“Where is my order?”, “When are you going to send the bags?”, “Why didn’t I receive any confirmation email?”… and so on. This is the type of questions that are the most frequently asked in the comments of Jacquemus social media channels at the moment. Angry customers have reasons to feel deeply disappointed by the current behaviour of the brand since a few months. To dig deeper into Jacquemus scandal, let’s roll back to the origin of the Premium brand that aspire to become a luxury brand but the road will be quite long and bumpy towards it.
Jacquemus, a dream that became reality
Created by Simon Porte Jacquemus, it’s only since 2015 that the brand start its exponential growth.
At first, it was a dream for Simon. The french designer only had talent, creativity and strong ambition to make a name for himself on the premium and luxury market.
I personally love how he started his journey, it seems that the dream came true because of his hard work and true passion. He only started with very little means by doing really small exclusive collection by collaborating with Parisian seamstress to create made to measure garnement. But in 2015, when he won the LVMH prize, he was able to really grow his brand withe the financial support coming from a big corporation such as LVMH.
2015: Jacquemus exponential growth
The LVMH prize implies €300,000 and “a personalized assistance in the development of a fashion company from a specific team within the Group, over a period of twelve months“. That was especially what Simon Jacquemus needed at that time in order to play with the big players.
In my opinion, the LVMH prize is an amazing opportunity for young designers to elevate their brand to the next level, while it’s an occasion for LVMH to give back, do good and support emerging designer into a fashion industry that is quite competitive.
Marketing and influence magic: Jacquemus, the hottest brand for Millennials
As a millennial myself, I completely fall into the target market that Jacquemus is trying to attract. Luxury brand have been shifting gear since 2019 and even more during covid. Millennials who started their first jobs had big dreams (at least, I did!) and one of them was to access and treat myself with premium and luxurious item. Despite the “visual show off” that we are constantly living in, it was more a matter of achieving a dream for me than showing of my “success” by throwing money away.
On a social aspect of things as Millennials, we grew up with Instagram. Since 2012, it slightly became “a thing”, the place where you were showing the best version of yourself and especially your success. It surely didn’t evade the attention of luxury brands. They started strong influencer campaign over Instagram sending their last trending bag to famous influencer. Influencer change luxury bags like they change shirt, but let’s be honest, who can afford a luxury bag and a new luxury bag every month? That is when Premium brands entered the game.
With little money and lots on envy Millennials loved Jacquemus instantly. First of all it was brilliant marketing. The mini Chiquito bag where nothing could ever fit into it unless a coin and a tissus was a strong statement like luxury brand do: I am not selling you anything practical here, I am selling you an image, and you will become “that girl” by wearing that useless – but gorgeous – bag and you will pay a fortune for it.
I love how so many memes where made out of this bag. Ridiculous size but very strong brand statement:
But if you compare the cost of the Chiquito bag to other luxury or premium brands, it is became quite affordable. This is the recipe of Jacquemus success among the Millennials generation.
The “Panier Soleil” and the “Bob” have also been one of the biggest trend in 2020 and 2021.
Jacquemus economic model
A important point to take into account is that Jacquemus is a pure player. They don’t have any boutique around the world, even in Paris. They are physically sold through 3rd party retailers such as the Galleries Lafayettes but you can’t walk in a Jacquemus store, or at least, not yet!
On the corporate side of things, the brand is also using third party contributors to produce their bags. Meaning, they don’t handle the production at all, and so don’t have much choice about the supply chain process. From what I know, the items are shipped straight from Portugal where there manufacturing workshop is located. This inquire that Jacquemus do not have any quality control over items and do not review them before being sent over to customers and this is part of the recent Jacquemus scandal. Quite surprising for a premium luxury brand that aspire to play in the luxury brand field. I honestly think they are not quite ready yet. There is a big gap if you compare Chanel’s current brand strategy and Jacquemus’s one.
Too high to quick, how did the Jacquemus scandal happen?
Back in May 2022, the brand justify itself by having too many order in such a small amount of time. Would Jacquemus be a victim of its own marketing strategy? It seem that, even though the brand have big ambition, they still have a lot of work to do. Jacquemus scandal was caused mostly because people never received their order. And when you paid that much money for an online order, you expect a certain level of customer service. It is what luxury is all about: make you feel special, different. This is why you get a special treating when walking into a luxury boutique. But with this customer experience, you are more feeling like placing an order on SheIn.
Jacquemus customer service
After placing their order on the official Jacquemus website, customers didn’t even receive any confirmation email. Which is pretty basic when placing an order online. I feel it very reassuring knowing that you have an order number and that your order is being processed. Instead, Jacquemus’s customers didn’t hear anything from the brand from weeks and sometimes months whereas the payement went through instantly. That where most of the customer frustration is coming from.
More than having to wait a long time for their bag, customers were mostly desappointed by the no communication during this Jacquemus scandal. They have also found the latest post of Simon Porte Jacquemus quite frustration as you can see below:
Which I found particularly surprise is the “no answer” from the brand. Especially when Simon, as a CEO is posting a picture of his relaxing holidays in Mallorca while customers are turning hysterical.
During a crisis or a scandale the most important is to communicate and deal with the complain more than ignoring them which create even more animosity. Customers have feel acknowledge and listen to, especially when it come to luxury brand. As compared earlier, I think even Zara have a better customer service.
How did Jacquemus dealt with the scandal?
Something that could have been dealt within a few days is now dragging on for weeks. As you can see below, this is the only time the brand communicate to its customer through an Instagram post:
Assuming that all their customer based are on Instagram, we haven’t heard anything about it from the brand since. But that’s not it. Angry customers are really showing their frustration on Trustpilot leaving extremely bad reviews for the brand:
Will Jacquemus scandal leave scars for the futur?
The brand is probably learning a lesson right now and hopefully this won’t affect the futur of the brand. It is currently living a stain of the brand’s image during a very important time: the fashion week. During that time of the year more than ever, it’s all eyes on you. You have to be blameless. Even though the last Jacquemus last runaway was magnificent, the scandal took eyes away from the podium.
As more and more customer favor online shopping theses days for practical reasons, Jacquemus will have to make a serious effort on customer service and communication in order to reach the status of luxury brand. I don’t think this scandal will change the image of the brand as it has been supported by celebrities, influencers and LVMH since it start but it will surely make Jacquemus rethink it corporate core structure for the future.