“Increasingly brands are turning stores into “brand spaces” or opening experiential extensions of their brands to showcase craftsmanship, finely sourced materials, commitment to the environment or to offer greater interactivity”.
What began in Los Angeles as the “Pop-Up” Store is now becoming the norm for the luxury brand. They have discovered that by switching up the environment, and the experience, their regular retail merchandise gets a “new life”. The crossover in fashion, fine jewelry and other luxury goods into the realm of museums, art shows, and live experiences have made the luxury 360 experience a particularly successful formula. What kinds of things qualify as brand extensions?
Retail stores or pop-ups, Extreme Window Displays, Environments, Showcases, Fashion Shows; new branded experiences like travel or tours, hotels, restaurants and engaging digital experiences are bringing brand messaging together with “old school” platforms.
How a customer experiences something curated, special, informative, experiential, is also a key element in this brand cross-channeling both online and offline. A seamless, high-end, failure-free exchange using a website or via a mobile experience is the next frontier, now that Luxury Brands have mastered the “360” experience. Social change, and the identification of brands with social causes, culture and community are of interest for the next generation of high-end shoppers: the millennial, the new generation is set to overtake the aging boomer.
This generation is not fooled by a fancy environment or gimmicks. The new luxury generation are putting their money into brands that are meaningful, is cause-centric and offer a brand experience “with a purpose”.
Making the world a better place, is where a classic brand like “Coca Cola” more than 20 years ago, took a soft drink from the level of a beverage, to a movement to “make the world sing in perfect harmony”. That was a brand’s response to a new generation of “Hippies and the culture of Youth” that was a combination of all the naive hopes of the “Viet Nam” generation. Oddly, the recent wars and economic meltdown experienced by this new generation echoes the past in some ways, but the power of digital media is the game changer.
Let’s see what will happen as brands create new experiences to engage them.
Photos by ARTIFICE