Monday, October 5, 2009

Hello, Luxury!

Doug Larson was right when he said that, "Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have two, opulence is when you have three - and paradise is when you have none".

In our current crazily hyper-connected world, it's unthinkable to exist without a mobile phone, or worse still, to function for 30 straight minutes without fidding with our phones in the name of emailing, texing, tweeting, photographing or just touching the keyboards as an uncounscious symptom of the "mobile phone virus" that has gripped our generation! We're all infected and we've chosen the path of 'anti-paradise' if we're to believe Doug Larson. But luxury brands have also understood that clients don't have to be far from paradise because of the mobile phone madness, alas the inroad of luxury into the mobile phone area.

Some brands have taken the path of creating the mobile phone devise through co-branding (think Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Armani); others went the way of the single brand (Dior, Tag Heuer), yet others went for extreme exclusivity (Boucheron). On the other hand several other brands have chosen the path of the mobile phone content (Chloé, Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, etc) albeit through a single mobile phone brand - Apple. The latter seeems to be the where the bug has bitten most luxury brands lately. Everywhere I turn these days I seem to run into yet anotehr iPhone application by a luxury brand featuring more or less the same catlogue-style content that we can find online.

Should the mobile phone application be the same as the online content? It could be, but I don't think this is where the story should end. I think that the enormous potential of the mobile phone as a complementary tool and the strongest relationship enhancer is still untapped by luxury brands. Of course the key is having rich content but the content is only enriched when its focus is on a one-to-one personlized level. As the most personal of all the communications media existing today, why can't be mobile content be used to fulfil the reason that it exists in the first place - personalized interaction? Find our more on this topic in Luxury Online...

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