Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Innovation Calls!

Once upon a time, the keywords in luxury retail were "location, location, location". This was the era when gigantic retail cathedrals in the form of luxury stores were perceived as the key to the success of a luxury brand. Then the internet came along and everything changed. This new digital medium brought opportunities for luxury brands in e-retail, e-communications, digital and social media, online client management, brand awareness and image enhancement and several other forms of interaction. Today, several luxury brands have adopted the internet on different levels and degrees and some are already reaping its benefits. 

Yet the majority of luxury brands view the internet as a separate channel that is mutually exclusive to the real world. Until now, the general consensus in luxury land has been that the digital world exists in isolation to the physical world and that the strategies and approaches applied online should be only for the internet. How wrong!

The second misconception is that technology and innovation in luxury begins and ends with the internet. Again, how wrong! In reality, technology and innovation offer the luxury sector immeasurable opportunities both online and offline. For example, developments and breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence, Applied Technologies, Virtual Reality and Neuromarketing all offer avenues to take digital media and technology powered innovation to the real world. From retail to merchandizing, window displays, dressing rooms, social shopping, virtual dressing, mobile interactivity, product extensions and hunch engines, technology offers luxury endless possibilities to innovate through integrating the real with the virtual worlds.
How this can be achieved is a different story. For this reason, Club e-Luxe has made Innovation the topic of its next annual International Summit, to take place on 3rd June 2010 at the Ritz Hotel, Paris. The event will gather practicing luxury e-business experts, innovators, inventors and conceptors to present and analyze the key aspects of technology and innovation and their place in the luxury business of today, both online and offline. To find out more and to learn how to participate, click here.  

Luxury Online - Styles, Systems, Strategies will also be presented during this event with a book signing slated for the closing cocktail reception at the Ritz Paris private gardens. Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Luxury Online in the FT!

Last Friday 19th March, the Financial Times ran a very interesting and illuminating special feature on luxury jewellery and watches which gave insights into how this sub-segment has weathered the recent economic down-turn and how it continues to evolve in new markets and new business environments particularly online. I was really honoured that my book Luxury Online was mentioned in one of the articles as a reference for the evolution of luxury jewellery and watches in the new digital context.
Thanks FT!

As indicated in a previous post, the book's Foreword was written by Fabergé's CEO Mark Dunhill, who is currently taking Fabergé through a revolutionary relaunch in which digital media is playing a pivotal role.

To read the article keep an eye on the Press section on the right.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Luxury Online goes on Air!

A few days ago, I was honoured with an invitation to present Luxury Online and speak about the evolution of luxury and fashion brands online, by France 24, the twenty-four hour French TV station (considered to be the CNN equivalent of the Francophone world, although fully produced in English and French). Aired as part of the morning Business news anchored by Douglas Herbert, the programme explored the different ways the internet is shaping consumers and their shopping habits and how luxury brands are reacting by using the digital media and all kinds of tech tools. I enjoyed speaking about the recent movement towards the live streaming of fashion shows and all the exciting initiatives on the social web, and of course the contents of the book! Click here to watch a video extract of the show.

Friday, March 5, 2010

At Last!

Luxury Online - Styles, Strategies, Systems, the book that I wrote out of passion for both luxury and technology has finally hit the stores worldwide today!

Am I excited? Yes. Am I relieved? You bet. Am I anxious about the public's reaction to the book? Oh la la, I have butterflies flying around in my stomach!

But more than anything, I am grateful to the many people that around the world who have patiently waited for the book to arrive at bookstores, despite the publication date being postponed. I will also like to thank the press, journalists, bloggers and all those that have been reading this blog and following the book on Twitter and others who picked interest in the book and wrote about it before its publication. Thank you so much. I hope the rest of the people will be kind enough in their reviews.

I know that this is not an official acknowledgement but I'll also like to once again thank all the luxury brands, media companies, bloggers and everyone else who gave me the authorisation to reproduce their images and screen shots in the book (there are over 250 images and illustrations). Thanks for your trust!  

Writing Luxury Online was a real pleasure for me. I enjoyed the process so much that I re-wrote the manuscript three times! And now I guess I have to get out and begin the book tour.

Over the next few months, the book will be launched in Paris, Milan, London, Geneva, New York, Las Vegas, Miami, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Sao Paolo and other locations. So keep an eye on this blog  and on Twitter for updates.

Ciao ciao.