By Miranda Groenewegen, Studio Director, Pixel Artworks
The luxury sector is known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to offering their customers mind blowing experiences and going beyond expectations. From the Gucci Garden filled with rotating exhibitions to Tiffany’s launching Beyonce’s new album at Paris Fashion Week, the creativity is continually flowing.
It’s safe to say no immersive experience is done half-heartedly by the luxury sector but 2023 is going to take things to another level. As the Dior CEO Beccari states “more visible, more successful” and as we head into more challenging financial times, history dictates that the luxury sector will stay true to this statement.
As we enter a recession one may think the demand for luxury goods may be in jeopardy but in fact people crave connections and happier experiences more than ever during hard times. A report from iMedia proves that “more than three quarters (77%) agree that despite the rising cost of living, it is still important to experience moments that make them happy.” We predict luxury brands will use this opportunity to showcase their forward thinking. Through the use of immersive tech, they will create unique opportunities to connect with consumers and provide an emotive and unforgettable experience. Immersive luxury paid for experiences is the new trend going forward. Brands will replace shop floor space like LEGO who successfully launched Brick-lab, an interactive virtual world, at its Rockefeller store last year.
Brands will continue to diversify such as Dior who has recently taken over the London luxury retailer Harrods, including window displays, a cafe, an immersive exhibition, and two pop-up shops. From hijacking Harrods to full on district takeovers, luxury brands have the potential to harness places like Outernet, a brand-new immersive culture, media and music district at Tottenham Court Road to engage with consumers. These opportunities that are nestled in the centre of capital cities have created an exciting platform for brands to build connections with consumers.
We will also see innovation being utilised. Brands will be able to transform luxury retail collaborations like MK & Ellesse who launched their London collaboration with an influencer event in MK’s flagship store. This featured a double story LED real-time video wall which put the user in the campaign, which then opened to the public. By creating immersive experiences that the consumer feels like they are fully a part of builds brand loyalty, plus it makes the consumer feel like they are getting value for money.
As more and more consumers become comfortable with technology, we will see luxury brands using AR even more. We’ve already seen the likes of Louis Vuitton creating 3D content on their shop front through using this technology. AR creates a perfect blend of real life and reality, transforming the consumer’s journey into a fun experience. Another exciting tool, Looking Glass, can be used to create some of the first real, dynamic and coloured holograms. The technology was seen in action for the recent collaboration between Nike Air Force 1 x Louis Vuitton who created “Dream Now”, an exhibition dedicated to the reinvented shoes and the visionary designer Virgil Abloh. At the exhibit consumers could discover all the “dreamy expressions of Virgil Abloh” in a magical environment featuring Louis Vuitton’s bespoke Nike Air Force 1 trainers. Luxury brands are pushing the boundaries of what is possible for retail.
Digital Out Of Home will also be used more by luxury brands than ever before. As we have seen over the past year, there has been more of an uptake of 3D anamorphic content with huge screens in Piccadilly Circus and Times Square, creating clever illusions of items coming out of the screen. Having creative that is so hard to ignore by those passing in the streets provides the ability for brands to connect with their customers and potential customers and increases social media engagement too. This showcases their commitment to move with the times and their versatility. Being able to involve social media can build an extremely loyal community.
As luxury brands evolve to meet consumer’s expectations of luxury experiences, it’s important for them to remember to conform in the traditional sense of being able to create a deep emotional connection, offering the consumer the suggestion of status and elegance which elevates the brand. Luxury brands have a great opportunity to use technology to enhance everyday life and create experiences that are personal.
Experiences will need to be immersive and provide memorable encounters that offer a difference. 2023 is going to be a good year for Luxury.