Should luxury brands engage with Black Friday? The case for ‘Quiet Black Friday’

Luxury brands tend to shy away from marketplaces, even the almighty Amazon, so suggesting they enter the online mayhem of a Black Friday event will surely raise some eyebrows, and rightly so.

We know many of the luxury brands do not entertain discounts or sales, it cheapens the brand, reduces the exclusivity, and essentially, markets the products to a different audience.

Evidence of search around Black Friday for luxury brands

In November 2022 alone, there were over 90,000 searches for “Louis Vuitton Black Friday”, with a whole host of other luxury brands receiving attention in search engines. 

While LV doesn’t engage directly in Black Friday, many multi-channel ‘luxury’ brands choose to enter into the mix. For example, Bloomingdales showcases heavy offers across a whole range of its brands. 

Are luxury shoppers using Amazon?

If we flip luxury on its head and look at brands through the eyes of the consumer, it gives us a different playing field.  

At Giant Leap, we understand the luxury audience demographics and appreciate there are different needs for different wealth brackets. However, luxury consumers of all wealth brackets use marketplaces – especially Amazon.  

The convenience, ease, and integration with wider services such as TV, make engaging in marketplaces a compelling part of the luxury online shopping experience. Indeed, a 2022 survey by Vogue Business and Amazon Ads found that 81% of luxury shoppers in the US have purchased a luxury item from Amazon.

Amazon’s presence in the luxury sector took a step forward in 2020 when, rather covertly, it launched its Luxury Stores platform; a marketplace for luxury fashion and accessories. 

Due to steps like this and its sheer size, we predict more and more luxury brands will get drawn into the Amazon web in the future. 

Could Amazon Luxury Stores and other marketplaces be relevant for premium brands?

Perhaps for lower value luxury goods Amazon could, or perhaps should be, something for brands to consider and test, albeit in an elevated and premium manner.

As we know, Louis Vuitton does not enter into Black Friday, nor has it had any sale in its history. This is to be expected. However, that doesn’t mean the online search intent isn’t there. 

Digging a little deeper into the demographic behind this search, we can identify that most people in this bracket wouldn’t normally be able to afford LV, so these searches can potentially be mopped up by the concession stores. 

But this leaves an open goal. Such buzz around Black Friday that could be capitalised on. Why leave all the fun to the concession stores? We know that luxury audiences are highly engaged over this period because Black Friday was born out of the Christmas shopping rush afterall.

So how could a luxury brand own Black Friday and potentially engage with the likes of Amazon?

What if luxury brands could engage with Black Friday on their own terms? This got the team at Giant Leap Digital thinking. If a true HNW+ luxury consumer brand was to partake in Black Friday, it would need to do some of the following:

  • Offer one off pieces, or low batch editions, focusing on exclusivity and uniqueness.
    Ensure the products were created especially for Black Friday, only being available during this period.
  • Bring back a ‘classic’ design or model for one day only (in limited volumes).
    Execute the marketing on their own terms and offer no discount. The word ‘sale’ should not enter the luxury dictionary!
  • Retain the values of the brand and use Black Friday as a platform to enhance them by offering additional exclusivity or membership access.
  • Begin building a ‘Quiet Black Friday’ audience of HNW and UHNW consumers who will look forward to Silent Black Friday (SBF) in the same way as Black Friday (BF).
  • Release virtual versions of their product or add ons in conjunction with the real life products to be used as a value add, not a discount (NFTs).

Could Quiet Black Friday work?

When we think about the HNW and UHNW audience, they value exclusivity, high-quality, and brand history. Quiet Black Friday could be a vessel to elevate those heartlands while retaining the integrity of the brand. And it would be  much easier to execute within the stringent brand guidelines we’re used to seeing for luxury brands.

Could Quiet Black Friday become a tradition? Could we see the luxury, covert, and exclusive younger brother of Black Friday take flight and engage the luxury consumers in a spot of online shopping in 2025? 

To find out more, get in touch to see how this can be done in an authentic manner for your brand.

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