Have you noticed something of a dearth of Bottega Veneta from your Instagram feed lately? No? That’s precisely the point the brand is trying to make, according to a new report from WWD. Bottega Veneta one of luxury fashion’s hottest labels right now, and last month the brand deleted their Instagram account and divested from social media entirely; it’s now clear that Bottega Veneta is employing the no-marketing marketing approach.
It’s an entirely conscious decision, explains Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault (Kering is Bottega’s parent company). “Regarding its digital communication strategy, it’s not disappearing from social networks,” he said. “It’s merely using them differently.” Bottega is now so keenly aware of its own cachet that it can position itself above the fray. By eliminating competition for likes and eyeballs, the brand is relying on marketing by word of mouth, or more accurately, carefully rendered photos of its leather Cassette bags on influencers’ coffee tables.
Indeed, Bottega Veneta is banking on its fanbase to do the advertising heavy lifting for them. “Bottega has decided, in line with its positioning,” Pinault continued, “to lean much more on its ambassadors and fans by giving them the material they need to talk about the brand through various social networks, by letting them speak for the brand rather than doing it itself.” After all, why employ social media strategists when Reese and Molly Blutsein can reach more potential consumers, and look exceedingly cool while doing it?
The invisibility method isn’t new. Plenty of brands use social sparsity to their advantage: Zara, Trader Joe’s, Rolls-Royce. You’ve never seen a commercial for Sriracha, yet you likely have a bottle of it in your fridge — its ubiquity is a given, so it doesn’t need to risk overexposure; it just exists as a thing in the world, a being in its own league that doesn’t play by the rules.
Bottega, of course, is a luxury brand. It doesn’t have the kind of retail presence as a $4 bottle of hot sauce, but its rarity is its genius. Only fashion folks in the know will discuss the brand, only the most palatable-yet-idiosyncratic influencers understand creative director Daniel Lee’s aesthetic enough to make it seem accessible. You have to be cool to know about Bottega and even cooler to actually wear it — not to mention moneyed enough to purchase its wares.
It appears to be working. Since Bottega signed off from Instagram, Pinault said their decision has been “pretty convincing in terms of Bottega Veneta’s visibility, and we are monitoring it quite precisely.” Bottega may have disappeared from your feed, but just look a little harder — the chatter, the hashtags, and the dusky influencer selfies are all they need to secure your dollars.