Do You Drop? Luxury Players Now Join In On These Exclusive Product Promotions

Do You Plan on Using Drops for Your Product Promotions?  Luxury players are really getting in on this channel.  Check here how to keep drops fresh- and out of the hands of those that engage just to over-buy and resell precious limited edition merchandise.

It started with online flash sales.  That was easy.  It was electronic.  Promote the heck out of it and add a count-down clock with some limited inventory and –whammo– an e-commerce retailer had a fantastic limited time offer event.  It created a sense of urgency while offering scarcity.

Barney everybody cheering
Attended @Barneys The Drop LA Turnout  and Enthusiasm Was Impressive! 

But wait.  Brands also wanted to offer buzz and control their messaging.  Niche cult fave Supreme keeps its anticipation way high among fans with an entire strategy based on drops.

“In many ways, if you think about it, drops operate on the same principle as does home shopping or bidding on Ebay.  These are all timed events and once product is gone or the promotion is over thats it. ”                                       says The Christine Report

Change has arrived.  The luxury players with mainstream availability are now getting in.  Moncler, the must-have luxe winter outerwear brand describes a recent concept for their Drop called the “Genius Project”.   Its as much a drop as it is an art installation.

Moncler Genius Project Installation
Moncler Drop as Art Installation courtesy @Moncler

Luciano Santel, executive director of Moncler explains their approach: “The amount of business we plan to develop under the Genius Project is not particularly significant as compared to the rest of our business,” Santel said. “But…strategically, from the brand, from the communication point of view, from the design, from the product, it is an extremely important project.” 

Burberry also recently announced they are also engaging in drops.  The changes mark “the beginning of a new way of conversing with our customers across product, communication and experience,” says a brand spokesperson……

Drops, as cool as they are, have two major challenges.

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Just as technology has enabled brick and mortar to leverage the promotion of their drop, it also inevitably produces the dark side.  Those with the tech know-how unleash bots to scoop up excess merchandise beyond the normal capacity of a single consumer.  Then, that merchandise gets resold online for many, many times over the original price.

Defeating the bots created extra promotional opportunities for Nike.  They developed additional human interaction requirements via gamification.  In recent coverage by Draper’s Online, they described the successful drop for the SB Dunk Hi Momofuku sneaker in collaboration with restaurateur David Chang.  Participants had to locate multiple Nike posters placed around NYC that featured 3D capabilities.  Via their smartphone, up popped a full interactive model of the shoe which then they could go on and purchase.

David Chang
David Chang with Nike’s SB Dunk Hi Momofuku courtesy @Nike

 

Secondly, Don’t Create Drop Dreary Consumers.

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Don’t Over Saturate With Too Many Drops or Too Much Sameness

 

 

Too many drop events can create a level of over-saturation and remove the interest.  As in Moncler, keeping the edge on creativity is key.  The gamification of drops and other more sophisticated engagements will also come into play with more interesting technology applications.  Luxury brands are also increasing the exclusivity factor. For example, Louis Vuitton is doing drops with little to no promotion and keeping it extremely fresh- as word only gets out the old fashioned way- peer to peer and mouth to mouth.

Every brand will have to evaluate for themselves the value of drops, can they manage them properly and will the sales enhance relationships with their customer or just cannibalize them?  Keep the drops real, but also keep them away from the bots!

Human to Human Marketing is The Digital Marketing Brand Promise Delivered

H2H- Are You Experienced? Human to Human – The Digital Promise Delivered

Jimi Hendrix was on the right track in many ways when he asked “Are You Experienced?”

So what exactly is H2H?  No, it is not the latest Asian flu.  Neither is it water—that is H2O.  And its definitely not the latest networking app!

H2H is “Human to Human”

H2H is About Brands & Delivering on Their Digital Promise

Your digital promise is the full delivery of your brand’s experience to your consumer.  Sure, its easy to produce slick graphics and fabulous copy on a webpage and in social media.  But brands have to really ask themselves if they are also providing the human experience vis-a-vie their digital presentation.

At first this seems a bit crazy and if nothing else completely contradictory.  Isn’t the whole point of digital is that it’s exactly just that-digital?  Not exactly.  What customers are demanding is the full range of a robust experience that a brand has to offer.  What seems to be new here really isn’t.  But with digital in the mix, the rules of execution have been forever altered.  Marketers know that consumers do not want to simply buy something, they want to fully experience it.  This means that brands now have to understand how to seamlessly deliver online and offline–with great humanness.

The rules of brand delivery and execution are forever changed.  

Missing the H2H portion of the brand delivery equates to treating your customer like a piece of digital meat!

Human to Human Marketing is The Digital Marketing Brand Promise Delivered
Human to Human Marketing is The Digital Marketing Brand Promise Delivered

 

This is nothing new because as far back as 1998, Joseph Pine and James Gilmore published “Welcome to the Experience Economy” and the phrase was then forever coined.  They plotted The Progression of Economic Value graph.

The Progression of Economic Value Created in 1998
The Progression of Economic Value Created in 1998!

Even then in 1998, customers were demanding experiential immersion with a brand. With digital marketing, they are demanding it even more.  Its sort of a paradox.  The more brands deliver remotely, the more customers expect to be treated like a human.

“Its sort of a paradox.  

The more brands deliver remotely, the more customers expect to be treated like a human.”  

Farfetch, the digital platform featuring hundreds of impossible to find boutiques and merchandise, recently announced their “Store of the Future”.  Check out this short video from Bloomberg.

Farfetch is setting the standard for digital delivery and human experience.

Farfetch founder, Jose Neves says:

“The next stage in the evolution of the fashion industry is the connected store, which uses technology to enhance the luxury retail experience to become even more customer centric,” he said. “Farfetch is at the crossroads of luxury and technology and is well placed to understand its needs and deliver a tailored solution.”

Jose Neves on LinkedIn-the Creator of Farfetch
Jose Neves on LinkedIn-the Creator of Farfetch

In their new retail store concept, Farfetch customers will experience the full immersion of humanity wrapped in a digital brand delivery.  Farfetch has executed an admirable business benchmark for H2H.

Is your brand ready for H2H?  Are you experienced?

Christine C. Oddo is the author of The Christine Report blog and founder of
Madison Luxe Group; a beauty and luxury product retail sales & digital strategy agency.
Inquiries to christine@madisonluxegroup.com
Madison Luxe Group Where Luxury Meets Reality www.thechristinereport.com www.madisonluxegroup.com
The Christine Report