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How Hermes’ $36 Billion Dollar Empire Stays Ahead in the Fashion Industry

Hermes is a classic luxury brand established in Paris, all the way back in 1837.

A 1923 ad of Hermes products
A 1923 ad of Hermes products

According to Forbes, the company is worth more than $36.4 billion. And last 2016, the brand’s revenue was an astounding $5.2 billion!

What makes it so successful?

1. High-end price ranges – the symbol of exclusivity

hermes-online-store
Image: hermes.com

For majority of the world’s population, owning a Hermes product is a pipe dream.

After all, not many have the luxury to splurge on $200 ties, $1,000 handbags, $400 scarves and $100 perfumes.

So, why is it so popular?

Interestingly, the fact that it’s exclusive is the secret to its appeal.

Hermes products are a status symbol. Since it’s attainable only for a few, consumers can wear Hermes ties or scarves and feel like they are worth millions of dollars.

2. Le MANifeste d’Hermès – created a revolutionary guide for men’s styling needs

hermes-manifeste
Image: manifeste.hermes.com

For the uninitiated, La Manifeste d’Hermes is a site created for men’s fashion needs.

Scan through the platform, and you’d find games, style trends and shopping spots.

Men can enjoy interactive games or pictures of runways, as well as browse through the brand’s different products.

For instance, to view the section 8 Products that Mix and Match, consumers are first directed to a simple game of matching pairs of tiles. Once they’ve finished the game, they can view the featured products.

In addition, if male consumers want to view Autumn-Winter trends, they are then directed to a page that shows Hermes’ runway shows and pictures taken on the catwalk or backstage.

3. Creates mystical exhibitions to showcase its iconic products

harmes-atmosphere-showcase
Image: BFA

Hermes’ events are defined by its mystique.

The brand creates immersive experiences that can make spectators feel that they are in alternate universe.

During its All About Women Event, the brand turned the its venue—the J.P. Morgan office—into an amazing carnival. Guests rode carousels and played horse racing games.

The event also featured a choreographed dance routine that aimed to highlight the brand’s bags. Additionally, guests witnessed a synchronized swimming number involving Hermes scarves and bathing suits.

But that’s not all.

Guests enjoyed free-flowing champagne at a “bangle bar”—imagine a bar shaped like two giant enamel bangles. The bartenders also served drinks while their arms were filled with colorful bangles.

4. Launches Thematic Advertising Campaigns

Image: fashionisers.com
Image: fashionisers.com

Campaigns of luxury brands are often based on one inspiration per season. Unlike these brands, Hermes follows a theme throughout the year. These themes are featured on the family’s museum and they fuel the theme for the brand’s campaign, collections and photoshoots.

Last 2016, the brand’s theme was Nature at Full Gallop. As its name suggests, these promotions were inspired by nature. For instance, the brand named its Fall/Winter 2016 campaign as “Grandeur Nature.” The campaign launched visually rich images starring Laetitia Catzeflis and Tim Schaap by photographer Yoshihiko Ueda.

What makes these themes a stroke of genius, is that it allows Hermes’ to establish a consistent creative direction. As a result, the brand can create collections, promotions and campaigns that fit with its desired message.

5. Developed apps to provide information on Hermes collections

hermes-silk-knots
Image: silkknots.hermes.com

Hermes leveraged the power of apps to promote its products.

Its app Silk Knots contained how-to guides designed to teach consumers how to tie Hermes’ scarves in 24 distinct ways.

Hermes launched another app called Tie Break for its male consumers. The app contained GIFs, comics, interesting facts and games that were related to the brand.

Apps are a great way to communicate branded content to consumers. By developing apps to promote its products, Hermes increases brand awareness, simultaneously boosting consumer interest towards the brand.

6. La Maison des Carrés Hermès: launched an online pop-up virtual store for its women’s silk collections

hermes-la-maison-des-carres
Image: lamaisondescarres.com

As early as 2001, Hermes launched an interactive website to highlight the brand’s intricate women’s silk scarf collection. The pop-up virtual store found in lamaisondescarres.com features an illustration of a mansion with different virtual rooms and visually rich imagery of the items inside each room.

According to Hermes’ Artistic Director Bali Barret, the site contains more than 600 silk squares, shawls, Twillys scarves and stoles. The patterns of these items are creatively laid out in the room dedicated to it, and it only takes three easy clicks to find the perfect scarf.

The site not only features the products, but also includes product tutorials, images of different colors available for the product and images of how it looks like on a model.

For instance, when consumers click on a scarf they are redirected to a product page that has a how-to video for how to tie the chosen scarf. They are also shown other available color combinations of the scarf.

By creating an innovative pop-up virtual store, Hermes demonstrates that to stay on top of the industry, marketers need to focus on creating immersive online shopping experiences.

7. Hermes Windows: uses iconic window displays to flaunt the brand’s dedication to craftsmanship and style

hermes-window-display
Image: trendland.com

Since 1977, Hermes has launched iconic window displays that feature its dedication to craftsmanship and style. These window displays are featured on Hermes stores globally and are proven to have helped the brand reach greater heights.

It’s easy to see why. The artistic give a strong first impression on the brand and its culture. Before customers enter the store, they are greeted by a larger-than-life platform, which provides an overview of what they can expect in a Hermes’ shopping experience.

Here’s a recap of the lessons from Hermes’ success:

  1. Exclusivity is key
  2. Create high-tech product guides
  3. Create immersive exhibitions
  4. Create products and campaigns that are consistent with a theme
  5. Develop apps to promote products
  6. Launch online pop-up stores focused on functionality
  7. Use window displays to form a strong first impression

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Read next: Fashion referral program examples

Monique Danao

Monique Danao is a writer and content creator with an expertise in marketing and SEO. When she's not writing, you'll find her enjoying funky food, listening to music and marketing startups.

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