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Should luxury brands leave social networks?
Per favore, ruota il dispositivo

Should luxury brands leave social networks?

D&G: from gaffe to goodbye

Luxury brands don’t have it easy. Some time ago, the Dolce&Gabbana brand made a really bad gaffe in China. I talked about it in this article, trying to understand how the two designers didn’t notice in time the disaster they were pulling over their heads.

After the apologies (endlessly parodied right on socials), we hadn’t had any more news about D&G. Until, a few weeks ago, Stefano Gabbana announced that the new collection would only be launched in printed magazines, cutting out socials and influencers.

Dolce e Gabbana leave social network

In an increasingly globalized world, expressing our uniqueness has become more and more important.

Explaining our identity in this way is only possible through printed paper: by flipping through the pages of a newspaper, one by one, the point of view of each photographer can be clearly recognized at a glance

Instinctively, it seemed an act of spite (even a bit childish). A few days later, however, this interview with Seth Godin came out.

Does Seth Godin agree with D&G?

Seth Godin, marketing guru, the purple cow guru, clearly says that “brands have to get off the social carousel, which goes faster and faster but leads nowhere”. In a nutshell, brands are playing by social rules (which are algorithms) and in this way they are losing meaning: they chase the masses and lose sight of niches.

The coincidence struck me: maybe the two designers are right? Is it true that luxury brands cannot enslave themselves to the whims of social platforms?

seth godin marketing

Less social, but for the right reasons

I think the truth is in the middle. The theme of uniqueness is certainly relevant for luxury brands, and there is no doubt that the algorithmic search of an audience leads to conformism. I talked about it commenting on the trend that fashion logos are becoming all the same and how digital is threatening to flatten the luxury world.

The algorithms provide us with optimal median solutions, but for this very reason they are similar for everyone. It is the same mechanism by which everyone on Instagram ends up posting sunsets, feet on the sand and ice cream in front of the lens. When brands do it, though, it’s a big problem.

instagram new logo

So Stefano Gabbana said something right: socials can’t guide the positioning of a brand. They can’t become its engine. If a brand becomes a wind vane, it does not go far. A brand – especially in luxury – should have the courage not to listen to the sirens of algorithms but instead to strengthen its identity, at the cost of losing a few numbers. The most memorable works and brands have always been born from courage and a bit of madness, not from fulfilling a list of criteria. Certainly not from the daily and somewhat toxic research of a (non) paying audience applause.

But what a brand can’t hope to do, coming out of the socials, is to avoid criticism, like the violent ones that hit D&G: even if our communication is born without looking at the socials and maybe it doesn’t exploit them for promotion, it will end up there anyway. Someone will record it, film it, share it. And in any case it will be analyzed, fragmented, parodied, remixed, or, at best, mythologized.

The rules are now these: we create original, brave and memorable brands. Then we put them into play.

Matteo Sublimio Founder & Creative Director

Matteo Modica
Founder & Creative Director

A tireless purveyor of quality, Matteo manages every branding and communication project down to the details, leading creative teams to always express their best.


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