Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

Examining Christian Louboutins’ Red-Hot Marketing Strategy

One of the interesting ways to create an interesting product is to zig where everybody zags.

Apple did this with the white iPod and earphones, when most devices were either black or grey.

Christian Louboutin did the same thing when he introduced his red-bottomed heels. Most people never bothered to care about the underside of a pair of heels – they’re the part that gets dirty. But attention to detail is what makes Louboutins so noteworthy and remarkable.

In his first year of business, Louboutin sold 200 pairs of shoes. In 2012, he sold 700,000.

How did he get to such scale and influence?

1. The celebrity factor – winning over all the style icons makes you very fashionable

celebrity-louboutins
Do a Google image search for “celebrity louboutins” for a massive list of high-profile Louboutin fans.

Celebrities tend to be fashion influencers, and Louboutin benefits tremendously from the organic word-of-mouth that spreads from their love of his brand. There are many lists you can check out.

Jennifer Lopez even released an entire song about them.

jennifer-lopez-louboutins

Read next: 24+ Examples Of Marketing Through Influencers

2. Collaborations with popular culture – getting to be the maker of THE Cinderella shoe

louboutin-cinderella-sketch
Art by Christian Louboutin

In 2012, Christian Louboutin was commissioned by Disney to create a modern-day Cinderella-inspired pair of slippers limited to just 20 pieces, to commemorate the release of the Cinderella: Diamond Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Read next: Better together – 9 examples of marketing collaboration

3. Crossing mediums with an iPhone app – Louboutinize

louboutin-iphone-app

Launched in 2012, the Louboutinize app lets its users find stores, make wishlists, check out brand videos and seasonal collections, and learn about the history of the Louboutin products.

4. Selling related products once the brand has been established

louboutin-nail-polish

Getting into related goods is a bit of a challenging task. You want to make sure that your new products strengthen your brand, and not dilute it.

The famous Louboutin heels with the red bottom were inspired by an assistant’s nail polish – so it makes perfect sense for the brand to move into selling nail polish as well.

5. Posting quality content on Instagram

louboutin-instagram-page

Louboutin has over 9.4 million followers on its highly-curated brand account, @louboutinworld. Christian Louboutin actually won Footwear News’ Marketer of The Year in 2015 for the success of the #LouboutinWorld social media campaign.

Recap:

  1. Win over celebrities and influencers
  2. Collaborate with relevant players in the market
  3. Experiment with new mediums and channels
  4. Create related products in adjacent markets
  5. Post quality content on Instagram

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Read next: Chanel’s marketing strategy

Visakan Veerasamy

Visa is ReferralCandy's Blog Editor. He also co-founded Statement.sg, a fashion ecommerce label selling witty t-shirts. He's been thrice named a Top Writer on Quora. He hopes to enjoy a glass of whiskey onboard a commercial space flight someday.

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