... an exploration of mobile trends in luxury retail

Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

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.

pop-up mobile for luxury retail v2:beyond the velvet rope

In digital luxury, luxury mobile, pop-up mobile on October 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Whether we as Luxury retail marketers choose to acknowledge it or not, we are in the midst of a revolution in retail and will be soon forced to assimilate or risk relevancy extinction.  Although this may, on the surface, seem entirely counter to essence of the Luxury brand as an exclusive entity, Luxury marketers must step outside the perceived “velvet rope,” where status and means dictate who may come to us, and engage our influentials where they live – outside the boutique.

This revolution I speak of has been quietly gaining momentum since the advent of smartphone technology.  A revolution given impetus by shoppers’ access to previously unprecedented amounts of instantaneous information, social sharing, opinion insights, and real-time engagement on their own terms.  Like it or not, we are in the midst of a 180 degree transition in the retail paradigm – from a traditional Business to Consumer (B2C) model to a Consumer to Business (C2B) model.  The question is not how to combat this revolution but, rather, how we can use it to our strategic advantage.  Luxury retail can choose not to adapt and evolve at its own peril.

Enough with the impending doom and gloom.  How do Luxury retailers step outside the “velvet rope” and add intrigue and uniqueness to the Luxury shopper experience while maintaining exclusivity and the veil of mystery that fuels shoppers desire to seek out our brand experience?

On October 14th, PSFK showcased an excellent example of a branded campaign that stepped outside the velvet rope to engage consumers on their own turf and did so, in my opinion, very successfully.  The campaign was ideated and delivered by BLT & Associates for HBO in coordination with the launch of their new program “Boardwalk Empire.”  From PSFK’s overview of this element of the launch campaign:

During the weeks leading up to the September 23rd premiere of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, the cable network and BLT & Associates took a rather standard form of media – bus shelters, and employed QR codes to turn it into a more interactive form of media, with the end goal of generating curiosity and excitement for the show. The billboards were shaped like a large whiskey bottle, and embedded with a QR code which, when read by a cellphone, offered directions and password for users to gain entry to  a secret “speakeasy” event, where the first drink was on the house.

This campaign initiative perfectly illustrates both what I term the creation of a brand-aligned “mobile moment” as well as the effective execution of “journeying beyond the velvet rope.”  The objectives, however, remain how to ensure that this type of message is not only seen by the “right” type of audience (most likely as easily solved by effective placement in desired geographies) and how to deliver an experience that remains aligned with the core values of the brand.  Would a Luxury brand’s ultimate engagement objective be to drive consumers of the media to an undercover speakeasy for a cocktail?  More than likely not, unless the brand in question is, for example, Moet Hennessey, but the core tenets of such a campaign form the framework for a Luxury retailer’s opportunity to engage in a lifestyle marketing event with the “right” audience to create a unique and exclusive event.  Hence, journeying beyond the velvet rope draws the desired audience back inside it.

In Fashion Collective’s October 19th post entitled “Creating a Vantage Point for Customers Online through Lifestyle Marketing,” Elizabeth Schofield eloquently describes the value of a revised marketing focus gaining adoption momentum among Luxury brands towards lifestyle marketing as such:

Lifestyle marketing has become increasingly popular as brands work to associate themselves with a way of life customers aspire to. In doing so, brands become purveyors of the tastes, styles, activities, etc. that compliment their identities and product offerings.

Much like concept stores, brands who take a lifestyle approach seek to create a perspective or viewpoint, a lens from which the customer can interpret and perceive the collection and how it applies to their own lives.

For lifestyle marketing, it’s important for brands to recognize that, while it certainly helps to set a brand identity, associations with external brands or categories should be meaningful. After all, if you are a ready-to-wear brand, customers don’t expect to receive information on upcoming concerts, gallery openings, etc. While these can be value-adds for customers, brands should understand that the majority of customers might not access the brand for this type of content regularly.

Rather, customers can be enticed through both the brand and the product, and the stories behind each of these. Having lifestyle content that is a natural extension of the brand not only makes sense, but it makes for an interesting experience.

By that accurate definition, the HBO case study analyzed here, although targeted at a slightly different audience, is an excellent example of a media brand journeying beyond their four walls to engage media consumers where they live.  Mobile technologies present a uniquely compelling engagement medium to accomplish this objective and, given the very personal nature of the device, coupled with the medium always being within a consumer’s reach, the experience rendered by the brand fits the equation of delivering a Luxury branded experience – luxury + utility + effective “storybuilding” = brand loyalty.

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