From Gucci’s collaboration with gaming platforms to Balenciaga stepping into the metaverse–here’s a look at the top tech trends dictating luxury brands right now.
Over the past two years, luxury brands have had to develop high-performance products that align with the increasingly digitalized world. Today, the unique value proposition (UVP) of luxury brands is defined by the users’ experience, which focuses on three core areas: driving engagement through exclusive technologies, creating personalized experiences and providing assistance during every part of the checkout process. Balancing customization and digitization has been no easy feat. However, some brands have succeeded in doing so with eye-catching technology.
The Burberry Social Retail Store
In 2020, luxury brand Burberry announced the launch of its social retail store in Shenzhen, China. The senior Vice President at Tencent, the largest gaming company in the world, Davis Lin, called this launch a “starting point for a new era of innovation”. Burberry collaborated with Tencent to build a WeChat mini-app which customers can use in the store. Through it, shoppers can unlock discounts and new avatars, scan QR codes of outfits to get details, book automated trial rooms and even access an exclusive menu in the indoor café. Shoppers win rewards and enjoy an experience designed exclusively for them. Burberry CEO, Marco Gobbetti, aptly remarked that this new form of social retail marks a shift in “how we engage with our customers”.
Louis Vuitton’s Adventures of Zoooom with Friends
The renowned fashion company has been making the most of augmented reality (AR) when showcasing its brand identity and products. For instance, for their annual traveling showcase titled “Adventures of Zoooom with Friends”, the director, late Virgin Abloh, came up with AR “Zooooms” to travel the world virtually. Zooooms were vibrant animated characters that represented diversity and positivity. Visitors would enter the showcase location and use their QR codes to interact with the characters via their phone screens. For instance, in Paris, where Louis Vuitton’s (LV) flagship store is, people switched on their cameras via the LV app and witnessed the characters climb out of the building and perform songs on top of it. For luxury brands, creating experiences during a pandemic is no easy feat. Designers have found that the best way to do so is by working with technology.
Gucci’s Limited Edition Accessories on Gaming Platforms
According to a Gartner report, the typical gamer spends approximately seven hours a week gaming. Luxury fashion house Gucci recognizes that and uses this engagement with games to its benefit. From collaborating with gaming platforms to sell virtual fashion to launching a game that allows customers to design their own shoes and own them virtually—Gucci is making the most of the shoppers’ increasing online presence. Gucci even forayed into the metaverse recently by setting up the Gucci Villa on Zepeto, a social media app. Gucci’s Executive Vice-President of brand and customer engagement, Robert Triefus, feels that gaming and fashion blend perfectly as “games today have a strong correlation with the idea of expressing yourself”.
Balenciaga’s Foray Into the Metaverse
In 2020, Balenciaga launched its Fall collection through a video game and even collaborated with gaming platform Fortnite to create exclusive fits for gamers’ avatars. Now, keeping in step with the latest tech developments, the brand has announced that it is developing a dedicated business that will focus on marketing and commerce through the metaverse. The brand told Fashion Network, “Balenciaga has already been present in the metaverse for a year, mostly through incursions into gaming. Now, we are introducing an entire separate unit dedicated to this business.” On the explosion of tech in the luxury industry, Chief Executive, Cédric Charbit, noted, “Right now, the climax of interaction with a luxury brand is that you click like, or comment or buy something. I think we can get to [the] next level.”
Prada’s Artificial Intelligence Experience for Shoppers
In 2019, Italian luxury fashion house Prada announced that it would enhance its customer experience using artificial intelligence (AI). Together with Adobe, the company resolved to improve the quality of its content. The Head of Marketing and Communication, Lorenzo Bertelli, shared, “Thanks to Adobe Sensei, combined with the professionalism of the team dedicated to this activity, we will reach the goal to improve relations with our consumers and offer solutions that are increasingly personalized and in line with their needs.” In addition to that, the brand is working with LV and Cartier to build a blockchain solution that would help shoppers ascertain the authenticity of their products and avoid buying counterfeit items.
To truly set yourself apart as a luxury startup, keeping up with the latest technology is crucial. Safe to say, you can count on these brands for inspiration.