... an exploration of mobile trends in luxury retail

Posts Tagged ‘mobile strategy’

Adopt a Lean Approach to Mobile Strategy

In mobile strategy on October 31, 2013 at 3:56 pm

(This article was originally published by MarketingProfs)

As mobile has become the primary interface via which human beings experience an increasingly digitally optimized world, brands are being forced to adapt at an accelerated rate of change to create and maintain competitive advantage.

Increasing pressures from the executive suite force tactical decisions. Siloed efforts in mobile across rogue business units create unmanageable assets and unnecessary support issues. User demands accelerate by the day, forcing organizations to adopt reactionary tactics counter to corporate directives.

All of this mobility disruption to pre-existing models has created significant digital friction. Existing models for defining strategy are highly complex, time consuming, and based on methodologies designed for addressing an audience of stationary targets. The mobile experience is often initiated by moving targets and is defined not only by the message and the medium but also by the context of the user experience.

As a result, the complexity and associated analysis paralysis involved with developing strategies lead to organizational confusion and indecision. In this age of mobility, brands are faced with the dilemma of how best to manage ever-increasing complexities and prioritize efforts that add measurable value to the user and provide immediate impact for the business. The question is, more often than not, a fundamental one: Where do we start?

Lean Strategy: An Alternative to Existing Strategic Thinking

Successful strategies for mobility require a significant overhaul in approach. Success relies on quickly identifying and prioritizing mobility investments to create alignment and foster continuous innovation.

Brands need to gain clarity for mobile efforts. They need to stop thinking about large projects or big releases and embrace a decision-making framework executed in a series of short, informed, prioritized, and iterative cycles. A focus on deconstructing complexities is required to improve manageability, increase flexibility, and accelerate informed decisions measured by value to the user, value to the business, and ability to execute.

Systematically and intelligently prioritizing all of the initiatives proposed within and across lines of business poses considerable challenges. To simplify the prioritization process, focus needs to be on the identification and rapid formulation of informed project activation plans designed to quickly address mobility efforts.

When evaluated through the lenses of value to the user audience, value in alignment with business objectives, and organizational ability to execute, ideas transform into opportunities that take shape as highly valuable, immediately executable initiatives prioritized and poised for activation.

Agile Strategy Drives Actionable Insights and Informed Planning

When executed effectively, this lean framework approach to strategy should focus on three distinct yet interrelated steps designed to provide an informed road map to achieve more immediate success: investigation, formulation, and activation.

  • Investigation begins with an understanding of current trends in the marketplace as well as the competitive landscape facing the organization. This analysis should be evaluated against an audit of the brand’s existing in-market mobile experiences. An understanding of user personas and their engagement journey, coupled with key stakeholders interviews within the organization, begins to form the key prioritization criteria of the value of a prospective effort to the user as well as its alignment with the objectives of the business.
  • Formulation involves exploration into existing current and future mobility efforts and harnessing market trends, mobile experiences audit, and competitive analysis to identify unconsidered opportunities. In addition, a high-level assessment of the organization’s level of mobile maturity from the perspectives of people, process, and technology forms the basis for an understanding of the organization’s ability to execute.
  • Activation combines all initiatives that have passed the litmus test of alignment with business strategy to be defined as opportunities. These opportunities should then be evaluated through the lenses of value to the user audience, value to the business, and organizational ability to execute to be assigned a prioritized ranking.

The prioritized opportunities deemed highest value form the basis for the lean activation plan, with the business case developed for the top initiatives, including cost and required resource models, technological dependencies, prospective ROI, and multi-phase road map for ongoing solution innovation.

Addressing the Need for Revised Strategic Models

Strategy is too often focused on technology, where the fascination with shiny objects often undermines the objectives of the organization. With mobility, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and the brand requires an understanding of the delicate balance between the art of possible and the art of pragmatism.

Adopting lean principles for strategy ensures that complexity, rigidity, and friction are replaced with simplicity, adaptability, and speed. Accelerating market demands can only be combated through accelerated road-mapping developed through actionable insights and informed planning.

Assuming the lead in driving innovation is the challenge ahead. Is your organization prepared for leadership?

Key Takeaways

  • Success relies on iteratively identifying and prioritizing mobility investments to create alignment and foster continuous innovation.
  • Embrace a lean strategy framework executed in a series of short, informed, prioritized and iterative cycles.
  • Adopting lean principles for strategy ensures that complexity, rigidity, and friction are replaced with simplicity, adaptability, and speed.


mobi.luxe Top Ten Posts for 2011

In digital luxury, luxury, luxury mobile, mobile 2.0 on December 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm


At long last, 2011 has been a year of reckoning for the mobile marketplace. We have all been witness to tremendous advancements in the field and anxiously look forward to 2012 and the continued innovations that the new year will undoubtedly bring.

When I first began this blog, the first piece I crafted was entitled “An Obsolescence Missive.” As I look back on 2011, I also look back at the words I wrote at this project’s inception and find that they have proven true:

The mobile revolution is upon us.  There, I’ve said it.  Analysts from such venerable firms as Morgan Stanley, Gartner, and Jupiter Research have all confirmed it.  The question is …”where do we go from here?”

It’s an interesting proposition to attempt to define and document some semblance of a manifesto or mission statement that accurately reflects the spirit of my venturing out into the blogosphere to tackle a subject like mobile and, in turn, it’s implications for luxury and “masstige” retail brands.  In such a rapidly-evolving and highly fragmented market, how can one in good conscience attempt to relay anything revolutionary while said revolution is taking form all around us?  The overarching point here being that as soon as this first post is published, another momentous step in this burgeoning space will have been taken and much of what is discussed here will be rendered obsolete.

Thank being said, I commit to any who take the time to listen to provide fresh insights into the effects (either positive or negative) of mobile on luxury retail.  That’s it … as simple as that.  Fresh and honest and, hopefully, somewhat insightful insomuch as one flying blind into a storm can provide a ray of knowledge.

With this in mind, I will push the Publish button and my missive of obsolescence will commence with its self-fulfilling prophecy.

My Best,

Scott Forshay aka mobi.luxe

October 11, 2010

In celebration of all those who have been so kind as to read the contents herein whose support and encouragement have provided immeasurable inspiration and kept this humble project going, I offer the following Top Ten Posts of 2011 as voted on by you. I thank you all for your support and promise to strive to provide innovative thinking and practical perspective as we enter 2012. I hope you enjoy.
Thank you to you all and I wish you a very happy, safe, and prosperous 2012.

the added mobile dimension in luxury print advertising

In digital luxury, luxury, luxury mobile on October 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm

This article was originally written for, and appeared in, Fashion’s Collective (www.fashionscollective.com)

The visual mystery, sensuality, and intrigue elicited through still image artistry provide the de facto two-dimensional canvas of choice for luxury brands.  The artistic vision of the Creative Director is meticulously staged and captured for the world to marvel at in the glossed pages of the style guides of our times.  Each year, luxury brand marketers invest enormous percentages of marketing budgets in print advertising. Vast libraries of visual content collect dust, as the artistry of each new season’s collection is re-envisioned, making way for the evolving stylistic viewpoint of the house.

This accelerated march to antiquity for such valuable assets represents tremendous sunk costs for brands.  If digital life could be breathed into these traditionally passive assets, print advertising could be resuscitated with added dimensionality, and provide additional layers of complexity and personality to the consumer experience.  The technologies required for this revitalization exist today and are in use by some of the most creative minds in digital fashion marketing.  The opportunities are significant, yet the proper application and execution of the technologies in ways on-brand for luxury adds a layer of complication.

QR Codes and the Luxury Brand Dilemma

In the infancy stages of mobile marketing, many luxury brands have successfully experimented with QR codes as actionable triggers to launch added dimensions of brand engagement with consumers.  However, the QR code represents a dilemma for luxury brands. A vast majority of labels are unwilling to risk altering the artistic impact of their print advertising by including the awkward appearance of tiny, futuristic-looking blocks.

While advances in the production of more aesthetically on-brand vanity QR codes are evident in recent campaigns from prestige brands like Ralph Lauren, luxury brands will continue to be slow to adopt. Because of the contrarian nature of QR codes and brand aesthetic, labels opt instead to pursue less creatively intrusive technologies represented by augmented reality and image recognition.

The Curious Case of Augmented Reality for Luxury Fashion

Certainly, augmented reality provides an intriguing new wrinkle of added dimensionality to 2D print, but the function is faced with its own set of significant challenges.  Early adopters of AR technologies in the luxury arena have been predominantly in the timepieces and fine jewelry sectors. However, fashion brands such as Dunhill have taken progressive approaches to the utilization of the technology to add layers to their print campaigns.

The very technologically progressive effort by Dunhill in support of The Voice campaign provides an excellent example of how the mobile medium can breathe digital life into traditional brand assets, allowing them to take on an entirely new and more engaging identity. The Voice campaign, which highlights distinguished men from varying walks of life who exhibit the refinement of the brand, provides an exceptional environment for enthusiasts to connect with Dunhill through their connected devices.

The one drawback to the initiative is the primary barrier to entry for many retailers experimenting with AR or image recognition technologies: there is no universal reader or standard for it.  This arena is highly fragmented and siloed by application platforms, requiring a certain app – in this case Aurasma – to be downloaded in order to view the video content behind the print.  Consumers must have the Aurasma app downloaded and open in order to view this otherwise flawless execution by Dunhill.  AR technology can be a valuable addition to the digital marketer’s arsenal, but, until standards are solidified and AR can be leveraged regardless of application, its immediate value may be hindered.

The mobile medium is uniquely suited to revitalizing traditional print for luxury brands and allowing the consumer to experience a three-dimensional engagement with them.  The ability to breathe digital life into traditionally passive assets opens numerous compelling interactive opportunities for brands and their legions of loyalists.

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