Not too long ago, the luxury sector was widely and publicly derided for being a laggard in the adoption of digital media and innovation. Those days are all but forgotten, as references for best digital practices have been emerging from the luxury sector through noteworthy initiatives by luxury houses like Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Boucheron, Tiffany & Co and a host of others. A look at the vast array of information on the frequently updated online digital luxury magazine Web & Luxe is enough to confirm this. Luxe Corp has also recognized this “influx” of luxury in the digital space and demonstrated its commitment to reinforcing the dialogue between the luxury and technology sectors at the most recent Club e-Luxe Breakfast Seminar held on Thursday 12th January 2012 at the Ritz Hotel Paris.
Focusing on “Enhancing the Luxury e-Reputation & e-Business” through key aspects of digital media including motion picture, multi-media, gaming media, mobile media, social media, customization media, tablet media and others, the event brought valuable insight to the latest innovations in relation to luxury.
Following its tradition “à la lettre”, the renowned Club e-Luxe Breakfast Seminar gathered some of the brightest minds and most radical innovators and digital visionaries to share their knowledge and innovations with an audience comprising of the most forward-thinking luxury brands. Led by Luxe Corp’s team of Luxury Business Analysts & Strategists, these leaders of innovation took the audience on a virtual journey through what can only be described as astute presentations and illuminating DEMOs.
Luxe Corp’s Uché Okonkwo introduced the event by giving a glimpse into what to expect from the presentations, DEMOs and debates; as well as Club e-Luxe’s traditional “Spotlights” and “Highlights”, when participants are spolit with highly-priced digital giveaways. Following this, the ultra-sensitive topic of Counterfeiting Luxury was addressed. Luxe Corp revealed that the internet has become the No.1 source of luxury counterfeit products; and showed that the internet could also be the No.1 channel for the fight against counterfeit luxury products. Luxury brands were challenged to be creative in sending the message of their stance against counterfeiting products through branded digital content.
Tre Azam, the CEO of Myndplay then introduced the power of interactive story telling through an innovation that marries digital technology with neuro-analysis. He surprised the audience by showing how a digital device could enable people control the actions in a movie through their thoughts. He revealed that using motion pictures and movies to tell the luxury brand story shouldn’t be a simple exercise of script, styling and action but should rather have engaging, entertaining and interactive dimensions that make the consumer part of the action. Tre took the audience through an exciting live DEMO in which a member of the audience volunteered to wear the Myndplay Brain Band which allows a two-way interaction between an ongoing movie and the viewer using EEG and Bluetooth. The volunteer participant was then able to participate in the movie through actions that included opening cans of drinks and chasing thieves down a street, simply by focusing and thinking. The audience was speechless in awe during this magical moment. If one word could describe this Presentation and DEMO it would be “awesome”.
Emmanuel Ducros, the CEO of Arscénique, the experts of interactive media and audio-visuals then took the stage and took the audience further into the world of virtual reality. He presented three technologies that enhance the luxury brand experience both virtually and physically. He showed touch-free gesture controlled displays that enable the public interact with interactive content on enhanced surfaces including store windows. The audience was able to watch video clips of people virtually tweaking and enlarging pre-recorded video clips by simply moving their hands, legs and bodies.
He also showed touch-free 3D depth gesture controlled displays which provide images and interactive content in 3D formats and allow people literally “go into” the content and become part of it. His inspiring live DEMOs, which were in the form of two custom-built multi-touch displays showed everything from how interactive content could turn simply transform into “engaging” and “entertaining content” as well as how consumers can be part of the process of brand experience. They included an interactive floor that reacts to gesture and touch, a multi-touch interactive table and a touch free display on a store window available 24hours 7 days a week so that consumers can interact with the brand even when the store is closed!
Emanuel Ducros emphasized that consumers recall brand messages and carry these messages forward in higher numbers following exposure to interactive marketing. He also demonstrated that interactive media contributes significantly to a higher probability of purchase as well as brand affiliation.
Malka Klutmann, Artistic Director of the renowned French fine jewellery brand Jaubalet then took the audience through the innovative concept of e-Customization of high jewellery, introduced by Jaubalet, which has changed the rules of fine jewellery design and retail forever. With digital media at the core of its strategy and offering, Jaubalet successfully built a luxury brand with a solid positioning and an enviable customer service platform, without any physical stores. Malks’s presentation and DEMO broke the perception that fine jewellery pieces are “sacred objects that may only be sold through sacred physical stores”. Her presentation included a live DEMO of the digital customization process of the brand on its website. This was followed by a Conversation around the success factors and challenges of the concept, where the intrigued audience was able to ask her related questions.
Daniel Robles of Hootsuite made the next presentation on how to manage the luxury e-reputation in the context of social media and interactive media communications. The current reality is that nearly all luxury brands have official presence on mainstream social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube; but at the same time nearly the same number of luxury brands has no control of their online reputation. Daniel showed the audience how to monitor online conversations in order to best optimize both the brand’s visibility and reputation across social channels. Using Hootsuite’s unique social media monitor platform, Daniel showed the audience how to ensure that the chatter of social media doesn’t drown out the brand’s own story. He led the audience through a live DEMO that focused on control, measurement and security of the luxury e-reputation, through tracking and extracting the mass of data related to a brand and their competitors online. The DEMO also showed how brands may use engagement techniques to recruit key influencers and drive positive social ROI.
Graeme Harvey, the CEO of Huzutech then took the stage in an engaging presentation and DEMO on how to integrate the world of gaming in the digital luxury communications and experiences. He showed the value of Huzutech, which is a platform that enables luxury brands to build customized social games. Graeme revealed that there are more than 1 billion registered accounts on numerous virtual worlds and indicated that 2011 was the best year for social gaming to date. With social gaming expected to grow at more than 30% in 2012, it is time for luxury brands to pay attention to this digital domain. He showed several DEMOs of online games that indicate the key features and impact of different types of virtual world online games; and also answered the all-important question of whether luxury brands should be part of existing social games or create their own games. The audience was also encouraged to use the principles of social gaming to formulate more interactive branded content where the consumers will not only be entertained but will also be involved.
The final presentation was a Roundtable Discussion on the topic of “The Next Frontiers of Social media, Multi-media, Digital media and Gaming media in Luxury”. All the Speakers were invited to share their vision of how they foresee the near-term evolution of digital media in general and in particular in luxury. They first heighted that in digital terms, the future is calculated on the basis of months and not years, due to the rapid pace of evolution of technology.
The speakers also unanimously agreed that the convergence of technologies is inevitable in the future and that digital integration will be a byword for the future. This highly interactive session also featured a Q&A session with members of the audience; as well as an analysis of the future of technology based on this inspiring video by Corning.
Following the series of illuminating presentations and DEMOs by inspiring speakers, Luxe Corp took the audience into its traditional Spotlights and Highlights which featured four Raffle Draws in which 4 lucky participants won highly priced products from HP and Parrot.
In addition each participant received a Gift Bag containing luxury products from Luxe Corp’s Living Emotions series and an innovative digital gadget offered to all participants by Metronic.
The next Club e-Luxe event will be the Club e-Luxe International Summit to be held on 6th June 2012 at the Ritz Hotel, Paris and will focus on the theme of E-commerce, F-commerce and M-commerce. The event will gather digital experts to share the latest innovations and technologies with luxury brands as well as offer insight and solutions for the most challenging related issues facing the industry.