Back in January, Bottega Veneta has quietly disappeared from social media. The first to be taken down was the Instagram account, and the rest of the platforms where the brand had presence on followed. According to Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault, however, Bottega Veneta did not abandon the digital communication strategy. Nor has it left the social media space. It is simply beginning to use it differently.
Instead of pit-fighting for likes and views by posting content, the brand decided to keep its presence online by incorporating a modern twist on the oldest advertisement strategy – word of mouth. Instead of starting conversations, the designer brand relies on the influencers and their audiences to do the job. So far it has been effective, given the fact that even after Bottega Veneta left Instagram the users would not abandon it. The best indicator of the brand’s success on the platform without direct presence is that the users set up a fan account @newbottega that has collected over 500K followers and keeps on growing.
It’s not the first time Bottega Veneta incorporates the strategy of retreating for the sake of growth. The logo-less collection the luxury brand released during the pandemic has grown by 4.8 percent over the previous financial year and is forecasted to grow even further in 2021.
The decision of ditching social media was mostly influenced by the Creative Director Daniel Lee, who himself has no Instagram account. According to him, social media oversimplifies things – a lot of time goes into his job yet on the social network it appears no more difficult than few taps on the screen.
Having freed a lot of its creative team’s time by ditching social media, Bottega Veneta launched a digital magazine instead, called Issue.
The debut quarterly publication is an audiovisual feast and curated with a roster of luminaries including Barbara Hulanicki, Missy Elliott and Walter Pfeiffer. There is plenty of fashion editorial and catwalk footage, but also music, video and graphics.
“There is a mood of playground bullying on social media which I don’t really like,” Lee explained. “I wanted to do something joyful instead. We are not just a brand, we are a team of people who work together, and I don’t want to collude in an atmosphere that feels negative.”
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