An essential round-up of the latest digital launches by luxury brands, including Missoni, Lamborghini, Baume et Mercier, Gucci and Kiwi Collection.
Merely two months after announcing three million Facebook followers, Christopher Bailey penned another hand written message to Burberry?s online community, celebrating their four millionth fan. Despite Gucci originally beating Burberry to the punch, the Italian heritage brand fell somewhat short of this second milestone, further solidifying Burberry?s position as the undisputed king of digital media.
Timepiece brands are also realising the power of social media, turning more and more to Facebook, in multiple languages, to ensure clear communication across their growing fan-bases. Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver remarked: "People in emerging markets are much keener on social media than elsewhere which makes social networks a particularly interesting tool in these regions," one that Hublot will continue to explore as their following develops beyond 200,000. Whilst Baume et Mercier utilised the tool for it's Very Special Reporter campaign, effectively virtually casting for media representatives for the Salon de la Haute Horlogerie.
IWC have been producing WATCH magazine for over 20 years, a project initiated to produce a high quality publication, which communicated the depth of the IWC universe: culture, design, craft and technology and the art of making beautiful watches. Recently IWC pioneered the introduction of WATCH for the iPad, extending the magazine?s readership, integrating a deeper level of interactive content and connecting the traditional publication with IWC?s online social communities.
"We see mobile devices as another important customer touch point that will grow in significance over the coming years. We are already seeing a massive increase in the number of people that experience our brand via mobile technologies; it is logical that with the increase in mobile bandwidth and the introduction of devices that have standard browser technologies, our customers, who are highly mobile will seek to experience our brands on the move. The challenge, as with all these devices, is not the platform or technology but the demand for relevant high quality content. Fortunately at IWC we have a deep treasure trove of content waiting to be exposed," said Dominic Weir, Head of Consumer Marketing.
Louis Vuitton, iPhone
Louis Vuitton further enhances its ties with travel, with the Amble application for iPhone. The application has been developed as a mix of travel guide and digital travel diary, facilitating both travel advice and the ability to recorded personal experiences on the iPhone in audio, video, photo or note format. The Amble app works in conjunction with the fully devoted Amble website, allowing travellers to plan their trip on their computer or iPad and record the experience on their iPhone. Users of the app can also share their favourite spots and travelogues with their friends through Facebook, Twitter and email, as well as the functionality to submit travel experiences directly to Louis Vuitton for publishing on their official website.
Gucci added a comprehensive Foursquare portal to their already strong social presence, registering all Gucci retail locations worldwide, fans can now check in to global flagships and collect Gucci badges for stores, special events and parties. Foursquare users can compete for ?Mayor? status and share insider tips from Frida Giannini, Gucci?s creative director, who shares her favourite global hotspots in an exclusive series of city guides.
Swarovski?s Crystal Palace project is now in its eighth year, a project that aims to create signature interpretations of light and design using cut crystal, whilst celebrating and re-interpreting the chandelier. The project has produced several exhibitions, collaborations and even printed books, which Swarovski have used as the basis for their latest e-book for the iPad. The full version of the e-Book is available by purchase only, however the free application, available from iTunes, gives users a sample of the content and access to all functionality.
A playful application from Missoni, capitalising on their world-renowned patterned knits, their mobile application with ?Missonify? your pictures, transforming them with various photographic effects. This app follows the presentation of the Fall Winter 2010 collection for iPhone, which incorporated the lookbook, advertising campaign, news, fashion show and retail locations for the season.
Bally recently launched a new look website, further enhancing the e-commerce offering and providing a more visually driven experience for consumers. Whilst the primary focus is the online store, the site still includes information of physical store locations and a comprehensive Heritage portal, cataloguing their iconic advertising from the 1850?s until today. The news section is styled like a blog and contains details of collections, store openings and upcoming collaborations, with the all-important functionality to share and like on Facebook.
Baume et Mercier, Facebook
Baume et Mercier leveraged their Facebook community for the Very Special Reporters (VSR) campaign. In November 2010 CEO Alain Zimmermann invited Facebook fans to participate in the contest via Podcast, to attend the invite-only trade event SIHH (Salon de la Haute Horlogerie) and report on the event to the world. Reporter nominations were then posted on Facebook and decided by the community. The two winners were flown to Geneva for the event, where they met with Alain Zimmermann and Alexander Peraldi, Director of the Studio Design. As true reporters, they attended a press conference for the Chinese media and were trailed by cameramen, who then presented their coverage back on the Facebook page.
Kiwi Collection, Mobile
Premium hotel booking portal, Kiwi Collection, have developed a mobile enhanced site in collaboration with Mobify. The mobile enhanced site allows users to search hotels, check availability and even make bookings using m-commerce, offering the complete functionality of the master site on a Smartphone.
POST Matter, iPad
POST Matter is the first independent magazine developed exclusively for the iPad. With a focus on interactivity and touch, the magazine is self-described as ?liberated from the imposing heritage of print culture? that ?presents a truly multimedia, multi-sensory journey from the first frame to the mast?. The content covers fashion, art, architecture, cinema, music and culture, where even the advertisements are built for POST by POST, to become immersive, tactile experiences.
IWC also recently launched an impressive new website, leveraging the latest innovative web technologies including HTML5, to effortlessly integrate with social platforms and mobile devices and provide a visually stimulating and easily navigated showcase of their products, heritage and campaigns. The design sought to undertake the ?subtle, elegant aesthetic that serious collectors have always admired about IWC Schaffhausen watches? whilst ensuring maximised share-ability and functionality for users.
?Over the past few years we have witnessed a significant shift in the way people experience and interact with Luxury brands in the digital space. It?s no longer a one-way brand-to-customer communication, its a dialogue and interaction that spans multiple channels. The new IWC.com and other experiences we are crafting aim to promote deeper customer interaction and build strong connections within our communities? said Dominic Weir, Head of Consumer Marketing.
After the success of the printed ?100 Years of Rolex?, collector and connoisseur Guido Mondani Editore has adapted the content as an application for Application for iPhone and iPod Touch. The app includes all Rolex models, with relative detail sheets and estimates and allows the user to enter detailed descriptions of all models, view more than 500 high quality images, view updated prices, even for models produced this current year, add a watch or a reference to your favourites and discover how much your Rolex is worth with a click.
Lamborghini have released a virtual library of its collection, communicating current and former models through high definition photographs that have been digitally optimised for the iPad. There are multiple image modes and animated transitions for an enhanced user experience, a dynamic soundtrack featuring a range of classical compositions and all images can be saved to the user?s photo library and used as wallpaper, simply by pressing the front and top buttons of the iPad simultaneously.
Audemars Piguet, iPad & iPhone
Essentially an extension of AudemarsPiguet.com, the applications for iPad and iPhone enable users to discover a wealth of content by the timepiece maker. Including details of collections, latest brand news and videos of events, as well as technical animations. Users can also read Audacity.ch, the online magazine focusing on the Audemars Piguet lifestyle, innovations, limited editions, brand ambassadors and the manufacturing process and use augmented reality technology to virtually ?try on? AP products and share images with friends.