Apr 22, 2014

Smoking opportunity for Hi-Tech Cannabis !

LIKE MANY PEOPLE in San Francisco, Sasha Robinson is working on a startup out of his home. His living room is a riot of wires, battery packs, pliers, and metal casings. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was a bomb maker. But these are just the raw materials for a new gadget he’s creating. It’s something revolutionary, he thinks, and he should know. In the 2000s, Robinson ran software development at industrial design firm Moto, where he oversaw new product development for the Flip HD camcorder. Before that he was at Juniper Systems and Silicon Graphics, two of the Valley’s foundational tech firms. His cofounder, Mark Williams, has also bounced around Valley software firms, but his main experience was at Apple, where he managed a Mac OS design team. These guys have tech cred.

They also met at a Burning Man party. “We would hang out socially and always ended up talking about ideas and inventions,” says Williams, explaining how they came up with their new product in his living room. “We were sitting on my couch in my apartment, smoking. I was over 40 then, we could really feel it in our bodies. We were social smokers, but we both felt it …”

“Wait. Are you talking about tobacco here,” I interjected.
“Yes … ,” Williams says, looking sideways and grinning. “I am?” Pregnant pause. Robinson chuckles. “That’s what the line has to be from any manufacturer importing into the US,” he says. Openly acknowledging that your product—in this case a high tech vaporizer called the Firefly–is intended for marijuana use exposes you to classification as a distributor of drug paraphernalia, opening you up to the risk of the federal government seizing your assets and bank accounts. And that makes it difficult to pay a lawyer.

So, officially, the Firefly is for pipe tobacco. But I didn’t try any pipe tobacco in it. You probably won’t either. I did, however, sample some marijuana, for which it’s really, really great. A personal disclosure: I’ve smoked a lot of pot. I’m no stoner, but I’ve been smoking it for more than 25 years, and in that time I’ve used all sorts of vaporizers. They’ve evolved a great deal over the years, from giant complex tabletop devices to today’s generation of e-cig-style vapes that deliver brain-hammering doses of butane-extracted cannabis oil. The Firefly does those devices one better, magically and almost instantly vaporizing actual plant material at the touch of a button. It is just wonderful.


It offers all the convenience of a pipe—it’s portable and downright stealthy; you can slip it in your pocket, carry it loaded up with marijuana—but it’s less harmful than a conventional pipe, because you are inhaling vapor, not smoke. The Firefly uses a lithium-ion battery to power a convection heating element that reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The chamber is insulated by air, which means the Firefly’s housing doesn’t get hot enough to burn your fingers, or anything else, when you slide it back into your pocket.
read more at http://www.wired.com

NASA Astronauts only trusted Watch - OMEGA !

Back in the 1960s, NASA had a problem: To keep track of time while bagging moon rocks, astronauts needed a wristwatch with otherworldly ruggedness. Many high-grade chronographs were auditioned. One lost its crystal under extreme decompression; the hands on another warped in the test oven. But the Omega Speedmaster—and its particularly robust movement—had the right stuff. 

The watch has since been strapped to every astronaut’s wrist from Gemini and Apollo to Skylab and the shuttle. Its movement, now known as the Calibre 1861, has seen a few changes over the years to improve its precision, but it’s been requalified by NASA for each new mission, and it remains the most strenuously tested movement in history. It’s even performed a few tasks those neurotic engineers couldn’t have foreseen: After shutting down their computers to save power, the troubled Apollo 13 crew navigated back to Earth using their hand-wound Speedmasters.

$80 Million dollar private super sonic Jet, with no windows !

Spike Aerospace is in the midst of building the first supersonic private jet. And when the $80 million S-512 takes off in December 2018, it won’t have something you’d find on every other passenger aircraft: windows.

The Boston-based aerospace firm is taking advantage of recent advances in video recording, live-streaming, and display technology with an interior that replaces the windows with massive, high-def screens. The S-512’s exterior will be lined with tiny cameras sending footage to thin, curved displays lining the interior walls of the fuselage. The result will be an unbroken panoramic view of the outside world. And if passengers want to sleep or distract themselves from ominous rainclouds, they can darken the screen or choose from an assortment of ambient images. But this isn’t just a wiz-bang feature for an eight-figure aircraft.

While windows are essential for keeping claustrophobia in check, they require engineering workarounds that compromise a fuselage’s simple structure. And that goes two-fold for a supersonic aircraft. An airplane is stronger sans windows, which is one of the reasons why planes carrying military personnel or packages fly without them. Putting passenger windows on an airplane requires meticulous construction — the ovular shape, small aperture, and double-pane construction are all there to maintain cabin pressure and resist cracking while flying 500 mph at 35,000 feet.

It would be much simpler and safer to have a smooth-skinned, window-less fuselage, but frequent fliers have become accustomed to a calming view of the clouds and tiny cities during takeoff and landing.

Spike says that in order to hit their performance goals, they’ve planned to go windowless since the beginning. “A few advisers and friends are concerned that there are no windows,” Spike founder Vik Kachoria told WIRED. “But I think that if you give them the screens and give them the visibility, you might be able to get away from that.”

This structural workaround relieves Spike’s craft of the drag and weight issues presented by adding windows, which will, Spike projects, allow the plane to hit a top speed of 1,370 mph (Mach 1.8) while carrying up to 18 passengers.

Apr 17, 2014

Style, Design and Luxury - Alexander McQueen !

There was no way to slot the ten outfits that were shown as Alexander McQueen's Fall collection into the general spectrum of the season. The handful of looks (really, it was five, plus a variant of each) was created while Sarah Burton was in the last stages of pregnancy. The precedents for such a situation in fashion are few and far between. Phoebe? Stella? Burton's aesthetic has always been much more convoluted than her peers anyway, so the extraordinary circumstance in which she found herself just amplified something that was already there.

That something first appeared in her pre-fall collection, with its focus on the humble piety of Low Church Anglicans. Quite why this should occur to Burton as the genesis of a fashion collection is the sort of divine inspiration that is best left to her and her maker. But its elevation to the full-blown extravagance of the ten looks shown here perversely made a lot more sense. If pre-fall was about humility and purity, Fall nailed the excesses of Catholicism in a way that would have warmed the heart of ferocious anti-papist Lee.

Burton divided the ten into five subgroups: Communion, nuns, cardinals, popes, and angels. In a scarcely believable but timely twist for McQueen, Britain's most senior Catholic cardinal has just stepped down in the wake of one of those sex scandals that endlessly plague the Vatican in the twilight of its domain. Burton coincidentally garbed her cardinal duo in outfits that would have done a Vegas showgirl—or a cross-dressing cleric—proud. And, bearing in mind the about-to-be-well-documented propensity of clergymen for outré behavior, she dressed her papal twosome as right royal queens of the British Isles.

It was a brief but glorious pageant, staged in the appropriately OTT Opéra Comique, with all the subversive glee that one could wish to be attached to a McQueen attack on the propriety of church and state. The technique was obsessive to a fault—two weeks per outfit, ventured one awestruck source. Backstage, the models loomed head and shoulders above the minions fluttering around them. As they idly contemplated their pearl knuckle-dusters and languidly sipped sodas through the cages that framed their faces, they could scarcely have known that their gilded perfection was the most sublimely punkish assault on orthodoxy.

So that's what's on a girl's mind when she's having twins.
ref: http://www.style.com/

Is Social Media 'A' common sense ?

Social media policies that ask employees to “use common sense” when posting on social networks are inadequate.

As someone who’s written dozens of social media policies for all types of organizations, I think policies that use language like “don’t be an idiot” or “use good judgment” are obnoxious, because they assume everyone perceives publicly archived conversations the same way.

They don’t!

Very few people agree on what type of information is okay to make public versus what ought to be kept private.

We just don’t collectively perceive issues like ethics, transparency, privacy or security the same way. Everyone has a little different opinion of what is and isn’t considered acceptable social media use.

So using a term like “common sense” — particularly when it comes to the emerging hybrid public information/communications channel that is social media — is sloppy. Loose policies invite ambiguity. Lack of clarity and specificity leads to disputes, disputes lead to litigation, and litigation is expensive and usually counterproductive.

In my experience developing and reviewing social media policies for organizations, too many social media policies deploy “common sense” as a rhetorical catchall phrase for exercising good sense online. But in practice, when it comes to having public conversations that get archived on social networks, good judgment is more a work-in-progress than universally agreed theme.

It may seem like “common sense” that you should be able to access social networking accounts your coworker manages through her personal profiles if she’s incapacitated, especially if she’s willfully given you her user names and passwords for just that purpose. It would seem like by giving you her login info, she’s also giving you consent.

But that is not the case. If you access someone else’s social media profile, whether you’ve been given their credentials or not, you incur significant liability. What’s common about that? Nothing. It might also seem like common sense that employers can’t access personal messages on social media without violating their workers’ personal privacy, but under certain circumstances, they can.

It may also seem like common sense that sharing something on Facebook doesn’t forfeit copyright. And it doesn’t. But what you don’t know is that while you retain ownership, you also grant Facebook (and all other social networks) a nonexclusive, fully-paid and royalty free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to reuse it or license it to others as many times as they want.

So if you’re looking to develop or update social media policy, rather than ask your employees think like you think, tell them specifically what is and isn’t accepted. And them make sure you actually teach them to comply.

Interesting social discovery for SEXTERS !

A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University reveals that sexting might not be quite as hot as you think. In fact, about half the time, the other person isn't quite as into it as they say they are.

The study reports that 48 percent of those who've sent racy messages have lied to their partner while sexting. While two-thirds have done it to satisfy their partner, one-third of those have done it just because they're bored, the research notes.

The study -- which surveyed 155 college students -- also found that of those polled, women were almost twice as likely as men to lie while sexting, with 45 percent of women and 24 percent of men falsifying their steamy SMS messages.

The study's lead author, Michelle Drouin, told The Huffington Post that she found these results unsurprising.
"Text messaging is an ideal platform for deception, and sexting is likely just one of the many ways that people use this medium to deceive," she said.

Drouin said that texting is bound to change relationships. "The fabric of human life is changing rapidly, and the technological threads that are interwoven throughout are having a profound impact on the way we function, interact, and develop," she said.

Some consider the findings to be evidence that sexting is a negative practice among couples, Reuters reports.

"Sexting is a way to avoid intimacy," said Rob Weisskirch, a professor of human development at California State University Monterey Bay, who was not involved in the study. "These findings reinforce that sexting isn't a behavior that people who want healthy relationships are going to engage in."

However, studies have shown that those who engage in sexting are not necessarily prone to riskier or safer behaviors. In fact, researchers at the University of Michigan found that there sexting had no connection to psychological well-being at all.

Others, like Esther Perel, a therapist and author of Mating in Captivity, have said that sending illicit messages -- both those containing explicit language and those with pictures -- can improve intimacy. This is because couples may be more comfortable expressing themselves in ways they normally wouldn't offline.

But it isn't all winky face emoticons in the sexting world. The harmful consequences of teen sexting have been well documented. Sexting -- like real sex -- should only be attempted by those ready to face the potential consequences.

Apr 13, 2014

Buccellati Sun burst, 1st digital speakers to Gold happy plugs.

Sun Burst; iphone & ipad case by Buccellati

The famous Rigato etching technique, in which parallel lines are cut onto the surface of the metal to obtain a sheen effect. Atop the gold are sunburst designs made of white gold and diamonds. It was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings of the sun. After having custom made a number of them on client request, a line was created for those who adore the texture and craftsmanship of Buccellati. Some styles are more classic, while others are unmistakably from the Italian house. And the cost of these delightful crafted workmanship iphone case is approximately $208,000, and ipad case $485,000. Surprised ? not with Buccellati, one should not. 

British Meridian speakers

The 1st digital loudspeaker marked the 25th anniversary of the British brand Meridian's very first digital speaker launch, the D600 in addition to their special editions. Following 25 years of acute research they decided to celebrate the occasion by creating a Special Edition series of three new models, the Meridian DSP Digital Active Loudspeakers, which are available to order. DSP8000 SE, the DSP7200 SE and the DSP5200 SE, featuring a "beryllium domed tweeter, new electronics and driver clam rings." Prices range from $10,000 to $80,000.
Now the question is whats the comparison like with Meridian and Bang & Olufsen

Happy plugs: Sweden

Music is getting exclusive too @ $14,500 !
Happy Plugs Deluxe Edition is a fresh take on jewelry. Upgrade your look with the most contemporary fashion detail of them all: Stylish quality headphones in 18 carat solid gold.
A Swedish goldsmith in Old Town, Stockholm, makes the headphones by hand. 18-carat solid gold is molded into the shape of the Happy Plugs Earbuds and 25 grams of gold are used for each pair of earphones, which gives the headphones weight as a large jewelry.

Apr 9, 2014

Season's most interesting, Fashion Films !

                                 Cover Girl. 1

                                         "First Kiss” by Tatia Pllieva for Wren. 2

                                  “Sky Watcher” by James Lima and Yuko Shimizu for Trussardi. 3

                                         Spring/Summer 2014 by Prada. 4

                                “A-Z of the World’s Top Supermodels” by i-D magazine. 5

                                                       ref: http://www.businessoffashion.com

What do you think of the Amazon Dash Wand ?

SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Amazon.com Inc. unveiled a new device that customers can use to add items to a shopping list by scanning barcodes or speaking the name of the product, in the e- commerce company’s latest push into consumer hardware.

Users can push a microphone button on the device, called the Dash, and say “chocolate chips” or “guitar strings” to have an item in Amazon’s online store automatically added to their shopping carts, according to a new page on the company’s website. People can also press a button to scan barcodes on jugs of milk or bottles of liquid soap when they’re about to run out of the product.

The goods can then be delivered the next day via Amazon Fresh, a grocery-delivery service that the company has started expanding beyond its home base of Seattle to cities including San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Dash, which connects to a home’s Wi-Fi network, is available for free by invitation only to a limited number of consumers.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has pushed Amazon into hardware as he strives to tie consumers to the company’s ecosystem of services and products. Earlier this week, Amazon unveiled a $99 TV box for watching digitally delivered shows and movies and for playing video games called Fire TV. The world’s largest online retailer also makes tablet computers, e-readers and is testing package-delivering drones.

Mary Osako, a spokeswoman for Amazon, didn’t return a call for comment.
By Sarah Frier; Editors: Pui-Wing Tam, Reed Stevenson.

Fashion tech start-ups & challenges !

Lawrence Lenihan, examines the burgeoning interest in fashion-technology start-ups.

NEW YORK, United States — Fashion is an incredible industry. It’s sexy, it’s glamorous, it’s exciting. But it’s also incredibly complicated and the amount of change the Internet and other technology innovations will bring to this industry in the next decade will be mindboggling. Indeed, our offices have been swamped with business pitches from more than a thousand entrepreneurs who want to transform this industry.

As for the ideas themselves, many look great on whiteboards or in business school competitions: virtual closets, flash sale businesses, new designer “discovery” sites, you-be-the-designer sites, social shopping, user-curated boutiques, subscription sites, custom clothing, and so on that seek to use technology in ‘clever’ ways. But, in the end, they often miss the mark by a wide margin.

There are many flaws to these businesses. But the biggest flaw I see is that these “Internet entrepreneurs” fail to understand how the Internet will fundamentally transform the fashion industry, not just provide another access point to buy something.

In my opinion, the biggest change will be a dramatic shift in the relationships amongst brands, retailers and customers. Going forward, every brand must figure out how to connect directly with its customers and they must structure their business around the relationships they want to have with their customer rather than let their distribution channels define them. The economics are too great not to do so.

If all brands must connect directly with their customers, it also means the roles played by retailers must change. Online retailers will not succeed as customer access points for brands anymore, because the brands can now access these customers directly. So, the online retailer must be more. I would argue that Net-a-Porter is as large a threat to Vogue as it is to Bergdorf Goodman, because of the editorial content and contextual placement they provide. In my mind, making a decision to sell on Net-a-Porter is a branding decision, not a revenue decision. The ramifications of this shift will destroy many large incumbents in this industry, as they realize that they must provide a brand more value than simply aggregating customers and selling their products in unimaginative Sears-catalogue formats.

Another major change will be retailers and brands realizing that there is enormous opportunity to use technology to create shopping experiences that replicate the emotion that a customer feels when they shop an incredible physical store, without resembling the traditional shopping experience in any shape or form. In the current fashion-tech world, many incredible designers and merchants who create amazing physical experiences have created dull online experiences. Too often they try to far too literally recreate physical experiences online: I go into a store, I look for a product that I like, I put it in my bag or cart, I proceed to the checkout, I pay for it and I leave. But fashion is not about process or necessity: I need water but I don’t need that fantastic Tom Ford suit, I only feel like I need that fantastic Tom Ford suit. Simply displaying products like they are in a grocery store (rows and categories) doesn’t work.

Fashion makes you feel. It is about emotion. The web can create amazing experiences using video and images to convey a story. Sites can engage customers and get them to participate in the definition of brands and products. My personal favourites: Net-a-Porter Live which recreates the emotion of sitting in the middle of Bergdorf’s during Christmas, every second of every day of the year; ModCloth’s Be The Buyer program that enables customers to determine buying decisions and take a vested interest in the product’s success; and Miista Shoes, which sets clearance sale pricing based on the Klout scores of its followers.

As an investor, I am putting my money behind brands (people that make stuff!) that are leveraging technology to create a new kind of relationship with their customers. Before the Internet, brands needed retailers to be the vehicle of this relationship by physically aggregating customers. Now brands can aggregate customers themselves, not based on where the customer lives, but on the values, interests and aspirations the brand and its customers share and use technology to create incredibly unique, intimate, personal, interesting and fun relationships.

One of the most brilliant brand concepts that I have seen (and loved so much I invested in) is LollyWollyDoodle. Lolly sells dresses for little girls, but in a unique way: through stories on Facebook. On any given day you can look online and see an offering of several products (full price, limited run items) that engage and excite a passionate set of customers. Founder and CEO Brandi Temple is a brilliant entrepreneur who figured out how to replicate the emotional experience of shopping without replicating the process of going into a store, with daily surprises, stories and emotional connections. In addition, she is able to use the data on the velocity and acceleration rate of product sales on Facebook to predict product demand on the website, thereby being able to manufacture more profitably by not over- or under-producing a given product.

Another company I have invested in is Tommy John which aims to change the men’s underwear industry. And via a personal investment, I helped start a unique high-end luxury fashion brand named Norisol Ferrari which is creating a new type of relationship with customers who are tired of mass “luxury” brands that make up so much of the so-called luxury industry today. The brand I most wish I had invested in is Warby Parker, who is blowing apart the eyewear industry (and Luxottica can’t touch them).

I’m also putting my money behind retailers who recognize that brands can and will go directly to their customers and rather than try to fight and prevent them from doing so, are creating platforms that enable brands to build and strengthen their relationship with their customers. Retailers won’t exist in the future if they can’t provide value – and only a few can provide value through brand and merchandising talent. I think Moda Operandi (another company I wish I had invested in) will be able to carve out their own niche as a direct retailer in addition to their current business, but I believe that they have more potential as a service provider of trunk shows for brands.

I love “retailers” like ModCloth, but the truth is nobody cares about the brands on the site, they care about what founder Susan Koger puts on there and I would bet that they become a direct label brand more and more. I met with the two founders of Of A Kind recently. At first, I cringed, because they were introduced to me as a “designer discovery site” and I figured they would be like the dozens I had seen recently. But they had a unique twist: provide customer acquisition, brand building and data (and maybe technology one day?) to enable new designers to build their own businesses while Of A Kind builds theirs. They are a true brand service provider that recognises how this industry has changed.

One of my companies that sells fashion as part of a broader mix is AHALife. There will be some very interesting developments there that demonstrate what a retailer-as-service-provider can be. And my prediction is that we will see more and more entrepreneurs who understand that it’s the brand that matters and use technology to provide unique value-added services to them.

One thing’s for sure. It will be an exciting next few years as technology transforms the relationships amongst brands, retailers and customers. But the biggest challenge entrepreneurs face might be themselves. Many would-be fashion-tech entrepreneurs have a deep understanding of the fashion industry and no understanding of technology. Or they have a deep understanding of technology and no understanding of fashion. Or, they understand neither!

The entrepreneurs who master both and understand the subtleties of each will be triumphant and realize all the potential that lies in this combination of technology and fashion.

Lawrence Lenihan is the founder and managing director of FirstMark Capital and an adjunct professor at the NYU Stern School of Business.

Apr 5, 2014

Does Luxury or Fashion Brands understand digital ?

The question of why luxury fashion brands don’t understand or utilize digital has baffled me for years. It seems like such a natural thing that brands that have so much influence over culture, over design trends and over the luxury market would be the leaders in adopting digital because their clients are the most likely to have and use the best technology. 2 in 5 luxury consumers shops online and 4 out of 5 luxury purchases are influenced by digital so the numbers back up my frustration. 
And yet the sites of pretty much every major fashion house are nothing more than videos of past runway shows, slide shows of look books and the occasional online shopping experience which sees a 70% shopping cart abandonment rate. Where is the social media, the social sharing, the brand building or the great smartphone experiences?

The only two brands that I think are doing anything worth looking at are Burberry and Gucci. Burberry has really been the only brand to understand the potential power of their brand and that in the modern world they are as much a media-content company as they are a design company. They have launched a number of interesting ideas like live streaming their runways shows, a 3D holographic immersion film for its launch in China and the best e-commerce experience of any major fashion house that includes a trench coat builder that can yield over 12 million possible combinations. The thing to watch with Burberry will be to see if it can keep up their pace of innovation now that their CEO Angelo Ahrendts has left the company to take over retail for Apple.

I have also seen a much more serious investment from Gucci but it pretty much only centers around their web site. Last year they were one of the first fashion houses to launch a serious mobile web presence and it now reportedly accounts for 41% of their online traffic and over 28% of their online sales.

But ever with the two stand outs the vast majority of luxury fashion houses simply do not understand the modern consumer outside of the in-store experience. They need to understand that there is so much more potential for their brands if they really leveraged the power of their brands to make them into true lifestyle brands. People want to live the lives that these brands promise, they want advice on how to dress like the people in their ads and they want to do all of this so they can feel more stylish, take better selfies and just feel better about themselves. The other nice bi-product of creating a lifestyle brand is that people will buy more of your products because they are much more deeply invested in your brand and what it represents to themselves and everyone else.

They also need to realize how the modern consumer uses digital experiences and especially social media.These brands have to realize that their old school idea of advertising and brand building doesn’t work anymore. You can’t treating digital like it is just a series of PR stunts where you run a campaign and then stop talking to the consumers until it is time for the next campaign. Modern digital branding requires that you have an ongoing conversation and that conversation better have value because there are a thousand other places where I can get photos, offers and marketing fluff.

I have no idea if this problem will ever change or when these brand will even spend even a tiny fraction of what they spend on one photograph on their digital platforms but the time is long past due. This is space is wide open the first brand that really figures it out is going to have a huge advantage that the other brands will spend years trying to catch up to.

Savvy Tech LUXURY show 2014 !

                                  1. Emperor LX, the future Cockpit for geeks or all guys.

                                                             2. Sim2 Fuoriserie

3. McLaren 2014 - 616HP

GOTTA Lov tech-lux gadgets !

Apr 3, 2014

Stats that may worry wearable 'Device - Makers' ?

One-third of Americans ditch their wearable device within six months. Is it the current technology's limitations? Or are wearables simply not as disruptive as we might think them to be ?

Last year for his birthday, we surprised my dad with a Nike FuelBand. On the official spectrum of tech-savvy (which I just invented), he'd probably rank just above the mean. He is, however, obsessed with taking care of himself, and enjoys toying around with shiny new gizmos, like super-powered veggie juicers. He loved it.

But by the time I visited again over the holidays, he'd stopped wearing it. I found the FuelBand stashed in a drawer near the family computer, looking sad and collecting dust. "Why'd you stop wearing it?" I asked him. "Oh," he said. "I keep forgetting."

His answer was telling. One in six Americans already own a piece of wearable technology, while more than half say they are interested in purchasing one. But a new report highlighted in the Guardian seems to support the idea that wearables simply don't have the same staying power as other disruptive technologies, like, say, smartphones. According to research from Endeavour Partners, one-third of Americans who own a wearable device stop using it within the first six months. What's more, half of American adults who own fitness trackers specifically--like the FuelBand and Jawbone--have already stopped using those, too.

Of course, that might speak more to the technology's current limitations. Right now, fitness trackers can't do much more than approximate how many miles you walked, or tell you how many calories you burned swinging a tennis racket. And battery life still isn't in a place where we can completely quantify our weekly habits without needing to plug the damn thing in. When we slap on a wearable, we remain conscious of its presence, and that is a problem.

It's too early to conclude if the technology will ever become pervasive enough for someone like my mom to care about. After all, we have yet to truly experience what the Googles and Apples of the world are capable of. by Chris Gayomali.

Apr 1, 2014

Excellent strategy, for boosting digital Brand perception and value !


How Burberry's digital strategy is boosting brand value through the interactive campaign, Burberry Kisses, the luxury brand is delivering another unique consumer experience.

Burberry has introduced yet another digital innovation. They have partnered with Google to deliver the interactive campaign Burberry Kisses – a visually immersive and interactive experience that allows users to send letters sealed with a virtual kiss to friends and loved ones across the globe. Some have dubbed it as the latest digital gimmick with little use or relevance to the brand. I prefer to see it as a clever and charming example of humanising technology in order to interact with the consumer in a more personal way.

The British fashion house has been working hard over the past decade to bring its brand down from the dusty attic and back into the hearts of the young and successful. Its digital strategy has been fundamental to its newfound relevance. Burberry Acoustic, Art of the Trench and Bespoke were not designed to make money, rather they were created to engage the consumer and spread awareness.

The brand openly admits that it has become as much a media content company as a design company, because in the words of Christopher Bailey "it's part of the overall experience". While the content they are producing is undoubtedly engaging, some critics are asking how it all connects to the real value chain of the brand; how does it convert into sales? Angela Ahrendts calls it "the million square foot store", suggesting that every interaction is as crucial as the next, no matter what channel customers opt to engage with the brand through. An example of the classic mind share equals market share model – a well-known concept in marketing circles but one which is perhaps not traditionally practiced in the world of high fashion.

Many have been wary about the integration of digital into the luxury goods sector, fearing that e-commerce might diminish brand integrity or that customers would be unlikely to buy expensive items online without seeing them first. After all, the in-store sales ceremony is an intrinsic part of the value proposition. It would appear however, that customers are comfortable buying all manner of items online and a relevant and dynamic digital strategy has boosted sentiment relating to brands by more than 7%.


There is no doubt that Burberry is one of the most successful examples of a luxury brand that has harnessed digital channels as a way of delivering unique experiences. Live-streamed catwalk shows, viral social media campaigns and online communities have all been instrumental in the 'lifting of the veil' on one of the most exclusive cultural industries. But the brand has not only become visible to the masses; it has achieved market dominance in the face of the recessionary climate (£2bn revenue in 2012). Symbolic of all things British - elegance, innovation and creative talent, Burberry has cultivated cultural capital and generated economic success, boosting overall brand value.

In our postmodern society, where access to goods and services is often only a click of the mouse away from most, luxury brands are no longer defined simply by rarity and price, reserved for the pleasures of the elite classes. Time has become the real luxury, with customers deriving pleasure and satisfaction from the moments of interaction with brand worlds, not just the products themselves. For brands this means delivering relevant experiences, seamlessly at every point in the customer journey.

Now ubiquitous across markets and with the digital world evolving at pace, Burberry will need to work hard to capture customers' attention and at the same time protect the brand by ensuring the experience is always appropriate and on-message. While many of us are still waiting for the day we can afford a Burberry trench, campaigns like Burberry Kisses are keeping the brand top of mind and close to our hearts.

ref: http://www.theguardian.com
Jessica Swinton, consultant at Brand Union