Web browser by dragging the pin it icon from the page to its bookmarks toolbar. One can now create their pinboards with headings of their choice, and voila! You have your very own digital scrapbook.

Why we all Love Pinterest

The best part about Pinterest is that it gives you access to the collective experiences of people. There is only so much that one can look up on the internet. And one drawback about Google-ing is that you need to have atleast a basic idea of what you are looking for in order to browse. But here you get to discover so many different things on a single platform, and that sense of discovery gives you a high like no other. With its ability to help you find unique and interesting new ideas for everything from birthday parties to home decor, its popularity will definitely increase. All hail Pinterest!

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