On January 8, TikTok user Zoe Gabriel (@zoetaco) posted a clip of herself excitedly unboxing a black Charles & Keith tote – which she described as her “first luxury bag” – attracting some 20 million views, and a swift wave of snide comments deriding her fashion sensibilities.
But after the 17-year-old opened up about how her family’s finances meant the bag was a decidedly luxurious purchase, in a teary response video, she received an outpouring of support from many netizens who urged the fashion brand to sponsor more bags for Zoe.
Charles & Keith was quick to respond: from praising Zoe’s “grace and humility” and noting the brand’s “humble beginnings”, to inviting Zoe and her dad to visit their headquarters to lunch with one of their founders (which she posted about on Instagram on January 12) and gifting her with “products and vouchers”.
But what has been the impact of Zoe’s viral videos and the brand’s actions on consumer perceptions towards it?
Latest data from YouGov BrandIndex shows that Charles & Keith’s brand health metrics have risen significantly since Zoe’s initial TikTok video, where she described the local fashion retailer as a luxury brand.
In terms of media and communication metrics, net Buzz scores (which measure whether consumers have heard more positive or negative things about a brand in the past two weeks) soared by 19.7 points: from 7.9 on January 8 to 27.6 by January 16.
Meanwhile, the brand’s WOM Exposure (which track the percentage of consumers who are talking about a brand in the past two weeks) also rose by 12.3 points – from 8.4 on January 8 to 20.7 by January 16 – indicating that consumers were not just reading about the incident but also talking about it.
Both metrics started on a sharp upward trend after January 12, when news of Zoe’s tour of Charles & Keith’s headquarters broke.
In terms of consumer perception metrics, Charles & Keith’s net Impression scores (which measure whether more consumers have a positive or negative impression of a brand) gained 13 points: from 8.2 on January 8 to 21.2 by January 16.
Meanwhile, its Consideration scores (which track the percentage of Singapore residents who would consider buying from the brand when they are next in the market for a fashion product) increased by 8.3 points – from 11.5 on January 8 to 19.8 by January 16 – indicating that more consumers are interested in shopping for Charles & Keith products following the incident.
Both metrics also started on a sharp upward trend after January 12, although there was a slight dip in Consideration scores between January 15 and 16.
As media attention continues to grow – with Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister mentioning the incident at a policy forum – and with plans by Charles & Keith to do more with Zoe in the works, will Charles & Keith’s remarkable ascent continue even more strongly in the coming weeks – or peter out? YouGov BrandIndex’s daily tracking of the brand will allow interested parties to see just how much – and how soon.
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Methodology: YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. Buzz scores are based on the following question: “Over the past two weeks, which of the following brands have you heard something Positive/Negative about (whether in the news, through advertising, or talking to friends and family)?" (Net score). WOM Exposure scores are based on the following question: “Which of the following brands have you talked about with friends and family in the past two weeks (whether in person, online or through social media)?” (% yes). Impression scores are based on the following question: “Overall, of which of the following brands do you have a positive/negative impression?” (Net score). Consideration scores are based on the following question: "Which of the following brands would you consider buying from, the next time you are purchasing fashion retail?" (% yes). Figures are based on a 1-week moving average. Learn more about BrandIndex.