Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Luxury Brands in the Digital Space: from Laggards to Leaders

On the whole luxury brands have been slow at adopting digital media. It was felt that the exclusive in-store experience which goes a long way to justify the price tag just wasn't a match for the online world in which these exclusive brands would have less control over their brand and overall customer experience.

Yet today's announcement of Burberry's social media chief Musa Tariq's move to Nike is yet another piece of evidence pointing to the emerging leadership of luxury brands in experiential digital marketing. 

Louis Vuitton's current interactive 'Beyond the Limits' campaign invites you to explore the hidden underwater worlds lead by Michael Phelps ( This immersive, emotional experience has no direct link with clothing, instead reinforcing the position of Louis Vuitton brand as an aspirational, other-worldly dream.

Burberry too has pushed its customer experience to a new level with multimedia platforms such as Tweetwalk (where Twitter followers could see backstage snaps of outfits before the models hit the catwalk) as well as 3D live streaming of its fashion shows in Autunm/Winter 2010 shows.

These luxury brands are using digital media to create evocative, memorable experiences which are in line with their core brand offer and other categories have much to learn from this. 'Digital' is the current buzz-word in marketing, but is mainly used to refer to functional features such as media reach, click-throughs and growing your number of subscribers and followers. Luxury brands remind us of the vast potential of digital for building an emotional connection with the customer through providing meaningful, unique experiences.

Yet as multi-media becomes widely accepted in luxury sphere, it will be interesting to see which brands shall hold back. I suspect that in not-too-distant future it will be differentiating not to have a digital presence.  

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