This post is way overdue, but I still feel it's interesting enough to write about a little late. Lately since moving online I've become a bit of a tech nerd. All of the new gadgets that could potentially make my blogging life easier infatuate me. So when I heard about the International Herald Tribune Luxury Technology conference, I was pretty excited (said as I push up my reading glasses with my finger).
The Berlin based conference covered one of the most exciting changes in the luxury game: the power of technology and social media. It is so exciting to see hard nosed executives at some of the largest and most influential brands finally realize that luxury does not mean inaccessibility. It actually is quite the opposite of that. Brands need to bring their goods to the customer instead of the customer going to the store to get them.
The conference brought in some of the most tech savvy brand leaders out there. Here's a quick re-cap of some of the points made by the guest speakers and how they are working social media into their marketing plan.
Natalie Massenet of Net-a-porter: Natalie's concept of a luxury online store effectively brought her store to every single city in the world, making luxury goods more accessible. And about 5 percent of their business is through their affiliate programs with bloggers.
Christopher Bailey, Creative Director for Burberry- Just launched a social networking site in conjunction with The Sartorialist to catch stylish people in their classic trench coats (artofthetrench.com)
Frida Giannini, Creative Director for Gucci- Frida just launched Gucci Eyeweb, a social networking campaign for their sunglasses where people all over the world can upload their pictures onto the site. Frida also says she uses computer digitalization and manipulation to create incredible variations in print. However, Frida still values the brand by keeping the quality of the items high as 80% of the Gucci goods are still hand made. Over 3,000 people have downloaded their iphone app and reminded us that only 3% of kids in the new generation read magazines and newspapers.
Sojin Lee, Fashionair.com- One of my favorite sites, Sojin's video content provides a chance to "connect emotionally with consumers". She also took her inspiration for the scrapbook-like layout from the online gaming community.
It's amazing that I gathered all of this info from IHT's Twitter page. Ahh, technology.
On a side note, Berlin is having a major moment. A few weeks ago they marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Fashionair.com just did a Style Diary tour of Berlin on their site. Some of the hottest German fashion brands came Stateside and held a press preview at Williamson PR last week to showcase the local talent. But most exciting to me at the moment was definitely the IHT (International Herald Tribune) Luxury Tech conference and Berlin could not have been a better choice. Adding to my virtual travel list immediately.
Follow IHT at @IHTLuxury