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A blueprint for luxury brands to go mobile

June 28, 2010

Mickey Alam Khan is editor in chief of Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily

Mickey Alam Khan is editor in chief of Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily

With the economy on the mend – gullible enough to believe the data – it’s time for luxury brands to get out of hibernation and seriously launch mobile marketing and commerce efforts.

Luxury brands typically are the cautious sort, but this is not the time to waffle or waste – today’s consumer is online, mobile and in control. Luxury marketers need to work with ad agencies, ad networks and mobile marketing and commerce firms to begin incorporating mobile into multichannel efforts in time for the upcoming holiday season.

Here is a roadmap to help luxury brands with their mobile marketing and commerce efforts.

Why Mobile for Luxury

–The audience is on mobile devices

–One out of two mobile phones in use by next year projected to be Web- and application-enabled smartphones

–Consumers don’t simply talk and text on mobile phones – they browse, shop and buy

–Mobile devices give what consumers seek in the relationship with brands – control

–More content consumption on mobile – news, in particular – offers opportunity for contextual advertising

–Part of the multichannel experience

–Steve Jobs – the No. 1 influencer today of product design, marketing, commerce and customer experience

What Consumers Want from Mobile

–Ease of communication with friends, family, coworkers and brands

–Ability to search, shop and buy on the device

–Receive SMS-based offers, updates and retail traffic drivers when opted into mobile CRM programs

–Browse mobile Web sites and applications for product information, store location, pricing, inventory availability and in-store merchandise reference

–Same experience as online

–Rich media experiences on tablets such as the iPad

Crafting a Mobile Strategy for Luxury Brands

–Study audience habits – buying and media-consumption patterns

–Is the product or service suited to mobile marketing or mobile commerce?

–Discuss channel conflict issues internally

–What have you done on the traditional Web?

–Will the luxury experience and brand values translate well to mobile?

–Marketing or sales, or both – make objective clear

–Mobile is a medium comprising many channels, but it also serves well as a traffic driver to retail or online experiences

–Dedicate the resources – HR, budgets, time and patience

Luxury Marketing with Mobile

–Establish a mobile-friendly Web site, even if it’s a simple landing page and a couple of other pages reflecting the brand values and core information

–Apply for a common short code to begin SMS marketing that ties in with the brand’s overall loyalty marketing efforts

–Run targeted mobile advertising on reputed publisher sites and across mobile ad networks with banner ads, rich media units and video

–Mobile search optimization – work with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo

–Deep pockets? Build a full-fledged mobile site and application with shopping and transactional capability

–Use retail stores and catalogs to drive mobile database buildup

–Employ SMS to opted-in consumers to push traffic to stores

–Promote short code signup and application downloads in print, television, mail, online and catalog ads

–Repurpose runway material on mobile to extend the luxury experience

Brands That Get Mobile
Mercedes-Benz Financial tops $2.5M in mobile payments

Tiffany & Co. marries mobile with interactive to sell engagement rings

Ferrari Maserati dealership taps mobile for added customer touch point

Chanel taps iPad’s unique capabilities to showcase watch collection

Jimmy Choo taps mobile to make print ad more interactive

Rolex taps mobile to make rint ad more interactive

Rogers & Hollands Jewelers mobile program drives repeat business

Gilt Groupe iPad app comprises 3 percent of sales in first 2 days

Mobile is a wrap for Diane von Furstenberg

Bergdorf Goodman enters mobile commerce

Nordstrom, kate spade, T-Mobile use mobile to boost in-store traffic

Waterford Crystal extends brand to mobile with new app

Gucci enters mobile commerce arena with one-of-a-kind app

Bloomingdale’s fall fashion campaign taps mobile to engage customers in-store

Tiffany & Co. targets luxurious ladies via smartphones

Dolce & Gabbana dresses marketing strategy with mobile

Again, Why Mobile for Luxury – and Why Now?

–Mobile enables luxury brands to reach consumers at each step in the marketing funnel – awareness, trial, persuasion and loyalty

–The consumer is already on mobile – don’t fall too far behind


–Mobile Marketer, the leading publication covering mobile advertising, marketing and media: 

–Mobile Commerce Daily, the leading publication covering mobile commerce and mobile-driven retail: 

–Luxury Daily, a publication covering luxury marketing: 

–Mobile Marketing Association, the trade body for mobile marketing:–U.S. Common Short Code Administration, the registry for short codes:

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Mickey Alam Khan is editor in chief of Mobile Commerce Daily, Mobile Marketer and Luxury Daily. Reach him at

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