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Hard to believe that we’re heading to the last days of summer! And yes, I, along with many of you, have been busy with work (Rolex Video and Directing New Media & Brand Content Workshops for clients such as the CFDA incubator designers), and family fun in the sun - but one of the topics that has come up this summer is Video via New Media.
In 2011, what we’ve seen is that Luxury brands that use interesting, aesthetically-pleasing videos (in-store, mobile, tablet) can help to add to the shopping experience and increase transactions. Good video content drives traffic to retail as well as e-commerce.
Videos that focus on products or the history and legacy of a brand or position the product/brand (as in broadcast, only far less $$) are usually the most beneficial. However, bland and uninteresting videos, not surprisingly, are ignored by consumers and can add almost nothing to the brand experience.
The days of just picking up a camera and shooting are over. Clients (we hope) have learned that “band-aids don’t work (when it comes to branding). The rule of thumb “PROCESS” still applies to build unique brands that stand up to the test of time.
The 3 steps that I apply to branding CONTENT for all MEDIA
1. WHO are you talking to? Do a visual (or if you have the budget) a research spectrum on the target audience.
2. WHAT are going to say to them. Explore culture, education, lifestyle etc.
3. HOW, are you going to say it. (this is the one that today, agencies and clients jump to first. Its the sexy part of branding). If you want your work to stand the test of time. Take the time to go through the process - you, and your clients will benefit.
If budgets are an issue, other video options such as a behind the scenes of a your photo-shoot or brand experiential videos like runway shows and music videos. These videos create a sense of energy, visual stimulation and connect the customer to the brand. This type of video is fantastic to spread the buzz… Your PR agency and your product will benefit. But it won’t position your brand (social media & PR works for a short while, but as many designers and CEO’s have mentioned to me time and again “ the story the media are saying about us - is NOT who WE are…”). Brand building is part strategy and research, part creative curation, and part execution and media. If you have BIG ideas, surround yourself with experienced brand builders - and make them (us) part of your marketing team.
Retailers “stream” for attention
Luxury jewelers, retailers, automakers and hotels can all benefit from in-house videos, such as education. These videos build value in the product and communicate stories. Think of a video on how fine watches are made or what goes into a pearl necklace, or polishing a diamond. One of the main reasons that consumers purchase luxury goods is because they realize their main components are rarity, heritage and craftsmanship. Therefore, showing a video that emphasizes the detail and work that goes into a luxury good or explaining a brand’s history could incentivize consumers to buy or at least return to the store.
Many luxury retailers are also using videos that feature the newest collections from the most recent runway shows. But come on, go beyond a basic look book, make your app or video relevant so clients can order or use technology to talk to you directly (in-real-time).
For instance, British designer Burberry used in-store videos to show its new line and to launch its new flagship location in Beijing, China in April.
Adding content sparkle - when over selling just gets in the way…
As I walk back to my office via Madison Avenue here in New York, I’ve seen many luxe stores with in-store videos that add no value. I was recently in a luxury jewelry store that was running a video of a person speaking at a trade show - with print ads edited in and out of the interview - not only was it distracting - but they had no sound, which made it even less useful. It’s not surprising [that] customers were totally ignoring it. While this most likely will not turn people off from the retail experience, brands that show boring videos with content that is NOT relevant are missing out on opportunities to inspire consumers to buy products or services.
Another good use is a video that tells the company’s story - such as the video I directed and produced for Peeq Media, which helped them project their companies brand personality and services, which resulted in a successful merger with Toppan, the largest printer in Asia. In the old days (yesterday), clients such as Peeq Media would be sales driven only. Today companies have to differentiate themselves from the competition, then allow their brand to lead them to the sale.
Indeed, some consumer brands such as Burberry and Nordstrom use mobile devices and apps to show products and videos. Just as consumers expect a brand to be luxury, the experience should feel that way - be it in-store, tablet or website.
Most expensive products are going to be bought in-store, rather than online or via mobile. Video if done right will lead traffic to the stores, as well as spread the message to support and reach a new, fresh consumer that desires to be part of the brand family. Even those who say they’re not interested in fashion; take a look at their watch, polo shirt, car, smartphone or briefcase…, its not just about fashion, its about who you are. Its how you project yourself to the world, your associations and inspirations.
Therefore, expensive cars, jewelry and other products could benefit from a video demonstration to convince customers to buy, or connect with the brand - so that they forward the video to friends, post to their social sites, etc. Your clients Brand Video makes them look good. A win-win.
The in-store experience is not what we hope it is or what we say it is, but rather it’s what the customer actually sees, hears and feels while engaging with the experience - staff, products and physical store (this is also relevant for web & e-commerce experience).
The purchase process and the emotional connection, coupled with the store, staff, service and product are key elements of the luxury value proposition.
The experience is how the connection is or isn’t made.
So, meeting and hopefully exceeding the customer’s expectations with the customer’s overall experience is vital, and delivering on all of the elements of the in-store and brand experience enables that to happen.
Technology has never been better for luxe imagery. Use it. But before you blow your budget on video that goes stale on your facebook or other social sites, take a long-term view of what you want to achieve from video content. Paid media tells your story the way you choose to tell it, social media (viral/PR), spreads it.
Videos can definitely be beneficial, but just like all marketing tactics, showing a Video just for the sake of it is pointless.
If you have any questions, or you would like to have a one-on-one workshop on: Video Content via New Media, please contact me at:
Enjoy the rest of your summer - chat soon.