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Top 10 luxury brand digital marketers of Q1

April 3, 2013


Fashion marketers dominated digital during the first quarter of the year to push content and lifestyle, while automotive and travel brands followed close behind.

Digital marketers seemed to focus on branding during the first quarter of 2013 so that the growing number of consumers who flock to the medium to browse, be entertained and make purchases got a better experience. The most effective marketers on the digital channel upped their lifestyle quotient or created deeper connections with consumers.

Here are the top 10 luxury brand digital marketers of the first quarter of 2013, in alphabetical order:

Brian Atwood – Footwear label Brian Atwood gave 50 consumers access to exclusive content on a section of its Web site called The Vault.

The brand encouraged consumers to sign-up for its email newsletter for the chance to gain access to the members-only area of the brand’s Web site where consumers can shop exclusive shoes and accessories, view the X-rated version of the fall 2012 campaign and browse Mr. Atwood’s personal photographs.

Brian Atwood decided to give access to The Vault after hearing interest from brand enthusiasts.

The platform was created to immerse female consumers in the designer’s world through an experience consisting of exclusive product and content, per the brand.

Burberry – British fashion house Burberry added personalization along with mobile and digital touch points to push its autumn/winter 2013 collection.

Burberry began promoting the new Smart Personalization technology right before its autumn/winter 2013 fashion show in London.

The technology unlocks immersive video footage that retraces the creation journey of products through original sketches, runway edits and craftsmanship and personalization images.

Customers can unlock these videos through contact with a mobile device.

In addition, customers can choose to trigger videos on large-scale mirrors at the London flagship store on Regent Street.

Chanel – French fashion house Chanel released the third and fourth chapters of Inside Chanel, a microsite where the label showcases the people and events that shaped the brand, during the first quarter.

The label touts the history of its jewelry collections via chapter three titled “Chanel and the Diamond” that tells the story of how Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel revolutionized the world of high jewelry when she introduced the “Bijoux de Diamants” diamond collection.

Later on, Chanel released “The Jacket” to flaunt the timeless quality of its iconic jacket and outline the item’s history from 1954 to present day.

The video portrays how the label has stuck to the original design by Ms. Chanel with variations of the jacket spanning collections since 1954.

Chloé – French fashion house Chloé showcased its limited-edition 60th anniversary collection in a series of eight mini films that released consecutively during the first quarter.

The label honored the past design direction of founder Gaby Aghion, Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, Hannah Macgibbon and Clare Waight Keller through a collection of 16 reissued pieces that are depicted in the videos.

The 60th anniversary series celebrates the designers who have contributed to the label since its formation in 1952.

The collection and mini film series release on the heels of the “Chloé. Attitudes” exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo that also centered on the brand’s iconic designs throughout his history.

Diageo – Spirits conglomerate Diageo began to offer brands such as Johnnie Walker, Talisker and Grand Marnier on a new British ecommerce and lifestyle platform called Alexander & James during the first quarter.

Alexander & James is looking to match up to the physical shopping experience by showcasing the heritage and craft of each brand, while addressing the changing behavior of affluent spirits shoppers.

Throughout the site, content is presented that complements spirit categories and brands including how-to videos on pouring the perfect serve, advice from award-winning bartenders, gift ideas, recipes and entertainment tips.

Alexander & James is also distinguishing its shopping experience from others with a particular focus on gift-giving.

Each purchase can be completed with complementary packaging, a personalized card and free engraving on select Johnnie Walker bottles. Additionally, members can create wish lists to share with friends.

Leading Hotels of the World – The Leading Hotels of the World refreshed its digital strategy toward the end of the first quarter with a new Web site that offers content to help consumers plan their trip along with a simplified booking platform.

The hotel group made over its Web site after the completion of a global research and development project during which it sought out consumers’ input.

The new site takes into account the digital habits of the affluent traveler and provides content to help in the research and planning stages.

For instance, the “Get Inspired” section offers travel guides and advice including “Magnificent Journeys” that provides sample trip itineraries and “Destination Guides” that helps travelers plan their time in a certain area.

Net-A-Porter – Online retailer Net-A-Porter is asserting its expertise on the fashion industry through a new weekly online magazine that it launched during the first quarter.

The women’s magazine called “The Edit” will focus on fashion, beauty and culture.

The retailer is likely to boost brand retention among trendy consumers as well as sales since most items shown in the magazine are linked to where they can be purchased on the site.

Net-A-Porter seemed to step up to competitors with its weekly magazine since quite a few luxury retailers offer editorialized content and shopping guides.

Porsche – German automaker Porsche honored its 5 million Facebook fans by letting them collaborate to design a 911 Carrera 4S vehicle during the first quarter.

Porsche announced that it hit the 5 million fan milestone Jan. 31 by updating its cover image to say “Thank you for 5 million likes.”

To celebrate, the automaker launched an interactive campaign on a Facebook application where fans can vote on the characteristics of a 911 Carrera 4S which it seems that Porsche will produce.

Porsche held the voting for five weeks.

Saks Fifth Avenue – Department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue upped its digital savvy during the first quarter by establishing a new monthly trend report and redesigning its Web site.

On Jan. 9, the first volume of The Trendcaster newsletter was sent out to Saks’ list.

The newsletter presents one must-try trend of the season as well as three additional trends and links to a page on Saks’ ecommerce site that pushes specific products.

Next, Saks redesigned its Web site to be more image- and editorial-focused and make online shopping easier for its customers.

The revamped the shopping experience lets consumers find items through a variety of means. The site now contains more below-the-fold content that brings attention to its shoppable content.

Vanity Fair – Condé Nast-owned Vanity Fair partnered with Italian fashion house Giorgio Armani, department store chain Neiman Marcus and beauty brand Clinique to launch the first International Best-Dressed Challenge that lets readers be contenders for a new category on the 2013 best-dressed list.

Vanity Fair is letting consumers submit images of themselves to be considered for the new award category on its 73-year-old International Best-Dressed List via Instagram, Twitter, Trendabl and its Web site.

Brand partners for this initiative have ads on the International Best-Dressed Challenge Web site and are incorporated in public events and online activities.

Each week Vanity Fair editors curate a group of images from the reader submissions and feature them in a slideshow on the challenge site. A monthly award is given to the reader in the image that receives the most “likes” on the site.

Final Take
Tricia Carr, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York