Luxury retail experience: The taste of luxury
It was the picture of a mega bonsai-like ‘fur tree’ hanging from the ceiling of Fendi’s pop-up store that caught my full attention recently. The art installation featuring Fendi’s signature fur balls created by Azuma Makoto (the same guy who launched flowers and bonsai into the space) has certainly made quite an impression to those shoppers and passers-by, marking the brand’s SS2016 collection: ‘Flowerland’.
As far as offline brand experience is concerned, such extravagant exhibition provides customers with a point of unique interaction. With regard to Fendi, the collaboration not only helped attract and promote their new collection. It has also offered a sort of experience which otherwise is rare to be found online.
While digital has dominated the way we shop, it hasn’t outweighed the merit of in-person and first-hand brand experience. So how do luxury brands go about to meet such expectations?
Givenchy perfume had a cocktail makeover
Not so long ago, Givenchy designed an experience that was even more ‘sensory’ than Fendi’s. To celebrate its L’atelier collection of perfumes, the brand teamed up with Cafe Royal and created unique cocktails that reflected the ingredients of each fragrance.
‘From the fashion studios to the perfumers’ lab and then on to the mixologist’s bar, from exquisite fabrics to precious ingredients, the quintessence of the Givenchy style is conveyed by seven special fragrances and mirrored by cocktails created by our award winning team.’
But what about digital?
Millennials seek everything to be easily shared online. From enormous fur tree to fragrance cocktails, everything they experience in person needs to be quickly and easily shared on social media. For luxury brands of all kind, it is critical to create digital touch points where digitally-savvy customers can share their branded experiences right after they relish the moment. And of course, Burberry exemplifies exceptionally well why and how technology is the key to lure customers in bricks and mortar stores.
Step inside their pop-up beauty shop in Covent Garden, and you’ll find how technology is seamlessly incorporated into every corner of space. When I say technology, it doesn’t simply mean the installation of iPads here and there for customers to play with. As an early adopter of multichannel marketing strategy (such as the notable ‘The Art of the Trench’), the store is bolstered by innovations such as ‘a Digital Runway Nail Bar which offers customers the chance to try shades virtually by using a radio-frequency identification-enabled platform to match their skin tone to a colour’.
(Burberry’s flagship store in London, via)
And needless to say, their flagship store is the pioneers in immersive digital retail experience. It was very much like stepping into a theatre, where customers couldn’t help but engage all their five senses. Leveraging on the concept of web user experience design, the store’s intuitive navigation effortlessly guides customers through the shopping process.
But Burberry is not the only one trying to make the digital breakthrough. Dior is one of the handful numbers of fashion labels to roll out immersive retail experiences using its own virtual reality headset called Dior Eyes which invites the viewers to the behind-the-scenes of its runway shows.
‘Social media-friendly vibes’ as the key driver
Speaking of digitally immersive and shareable experiences, Marc Jacob embarked on a bold experiment – that no brand had ever thought of – with its bestselling fragrance, ‘Daisy’ during New York Fashion Week back in 2014.
‘‘Your money is no good here,’’ told Marc Jacobs at the Daisy Marc Jacobs Pop-Up Tweet shop in Soho. A customer’s social currency was the only legitimate payment method to purchase anything in-store. In other words, the more active you’re on social media using #MJDaisyChain (whether it’s Twitter or Instagram), the more likely you’ll leave the store with MJ’s exclusive products. Customers were offered with freebies, while the most creative posts won prizes like sunglasses and handbags. With its highly social-media-friendly space made up of Daisy-themed artwork and a photobooth and (though needless to say) free Wifi, the pop-up shop earned over 13,500 Twitter mentions and over 4,300 Instagram mentions within 2 days.
Finally, speaking of the out-of-this-world experience, do you remember Chanel’s eccentric fashion show back in 2014? Yap, the “Chanel Shopping Center” was undoubtedly the most profoundly different luxury experience for the viewers.