19 Dec The L Word: embracing the dual face of Digital
In our Luxury Redefined blog series, we are looking at the 4 Ds of luxury: four key themes that brands can leverage to meet the needs and aspirations of tomorrows’ consumers.
Rounding off the series, this week Consultant Alix Creed unpacks the complex world of DIGITAL (n.): the information and images that shape how your business appears online.
In the past, you could be forgiven for thinking that digital was the antithesis of luxury. While luxury was all about exclusivity and expense, digital is about making services and products available to all, all the time. Avoiding widespread digital accessibility was, for many brands, seen as an essential act of self-preservation. And while the mainstream market embraced change and possibility, by comparison, many luxury brands kept themselves cloistered at a safe distance.
But the ivory tower won’t be a comfortable option for long. A recent Bain study predicts that online channels will represent 25% of the luxury market value by 2025, with 100% of luxury shopping influenced by digital interactions. There aren’t many luxury brands who can afford to ignore those kind of statistics. Not only does digital offer the ability for brands to engage in storytelling, build presence and create powerful connections with consumers – it’s now an essential strategic decision.
By 2025, Millennials and Generation Z will account for 45% of the global personal luxury goods market. As we’ve explored throughout this blog series, this generation of luxury consumers is different. They have grown up online in the era of influencers and unlimited information. They have different values and motivations. They want brands with substance that allow them to express their individuality – and they expect to be able to connect with these brands digitally.
And while brand websites are important and help tell the brand’s story, they are not enough. Luxury needs to be present in the places where the New Connoisseurs live digitally. The most savvy brands know how to leverage social media to give customers just the right amount of access, inspiration, and constantly updated content that enables meaningful dialogue – without diluting what makes them desirable. For the customer, it feels like a behind-the-scenes peek into the world of their favourite brands. Instagram, with its emphasis on digital storytelling, is unsurprisingly highly attractive to luxury brands and consumers well-versed in the allure of visually appealing content. The data backs up its influence: luxury consumers spend more time on Instagram, consuming 5x more content than other users.
And it’s not just about communication: many luxury brands are also taking advantage of digital capabilities to help customers express their individuality by allowing them to design and personalise their products online. From creating their perfect pair of trainers to a bespoke holiday, customisation has never been easier.
Luxury brands leading the way in digital include:
- Dior, exploring new ways of purchasing: Christian Dior became the first luxury brand in China to leverage livestreaming on WeChat. In the hour-long session Dior Beauty’s Creative Director Peter Phillips offered make up tips and tutorials using their products and the ‘see now, buy now’ shopping feature allowed WeChat viewers to purchase directly from the session
- Sergio Rossi, helping customers express their individuality: Customers can personalise their desired heel, by choosing the colour, height, material and accessories
- Saks Fifth Avenue, personalising your digital experience: Saks Fifth Avenue now offers a Style Advisor service, with 170 digital advisors available through their app to provide product recommendations, answer styling questions and send customers new products that match their previous purchases or preferences
- Eison Triple Thread, using your taste in music to curate your wardrobe: the premium menswear label, known for its made to measure suits, will make personalized clothing recommendations based on customers Spotify choices. As founder Julian Eison says, “We’re telling them what their optimal wardrobe should be based on the music as the onboarding process. From there, we make general assumptions on patterns, colours and other things that would fit into their wardrobe and then we serve that to them”
- Chanel, taking you on its journey: Netflix is launching a Chanel Couture documentary this Friday (21st Dec) that promises to give viewers an insight into Karl Lagerfeld’s life, including preparations for Chanel’s Haute Couture Spring/Summer show, which will be presented raw and unedited
As online and offline worlds collide, luxury brands need to embrace the potential of digital, not shy away from its challenges. Is your brand doing enough to engage the New Connoisseurs of tomorrow?
For more inspiration on the future of luxury – including our insight on the New Connoisseur tribes of tomorrow – book in a complimentary 1-hour L Word session with the Mash team via the button below.
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