Podcasts have become our go-to source of information in this fast-paced age. Sure, visual mediums are still on the top list, but an audio-only format has been gaining so much popularity. Podcasts allow us to be entertained wherever we might be. Apparently, fashion brands have joined the wave. Luxury brands from Gucci, Hermes, to Barney’s have all launched their own podcasts.
Last year, Barneys New York debuted season one of “The Barneys Podcast,” a series of conversations between top Barneys employees. In 2017, Chanel debuted its “3.55” podcast, where they feature themed series like “Handbag Stories” and, most recently, “Chanel at the Oper.” Gucci followed this past May with “The Gucci Podcast,” with interviews with house creative director Alessandro Michele’s collaborators. And then in June, Maison Margiela launched “The Memory Of… with John Galliano,” a program that, like Gucci’s, gives listeners a deeper look into the inspirations behind their latest collections.
Some say that this is useful because brands are trying to provide an experience and develop relationships with their customers. However, the audience is also significantly different from that on Instagram. They are better educated and are more interested in fashion and culture, making them the very audience that luxury brands crave.
Despite these, some are still skeptical about fashion brands making podcasts. “I’m not sure major fashion houses know [why they’re getting into podcasting],” says Charles Beckwith, who launched “American Fashion Podcast”, a popular series that focuses on the business side of the industry. “I think these shows are going to ‘pod fade’ quickly. It’s not easy. It’s a difficult thing and I think people really underestimate being able to grow and then hold an audience.” Apparently, none of the podcasts I’ve mentioned aren’t listed in Apple Podcasts’ Top 200 rankings. The same is true on Stitcher, another popular platform for streaming podcasts.
This just suggests that fashion brands have a long way to go. Podcasts are a great tactic, but that won’t be the broadest reach tactic for fashion brands. Though the audiences may be small, they could prove an effective way to find and engage with super-fans, much like how brands work with influencers to form deep connections.