The ‘Kors’ of Action

A Social Media Audit of the brand Michael Kors

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In today’s post, I will be presenting some of the findings from my primary assessment of Michael Kors’ social media presence and the overall social media strategy deployed by the brand.

Michael Kors as we all know is a premium- bridge to luxury lifestyle brand with a jet-set look and feel that is a mélange of style, elegance and sport. The company was founded in New York City in 1981 by Michael Kors, a fashion designer of global repute who also serves as the Chairman of Michael Kors Holdings Limited to this day, while the organization continues to flourish under his leader. The company primarily has just two collections- Michael Kors Collection & MICHAEL Michael Kors Collection of which the Michael Kors collection is more luxurious and coveted while the MICHAEL Michael collection offers affordable luxury items. The brand’s complete product line includes clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, fragrances and beauty products for women and men, though the offerings are largely skewed towards women, making the men’s range short and limited in terms of line items.

Michael Kors as a brand maintains a customer centric approach in general which is also evident from their impeccable customer experience at any of the brand’s retail stores. However, the real question is ‘Does the brand’s customer centricity transcend into its social media experience’. In order to find the answer, I studied MK’s social media presence and listed my findings pertaining to the brands’ popularity, consumer engagement levels, quality of branded content, frequency of content posted and assessed the category’s competitive landscape.

MK’s Social Media Presence and Account types:

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  • Twitter
    • Global handle @Michaelkors
    • Local handle for japan only @MichaelKorsJP
    • No customer care handle available
    • Didn’t find any complaint tweets directed at the brand
  • Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat and Tumblr-
    • One global page/channel
    • No customer care page separately available
    • Brand doesn’t respond to complaints on social media at all

MK’s Branded Content Strategy and Content Quality Assessment

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Twitter

  • Catchy one line descriptions
  • Relevant #tags
  • Text posts, good quality visuals, Gifs and video posts
  • Retweet celebrities that tag them in their posts ex: Priyanka Chopra –CDFAA awards

 Facebook: Extremely creative and engaging video content

  • Intriguing carousal ads back linked to website
  • Picture collages
  • video content, gifs and boomerangs- funny interviews with Michael Kors, celebrity one on ones, season’s looks, tech speak, gifs, holiday destinations, runway show snippets,
  • All merchandise posts have a link to that particular product on the website
  • All posts are not identical with the ones on Instagram, though the theme is largely fashion oriented.
  • Facebook live feature though used, is largely underutilized

Instagram:

  • High quality images and videos of merchandise along with prices.
  • Inadequate use of #tags
  • No consumer reviews or experiences, just pushing merchandise at prospective buyers.
  • Don’t respond to negative feed back and complaints in time
  • Some posts are the same as Facebook along with the same captions
  • Instagram live and stories feature not used
  • Uses the paid ads feature

Pinterest:

  • 216K followers, 324K active pins.
  • Only Image content
  • Versatile content including- style trends, architecture, holiday destinations, picturesque locations, home décor items, candid captures, abstract shapes and things (bubbles, feathers, flowers etc. ) and designs inspired from each of these.

YouTube:

  • 59K subscribers
  • High quality video content
  • Themes: seasonal style trends , Kors commute (celeb interaction with Kors), product presentation, destination videos, Smartwatch and tech overview, CSR events snippets, runway show clips, Brand alliance videos ( Vogue, Mc Laren- Honda, Important days ( Mother’s day )

Snapchat:

  • Preview of runway looks, CDFAA and other award show looks.
  • New arrival snippets
  • Specialized Snapchat filters(Michael Kors sunglasses that could be superimposed on a user’s face, letting the shopper virtually try the glasses)
  • Tumblr:
  • High quality images, Gifs and boomerangs with relevant #tags and no text descriptions

Blogs: divided into 4 sections

  • Jetset- Subtabs with specialized blogs-Travel Diaries-Celebrities-Around the World
  • Michael’s Edit-Subtabs with specialized blogs- Trend Report- Michael’s must haves- Spotlight On (season’s essentials)
  • Runway- Runway shows- Look book- Ad campaigns (spring, Holiday, Resort & Fall)
  • Kors Cares- Initiatives In Corporate Social Responsibility

MK’s Social Media Engagement level across platforms:Mk9.png

  • Twitter- 3.5 million followers, average per post like- 110 likes a post and 50 retweets
  • Facebook- 16.8 million followers, 17 million page likes and engagement rate per week is 0.1%
  • Instagram- 10.2 million followers, 50,000 like per post on an average, 150 likes per post.
  • Pinterest- 216K followers, 34,431 pins , 100 pins per image on an average irrespective of outliers
  • YouTube-over 5,000 views on most videos
  • Tumblr- 70 notes on each post on an average

Post Frequency:

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  • Twitter- 3 tweets a day on an average
  • Facebook- once in two days. Inconsistent
  • Instagram- 1-2 posts a day on an average except for events, where they add multiple pictures from the event on the same day
  • Pinterest- doesn’t’t give the frequency of the post
  • YouTube- inconsistent- sometimes they post once a week, sometimes twice or more and sometimes they don’t post for weeks together.
  • Snapchat- no stories in the last 24 hours.
  • Tumblr- content last uploaded in August 2016
  • Blog – hard to list frequency for content under each section of the blog

Competitive landscape:

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Comparative study of MK’s top 3 competitors:

Ralph Lauren Donna Karan Calvin Klein
Twitter  2 m followers.Content very similar to Michael Kors with the exception that they portray golfers as part of the polo collection.Most of their content is Images, very few videos. Inconsistent content posting, gaps in months between posts. 565K m followers.Image heavy content. Fewer celebrities quoted.Images visibly different from Michael Kors. Consistent one post a day. 3.3 m followers.Mix of videos and image content. Black and white images for dramatic effect, behind the scenes and workshop posts. Celebrity heavy, equal priority to men and women’s looks. Most photos in indoor setting.
Facebook 8m followers.Mix of video and image content. Content very similar to Michael Kors. 1.7 m followers. Separate page for DKNY fragrances. Pushes the same content on twitter and Instagram. No innovation.Consistent one post a day. 12m followers. Pushes exact same content on twitter and Instagram. Images look great, but they’re all alike, no differentiation. No innovation. Inconsistent posts.
Instagram 3 separate pages – Ralph Lauren 6.2 m followers, Polo Ralph Lauren -1.7 m followers and Ralph Lauren home 113k followers. 2 posts a day on an average across channels.On the global page, content similar to Facebook, but differently timed. Content on the polo page is more holiday centric and sporty. 1.5m followers. Consistent one post a day. 9.4 m followers Content posts are inconsistent. No daily posts, varying gaps between posts from days to months.
Pinterest 12k followers, 4315 pins in all, very different from Michael Kors, they are more lifestyle oriented, carry customer images, store images, outdoor pics. Very diverse and unique. Clearly segregated boards as well. Men women and children’s looks included. Doesn’t have an official Pinterest account. 33K followers, 622 pins. Content similar to Facebook and Instagram. Mostly product display and celebrity endorsements, with occasional home decor items and fragrances.
YouTube 41K subscribers. Content posting is inconsistent though high quality. Content is divided into clear categories- collection, style, conversations, craftsmanship, sportsmanship, entertainment, fragrances and Home & Design. 1453 subscribers. Last posted content a year back. But the videos are amazingly engaging and classy. Mostly fashion shows and a few conversations with celebs. 85K subscribers.Last posted content a month ago.They post multiple videos on one day in a month and post the next set of videos in the next month.

I know, I know, this is too much information. So, I’m going to make it simple and tell you exactly what works for Michael Kors and what doesn’t. To begin with, MK’s social media presence is far more superior to its contemporaries. The brand enjoys higher fan following, popularity and consumer engagement as compared to its competitors. All the social media channels of MK work well together and send across the same vibe. And most of these platforms are adequately updated with great content. I must point out especially to the video content across channels for its diversity and uniqueness. The brand has an excellent capacity for churning out good content. The brand also boasts excellent fashion and technology integration through the smart watch feature.  The blog section on the website offers exceptional insights into the MK world, especially the Jet setter section which recommends holiday destinations matching with looks of the season . The glasses filter on Snap chat was also very innovative.

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Now for some critique, the branded content though high quality, is not very different from competitors. There is no clear point of differentiation. Apart from the logo itself, there aren’t any distinct brand colors or look and feel elements that the brand carries across its merchandize. The brand thus has become limited to the logo/brand mark itself, without which it is difficult to tell it apart from its contemporaries. Most brands in this category at some point or the other seek endorsements from common celebrities, which confuses the audience further ( Nicole Kidman, Priyanka Chopra etc.). Another major concern is the consistency of content posting across platforms which is irregular. Also, as far as customer focus is concerned, consumer reviews and experiences are underutilized across the category- features like Facebook and Instagram live/stories are underutilized. The brand also tries to push down or hide negative reviews from its feed instead of addressing them online.

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An important consumer insight that emerged from my study is that Consumers find MK’s designs repetitive and lacking in innovation, as a result of which instore sales have been plummeting for the last 7 quarters straight. Store visits continue to decline while consumers are switching to competing brands. As a result of which Michael Kors is looking at shutting down over a 100 stores to cut losses. Thus, my recommendation to the brand considering the current state of affairs would be- If the core product itself is unappealing, any amount of marketing done will prove useless. Thus, Michael Kors must take concrete steps in creating designs that are up with the times. It must also consider moving away from traditional black, grey, beige and brown hues and explore seasonal colors. That said, MK should also consider offering customization options to its users to keep them engaged and to establish a point of differentiation from its competitors

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