Is future of SNS Burberry Chat?
When Angela Ahrendts, a former CEO of Burberry joined the Apple people were not so sure what caused that. People assumed she would do a job making the Apple Watch more luxurious product rather than any electronic devices. And later we found seventeen thousand dollar Apple watch edition and thousand dollar Hermes straps. One can think that she is doing her job well at the Apple, however, in fact what she is doing at the Apple is far nominal compared to what she had achieved at the Burberry.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, John Stuart Mill’s quality of pleasure and now days Mcluxury are simply saying that people demand higher social, economical status and at the same time in the era of Instagram they want to show off, too. If we remember very first stage of the Facebook, it became popular because of its exclusiveness. It excluded people who do not have the emails ending with Ivy League schools. Now when we have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc it is predetermined to have another SNS claiming the exclusiveness.
Hummel shows an example of how omni-channel failure can affect its business. Germany based brand Hummel once failed to make one voice on their brand. For example, in terms of online sales Hummel in Germany dealt with Zalando which contradicted the Hummel in France which wanted to keep the brand as a premium. Prada has played in many different channels by collaborating with others. Prada once made the Prada phone with LG and made a messenger app with Miranda July, a film director. Now, they have the Miu Miu music mixer app. Diane von Furstenberg, the luxury female brand made an eyewear for the Google glass.
What we leaned from either the expansion by itself or by the collaboration with others is that luxury brands have been tried to keep up with technology development. If we list technology development like smartphone, SNS, video streaming then we can match each application to the luxury brands’ efforts to expansion. Burberry created “the art of the trench” which allowed people to upload their outfit wearing Burberry trench coat. One could feature oneself in the Burberry.com. Burberry worked with Google made the “Burberry Kisses.” By looking at the web camera, it captured one’s lips as if one is kissing, colored the images of the lips with Burberry lipsticks and sent those images to the friends. Not only with the Google but also with the Verizon, Burberry streamed its fashion show live in 3D at the 25 flagship stores around the World. People in the stores wore 3D glasses and watched the show realistically. The new technology that can affect the future is found in the Burberry which is the Burberry Chat. It is an in-house corporate social platform that all workers can use. Angela Ahrendts could give a chat to the entire organization every week sharing one voice, one culture and one goal. Also anyone could talk back to the CEO, Angela Ahrendts. It is a platform just like any other SNS outside. Luxury brand is a symbol of exclusiveness. It excludes people by the money. Expanding its channels through the new technology allows people to access that exclusiveness more often. However, we don’t see the exclusiveness in that access. It is an open access because luxury brands are using the open SNS. If the luxury brands find out and put themselves in a position excluding even the access through the new technology, it is predetermined to see luxury SNS in 2026.
Nowadays any brands are working hardly on omni-channel expansion and the effort on these expansion even transformed their core history and now they call themselves the technology companies. The amplification of brand breaks the limits and boundaries of technology and in 2026 it is likely to see something like the Burberry Chat as an another player of SNS.
Update: by today (3/28/2016), in Korea there is a new popular app called 아만다. Which means “Don’t meet anybody.” The app is a dating app that if one wants to enter, an user needs to post its facial pictures. The randomly picked judges evaluate the opposite sex’s face and if the user passes 3/5 points, it can enter. So here, the attractiveness of the user is the exclusive access.