Luxury brands don’t play when it comes to their marketing strategies
With China now being the largest market for gaming and luxury, they need to consider the environmental factors that could help them better understand their target customers and increase their performance benefits.
Gamification consists in using game elements to engage and motivate in non-game contexts, by using game-based aesthetics, mechanics and thinking. The only similarities between gamification and actual video-games are the elements used (storytelling, avatars, rewards). Gamification only uses parts of games to engage with users, collect data, and create cooperation with the brand. In the context in which luxury brands operate, gamification is essential for them to tackle the challenges they are dealing with.
Re-humanizing Legacy brands
The biggest competitors of Legacy brands aren’t just other luxury brands, but brands that succeed at positioning themselves as more relatable to their target audience. The challenge now is to innovate across every dimension of the brands, not just in terms of products and design, but also in the delivery and the story built around it.
To tackle this issue, gamification can be used to immerse the customer in the brand’s universe, making them a participant in the product development (customization), or giving them a sense of belonging to the brands’ universe (matching a product to a personality). Wether customers go on a treasure hunt with Dior or toss horseshoes with Hermès, they need to form social connections, get more than just a product from their experience with the brand.
Technology as a means and not an obstacle
Luxury brands’ main audience is younger, more impatient, more aware and more demanding. Thanks to the rapid development of technology in China, Millenial and Gen Z consumers have access to more touchpoints, to information faster and in greater volume. This influences the customer journey and their expectations, which impacts the success of a brand’s marketing strategy. Increasing the connection with the target audience and engagement would allow brands to understand their customers’ needs faster.
In previous cases, Wechat has proven to be the best tool to engage with customers, and served as an essential touchpoint in omnichannel strategies. Consequently, many
brands have created Wechat miniprograms to create immersive digital experiences for their customers, to offer exclusive access to the brand, or practice the “drop” retail model, by releasing limited edition clothing and accessory. Gucci, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and the other brands who have experimented with Wechat miniprograms were successful because they understood that the younger generation of consumers want to showcase their individuality, engage and be entertained by their favourite brands.
It is paramount for brands to create user-centered digital experiences to get closer to their consumers and to be more adaptive to their demands.
Gamification can serve as a tool to find the intersection between user goals and business goals. If leveraged efficiently, it can help companies integrate their O2O retail channels, improve loyalty, customer retention and the user experience.
The key success factor for brands is to provide desirable experiences as well as desirable products. To get to the next level, brands must transition from Omni-Channel to Omni-Personal luxury experiences. They need to focus on real time mobilization of data and leveraging devices and platforms to deploy responsive solutions to their customers’ needs.
The sophistication of Millennial and Gen Z consumers leaves no choice for luxury brands but to step up their game in their design of customer experiences to achieve sustained growth and develop long-term client relationship. Brands who are successful in doing so are the ones who can incorporate technology and emotion in their brand DNA to get closer to their target and their aspirations.