Experience as the new aspiration
Luxury brand advocates are drawn to the aspirational qualities of their preferred brands beyond price, social "badges," or implied lives of privilege. For successful brands, this cache can extend beyond the product itself to encompass many facets of an exclusive lifestyle experience. For audiences on the move, especially the younger set, it's about having ready access to premium recommendations at every turn.
Capitalizing on mobile location and social affordances within a branded app can enhance on-the-go suggestions around a product. For example, hyper-localized search and GPS-aware apps can make lifestyle recommendations actionable in the context of places to "see and be seen," while social networking provides a natural viral momentum for elevating the brand.
Some fashion companies have launched destination-themed apps to create a following around the brand's style maker recommendations. The Louis Vuitton Amble iPhone app aims to create a following around "It Boys and Girls," chic insiders who curate hip hotspots in cities around the world, while weaving in their enjoyment of brand products and services. Because mobile devices are likely to be with consumers wherever they go, a city guide app guarantees the brand is along for the ride.
Exclusivity with insider access
The social capabilities of mobile can enable luxury brands to retain that inner-circle feeling around key events. Delivering exclusive previews or behind-the-scenes content such as product launches can offer loyal subscribers an additional rung of "insider" experiences.
The strategic use of Twitter and Instagram in the mobile context has the potential to elevate brand awareness around events with greater real-time and viral effectiveness than a traditional campaign, while still maintaining an up-market atmosphere. Burberry quickly won over the London Fashion Week preview as the brand tweeted runway looks mere seconds before they debuted on the catwalk. Guest tweeters took over Burberry's Twitter accounts across the globe, and the brand trended worldwide.