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By Atelier offers complimentary concierge service to spur iPhone 6 case salesBy
Tailor-made accessories brand By Atelier is driving affluent consumers toward its new cases for Apple’s iPhone 6 by offering additional perks.
Currently, By Atelier designs phone cases for Apple’s iPhone 5s and Samsung models in a range of materials that turn a smartphone into a high-end accessory. As buzz increases and pre-orders are placed for the latest iPhone, accessories brands must work to beat the clock to capitalize on consumer interest.
“The market for these handcrafted phones is sizable as there are so many generic iPhones that look the same as each other,” said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism, New York.
“There is a significant opportunity for using different materials and colors to differentiate your device,” he said.
“Internationally it is a great status symbol in Asia, the Middle East, Russia and other places to have a high end finished product with sapphires and other crystals and alligator and other materials.”
Mr. Buckingham is not affiliated with By Atelier, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
By Atelier did not respond by press deadline.
The French brand is aiming to meet the high-demand of Apple’s latest smartphone, but provide affluent consumers with an accessory that is above the average case.
By Atelier created the iPhone 6 cases in its workshop in Paris with the fundamentals of French savoir-faire in mind. Each case is handcrafted and assembled in its Champs Elysee workshop and features the refinement expected of a jeweler or fine watchmaker.
For the iPhone 6, By Atelier offers three different ranges: Sapphire, Alligator and Leather. The seven total variations touted By Atelier’s craftsmanship include precious leathers, outside of the Sapphire range, brushed metal and engraved screws.
By Atelier’s Alligator range, for instance, is available in brown and black alligator leather and includes a CITES certificate that ensures the buyer that the skin used on the case meets the criteria of the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora.
In addition to the alligator leather, the case also features 316 L stainless steel often used by Swiss watchmakers and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal screen.
With each purchase of a By Atelier iPhone 6 case, the consumer will receive a year’s time of complimentary concierge service. According to its Web site, By Atelier provides its clients “a chance to experience at last real luxury lifestyle with their iPhones.”
By Atelier’s 5-star concierge service is available to help iPhone 6 users 24/7. The service provides unlimited access to exclusive privileges, prefered rates and bespoke services.
The cases are available at My Atelier boutiques in Paris, Hong Kong, Macau, China and Vietnam as well as fine retailers such as Paris’ Colette, London’s Harrods and Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford. Cases can also be pre-order on My Atelier’s Web site with a starting retail price of $2,186.
At your service
With many types of smartphones available on the market, from both mainstream brands such as Apple and Samsung to more high-end such as Vertu, concierge services help these devices stand out.
For example, during Valentine’s Day, high-end smartphone manufacturer Vertu targeted couples with a complimentary two-day getaway to promote the brand’s concierge services.
Consumers weighing the advantages of a Vertu smartphone may be swayed by the concierge offers. Vertu Life, the brand’s concierge service, provides smartphone users with access to invite-only events, private members’ clubs and shopping experiences based on location (see story).
For smartphone owners who are swayed toward Apple and Android rather than Vertu, mobile applications have allowed for the same caliber of service.
Luxury lifestyle management and concierge service provider Quintessentially Lifestyle ensures that members have access to its exclusive benefits with a mobile application.
Available for iPhone and Android smartphones, the eponymous app connects Quintessentially Lifestyle members to the service’s Lifestyle Assistants to access a wealth of knowledge ranging from nightclub and restaurant recommendations to obtaining last-minute concert tickets. Affluent consumers generally gravitate toward experiences that have an air of exclusivity, and an app gets rid of the searching by providing a better sense of opportunities (see story).
High-end iPhone cases work as conversation pieces while the concerige service add-on incentivizes the purchase.
“I think the By Atelier concierge service will help attract affluent customers as it’s important for some people to be able to get the best table at a hot new restaurant quickly or skip the line to a sick new nightclub,” Mr. Buckingham said. “By Atelier creates ‘legitimate approach opportunities’- conversation pieces that being people to you out of curiosity and [the concierge] service can easily pay for itself in a very short period of time.
“All you need to do is put the phone down on the bar and let the hot people come to you,” he said. “When you’ve engaged in conversation for a while simply call the restaurant or hotel and make a reservation. It’s perfect in the airport lounge for business networking, too.
“The only mistake By Atelier has made which Vertu and others have not is pricing the case and service too low,” he said. “I think they would sell a lot more packs if they doubled the price as the exclusivity would be enhanced.
“If I saw someone with the device and then Googled the price I wouldn’t be nearly so impressed. By Atelier is a great idea and if I was single in the city again I wouldn’t hesitate to snap it up and become an instant ‘player.'”
Jen King, lead reporter on Luxury Daily, New York
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