The common thinking is that luxury brands aren’t innovative compared to their mass cousins, but there are plenty of examples in the space of brands breaking ground on innovative technology experiences.
Technology has well and truly infiltrated the luxury industry, facilitating swift change and shifting consumer expectations. As a result, we’re seeing numerous luxury brands collaborating with tech giants to create new revenue streams and innovative offerings.
From creating multi-sensory experiences with Virtual Reality, to selling on social, brands are meshing together technology and craft to offer a universe of brand building possibilities.
Here we take a look at which brands are successfully using tech to flaunt their luxury credentials.
See it, Want it
We’re in the age of on-demand. The wave of digital transformation sweeping across all sectors allows companies to offer consumers exactly what they want, when they want it. The result? Increasing customer expectations and customisation – not only do people want things on demand, but they also want control over the process and the product. So the big question for luxury brands is a straight-forward one: how can you leverage technology to deliver what consumers want, when they want it?
Hugo Boss has come up with a solution by partnering with Uber for ‘Boss On Demand’ – a shopping experience that offers consumers an exclusive door-to-door service, with Hugo picking up the tab.
The exclusive service arranges for Uber drivers to pick up affluent customers and deliver them to in-store appointments, where they will have access to stylists and VIP treatment. Then, rather than having to lug their bags afterwards, UberRush delivers the shopping back to their homes, offices or hotel rooms. Boss On Demand will not only help the brand to drive sales and loyalty, but it’s also helping expand Uber’s offering beyond simply a taxi service for millennials.
Bulgari is also connecting the worlds of luxury and innovation to meet rising expectations. The Italian jeweller is dipping its toes into the consumer solutions sector, with the introduction of its BULGARI VAULT mobile application.
In collaboration with WISeKey, the world-leading Swiss eSecurity company, Bulgari has developed an app which provides secure storage for all kinds of personal data, including PINs, passwords, photos and more. The authorisation of BVLGARI VAULT features a cutting-edge combination of fingerprint, face recognition, dot pattern and password options.
With growing concerns from affluent consumers over the protection of personal data, particularly now that mobile payments are becoming the norm, the BULGARI VAULT comes as a welcome addition and put the brand at the forefront of innovation.
When it comes to luxury, creating an immersive brand experience is key. Global beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury has done just that, by creating a 360-degree VR experience to celebrate the launch of its debut fragrance, Scent of a Dream. The dazzling VR experience features the iconic supermodel, Kate Moss, and can be viewed on VR headsets including Samsung Gear or on Google Cardboard. Mobile and desktop users can access a bespoke version of the experience via the Facebook and YouTube apps. Fans of the brand can interact with the experience in store via bespoke Scent of a Dream VR pods, exclusively in Charlotte’s Beauty Boudoir in Covent Garden and Selfridges on Oxford Street.
Charlotte makes the viewers dreams become a reality, as they’re invited to be transported into outer space with Kate Moss as the celestial guide; soaring through wormholes and undulating universes of possibilities.
This is the latest element in an extensive global campaign, which also combines shoppable Snapchat opportunities, Facebook Canvas units and high impact page takeovers. As such, the efforts help to cement Charlotte Tilbury as one of the most technologically engaged in the beauty sector.
The WeChat Effect
While the luxury industry has seen the value of engaging with consumers on China’s booming mobile app WeChat, many brands still have much more potential to drive direct-to-consumer sales and encourage loyalty.
Dior recently stepped into social selling, by offering its followers the opportunity to directly purchase a limited number of its Lady Dior bag – becoming the first luxury brand to sell a high-end handbag via the app.
It certainly created an impact, with all bags selling out within the day, each selling for 28,000 yuan (£3,200).
Lady Dior bag on WeChat
It’s clear that brands who make the leap within the digital space will reap the rewards. Whether that’s by using the power of social, or building brand experiences through tech, the potential for game-changing collaborations is huge.