luxury social networks

Geo-targeted campaign launches Stella McCartney fragrance L.I.L.Y via Aurasma

Isaac Mostovicz writes that making the customer part of the story is key to engaging with your consumers' emotions...

An article in Luxury Daily reveals that Stella McCartney has debuted its first fragrance in nearly ten years, L.I.L.Y, via a mobile application and partnership with retail department store Selfridges. Using augmented reality app Aurasma, consumers will be able to access content related to the new perfume – and Selfridges has also provided iPads instore for those shoppers that don’t have smartphones or iPads to access it. The department store will also have interactive windows featuring a film by British artist Dan Tobin Smith where shoppers will be able to “edit” the film themselves by moving around.

 

Image courtesy of Stock.XCHNG

The campaign is also geo-targeted – through the fragrance’s Facebook page, consumers can check in to Selfridges on Foursquare to win exclusive prizes and “like” the page to win free samples. Then, when these customers are actually in-store, they can use the app on their smartphones or the provided iPads to activate a 3D display of a behind-the-scenes video or a large animation of the L.I.L.Y bottle.

 

Aurasma technology appears to be the latest means of multichannel for luxury brands to connect with their consumers. Net-A-Porter used the app to promote its new Karl by Karl Lagerfeld collection, where consumers could interact with window displays in New York.

 

Emmet Shine, founder and president of Gin Lane Media, New York which created the campaign commented: “Real 360 degrees is being in the hands of a user anywhere at any time, in person, to online to a combination of both.”

 

Tapping into customers’ emotions by making them “part of the story” as with the brand interaction through store windows is key. I have argued previously that luxury marketers must focus on the human characteristics that drive consumers. By a simple characterization of consumers into two personality types – Theta and Lambda, marketers will better understand how consumers behave according to their values, unconscious motives, and desires.

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Social Networks Cater to Luxury Consumers

Isaac Mostovicz writes that an elite online community is emerging...

Social networking is no longer an egalitarian online space catering to all classes of society in the forms of Facebook and Twitter. With the growing popularity of exclusive social networking sites, luxury consumers can now network with others with whom they share similar interests, tastes, and connections.  A Small World (ASW) which calls itself “the world’s leading private online community”, targets “the world’s tastemakers”, or those that shape trends around the world, and currently has about 600,000 members. Membership to ASW is by invitation only which, in the words of ASW, “is part of what makes this network unique, and the connections authentic.” ASW hosts exclusive events around the world where its members can network, from retreats in St. Tropez to ski holidays in St. Mortiz.

Quintessentially, an international high-end concierge service, hosts another social and business networking platform called Qube, targeted towards those “concerned with the finer things in life.” Qube membership is also invitation only, and members can browse the network  “to find out what’s what and who’s who in the world of high society and international luxury.” In addition, networks like APrivateClub and Affluence.org are increasingly gaining popularity among those that wish to be a part of these exclusive and private online circles. One such network, The Native Society, even aims to attract a younger generation in tune to luxury as it caters to elite prep school alums who grew up in New York City.

Social networking sites targeted to luxury consumers would be particularly appealing to Thetas who enjoy being affiliated with an elite group and telling others they are a part of it. Lambdas can also enjoy these networks as they can provide them with new experiences and challenges as they have the chance to diversify their own lives and connect with others.

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The Top Consumer Trends of 2011

Isaac Mostovicz writes that as consumers become more online savvy, brands are getting much more personal and creative in their marketing ploys...

Today’s consumer is informed, active and independent. Whilst this may close many doors in traditional marketing strategies of the past, it also opens up huge creative potential for brands in the future. Trendwatching.com has compiled a list of the top eleven consumer trends for this year.

  1. Random acts of kindness: Consumers are far more sensitised to personalised, compassionate campaigns from brands that know what’s happening in consumers’ lives.
  2. Urbanomics: Urban populations are on the rise, and as consumers move from rural to urban areas their exposure to products and services changes, and their behaviour equally changes, particularly in emerging economies, becoming more daring, more liberal and more experienced.
  3. Pricing pandemonium: Continual online connectivity mean consumers look for deals on-the-go, leading brands to respond with pricing strategies like group buying (e.g. Groupon).
  4. Made for China: Western brands are increasingly eyeing up consumers in emerging markets, and adapting their products to meet the preferences of its new consumer groups.
  5. Online status symbols: Brands are recognising consumers’ activities online with virtual or real-world symbols to reflect their “wiredness”.
  6. Wellthy: Consumers are expecting products and services to improve their quality of life, with an emphasis on mobile healthcare applications, and sharing personal health issues amongst consumers.
  7. Social-lites: Consumers are building their own personal brands online, broadcasting their own views and news. Brands are hence providing platforms for consumers to talk about brands, integrate their social networks and create their own content.
  8. Emerging generosity: Philanthropy will play a large part in brands activities, including in emerging markets.
  9. Planned spontaneity: Sharing locations is leading to mass meetings up between consumers, and brands offering suggestions of where to head to.
  10. Eco-superior: As “green” and “eco-friendly” become saturated brand tools, “eco-superior” is the new buzzword within which the sustainability of a product is not just a verbal marketing tool, but integral to its design.
  11. Owner-less: Borrowing, sharing and renting is becoming a popular alternative to the responsibility, cost and commitment that come with owning products. Examples of brands getting involved include sharing cars, bikes, fashion and homes.
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C u on MySpace, Cartier!

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace haven’t traditionally been associated with luxury brands–largely because they’re mainly used by young people who aren’t able to afford expensive luxury goods. However, two complementary factors–increasing numbers of users with discretionary income on the sites and an increasing desire to ‘hook’ young people early on a brand–are changing some luxury brands’ online strategies. Case in point: Cartier. The company recently created a page on MySpace for its new ‘Love by Cartier’ collection. The page, more tastefully done than most user MySpace pages, shows audio, video and photos related to ‘Love by Cartier.’ As of this posting, the campaign has 3929 friends, including celebrities like Lou Reed and Sting.

I wonder about the value of these sorts of pages to the brand. From the IHT:

Ben Hourahine, futures editor at the London branch of the ad agency Leo Burnett, said the use of social networks was appropriate at a time when consumer attitudes about luxury were changing. In a recent survey of U.S. consumers by the agency, only 7 percent said they thought “luxury” meant being part of an exclusive club.

“Luxury brands in the past had this unattainable aspect to them,” he said. “Now they realize they need to connect and communicate with people.”

I’m skeptical because I’m not so sure the MySpace audience matches up well with the Cartier’s target audience. Given the quality of some of the interactions on the page (THX 4 THE FRIENDSHIP!! ALL THE BEST! GREETZ FROM HAMBURG, RALF), I wonder if the positive association these users gain with the brand is worth the tarnishing they’re giving the brand by being so, well, MySpace.

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