The Latest Digital: Burberry, Canali & Gareth Pugh


Sophie Doran | February 07, 2014

Canali mixes content and commerce on its new digital flagship, whilst Gareth Pugh leverages virtual reality technology to immerse consumers in his universe

Gareth Pugh and Inition Monolith Virtual Reality Installation at Selfridge’s

We often discuss consumer-facing digital launches, but it has been interesting to see more and more luxury brands leveraging new media, technology and devices to optimise internal communications and operations.

We have also noted a slowdown in social media campaigns, as luxury brands invest in further developing eCommerce experiences and brand-generated consumer content. But where luxury brands are having mixed results is in successfully leveraging mobile technology.

As the NYTimes recently noted, "luxury as a category [has been] obsessed with multimedia-rich sites built with Adobe Flash, which are not compatible on any of the iOS sites. To fix those problems, the majority of the brands had to relaunch or replatform, which took several years,” explained L2’s Colin Gilbert.

“ The global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014 ”

Indeed an L2 study of watch & jewellery brands concluded that 94% rely on unmodified desktop sites, instead of engineering software specifically for mobile devices. Fewer than half supported touch-and-swipe functionality and only one-sixth could discern and respond to landscape or portrait mode.

Yet many luxury timepiece brands have gone ahead and debuted mobile applications in the marketplace, to showcase craftsmanship or tell heritage stories and to locate boutiques. What they are lacking suggests L2 is the ability to make a purchase or have a concierge answer a question.

“The vast majority of the apps – over 90 percent of them – do not have either of those two essential features," explains Mr. Gilbert, "so they’re not promoting a path to purchase. They’re just promoting brand discovery in a very small fan club.”

The global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014, according eMarketer. These devices are fast becoming the place consumers look to first when they want information, and its time that luxury brands begin to deliver integrated mobile platforms to greet them.

Audi, App

The Sales Assist app is the first digital tool to launch from the Audi Progressive Retail Experience program, allowing employees to present product information to potential clients in innovative ways. The tool is an Apple iPad® application and uses pictures, videos and animations that are both informative and entertaining.

Other features allow customers and dealership personnel to compare the specs between Audi models and its competitors, configure an Audi vehicle based off a customer’s wants and needs, and view and search inventory on a dealer’s lot, among other functions.

Source: Audi

Burberry, Shoppable Runway

Burberry invited customers to shop its Fall/Winter 2014 menswear runway collection immediately after it debuted at London Fashion Week January 8. Items were available for purchase until January 22, and could be personalized since they have not yet been produced.

Source: L2 Think Tank

Canali, Website

Canali has launched its revamped Web site, offering content regarding Canali’s history and services, such as the Su Misura. The site also offers style tips and a magazine, L’Edizione, which explores the season’s trends and styles via lifestyle features, alongside the ability to book appointments within Canali stores.

Elisabetta Canali, group communications director, said “the aim of the new site is to present a unique offering to a global audience through a digital solution that blends innovative technology with tailored content, giving each individual the opportunity to find their perfect fit and experience the subtle pleasure of being unique.”

Source: WWD

Gareth Pugh, Virtual Experience

As part of Selfridge’s Festival of Imagination, Gareth Pugh worked with Inition to create a “multi-sensory experience” called Monolith, installed at the department store.

The visitor entered a soundproofed booth and completely covered their head with a pointy black helmet, which Pugh designed specifically for the installation based on costumes he created for the Royal Ballet.

Using an Oculus Rift virtual reality display embedded in the headpiece, the wearer is taken on a journey through monochromatic cityscapes, undulating walls and figures with silhouettes that are also similar to Pugh’s costumes.

3D Technology: Inition
Source: Dezeen

Net a Porter, Photo App

To celebrate the launch of Porter, Net-a-Porter’s debut print magazine, the online retailer has launched an application that allows consumers to place their photos onto a digital image of the publication’s cover.

The “I Am Porter” app is tied into a social media contest, where consumers can enter to win a shopping spree on the online retailer by posting their magazine cover for their followers.

Application: I Am Porter
Source: Luxury Daily

For more in the series of The Latest Digital, please see our most recent editions as follows:

- The Latest Digital: Mercedes Benz, Louis Vuitton & Harrods
- The Latest Digital: Audi, Gucci & Net-a-Porter
- The Latest Digital: Christie’s, Hermès & Salvatore Ferragamo