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Bethenny Frankel Offers Chanel Marketing Advice After Being Denied Entry To Its Chicago Store


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Former “Real Housewives” star and Skinnygirl Cocktails founder Bethenny Frankel has criticized Chanel for handling a recent incident at their Chicago store. Bethenny Frankel, who has 3.4 million Instagram followers, posted a viral video on May 22, detailing her experience of being denied entry to the store when she wasn’t dressed up. The video garnered over 201,000 likes and 20,000 comments.

The next day, Frankel returned to the store in classic Chanel attire—a tweed skirt suit and pearl headband—and was allowed entry. Her videos have sparked widespread discussion on social media, with many suggesting how Chanel should have handled the situation. This incident has become a significant talking point regarding Chanel’s marketing strategy.

Frankel believes Chanel’s marketing team made a mistake by not addressing the incident. “Their marketing people are cowering in the corner versus leaning in,” she told Ad Age. Bethenny Frankel’s response highlights a missed opportunity for Chanel to engage with its audience in a meaningful way.

Since leaving reality TV in 2019, Frankel has become an influential social media personality, securing brand deals with companies like L’Oréal. With a net worth estimated to be in the hundreds of millions, Frankel has emphasized the power of social media in shaping public perception and the importance of brands engaging with influencers authentically. Her Bethenny Frankel Instagram account is a testament to her influential status and reach.

Frankel advised brands to embrace humor and engage with their audiences rather than avoiding controversial situations. She suggested that Chanel could have turned the incident into a positive experience by being welcoming and offering a card to make an appointment. She also proposed a marketing strategy where Chanel could invite individuals who typically can’t afford luxury items, like teachers and nurses, to receive a gift bag. This approach could have softened the brand’s image and made it more accessible.

Frankel noted that her treatment at Chanel resonated with many people, especially those who experience similar exclusion regularly. She acknowledged comments on her posts pointing out that women of color and others often face such treatment. This highlights the broader implications of how luxury brands interact with diverse audiences.

Frankel also stressed the importance of understanding the distinct cultures of different social media platforms. “It’s a different world on Instagram than it is on YouTube, than it is on TikTok,” she said, highlighting the need for brands to authentically engage with each platform’s community. Chanel’s marketing strategy could benefit from a more nuanced approach to each social media platform.

Finally, Frankel compared the creator economy to reality TV, calling it a more genuine representation. She expressed her preference for the unfiltered, authentic interactions on social media over the polished image of modern reality TV. This authenticity, she believes, is why real influencers resonate more with audiences. As a prominent figure with a significant following, Bethenny Frankel’s insights offer valuable lessons for brands like Chanel navigating the complex landscape of modern marketing.

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