Luxury brands need evidence to prove mobile?s efficacy: Waterford Wedgwood exec

NEW YORK ? For luxury to truly embrace mobile, brands need solid proof of the medium?s effectiveness in the field via research, per a senior executive at Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton.

In her closing keynote presentation at Mobile Marketer?s Mobile Marketing Summit last week, Waterford Wedgwood group director for global ecommerce Leisa Glispy questioned whether mobile really can represent a luxury brand?s values. She stressed the need for concrete case studies to illustrate mobile?s power. 

 ?We really need to have the evidence to have the luxury industry move forward,? Wall, NJ-based Ms. Glispy said. ?Once there?s evidence in mobile, you will see people move towards it.

?I think there has to be that partnership, otherwise they think they are out there spending their own money, pushing the envelope,? Ms. Glispy said.

?They want to see people like them,? she said. ?They will say, ?OK, Pepsi did this, but they?re not Hermes.??

Don?t drop the ball
For Waterford Crystal, the company?s mobile strategy was to build an initial foundation by creating its free Clink-Clink iPhone application.

Clink-Clink was created in time for the drop of the Waterford Crystal ball in New York?s Times Square last New Year?s Eve. It allows users to make virtual toasts (see story).

Some of the challenges that luxury brands need to address in the mobile domain is the customer experience.

When going mobile, brands need to maintain that unique, rich in-store experience their customers seek out.

Another initial challenge for luxury is the screen size of most mobile devices. The iPad, however, is diminishing this problem with its large, interactive screen.

Many retailers have begun offering mobile coupons as a way to drive sales, which is an option not often considered in luxury.

?Coupons are not an option,? Ms. Glispy said. ?That is the last thing the luxury industry wants to hear.

?The high end is not necessarily concerned with specials, but ?Am I going to be the first to see it??? she said. ?A coupon is really just saying, ?You?re special and here you go.??

Crystal clear
The luxury industry is just now making its dive into mobile, due in part to the economic recession but also because of the growing link between the PC Web and mobile.

?The one thing I tell luxury folks now is that you have to think about mobile now,? Ms. Glispy said. ?If you send an email, mobile is affecting you. You have to build a platform that is mobile-enabled.?

Waterford Wedgwood began monitoring its customers? mobile usage by sending emails at 5 a.m. on Sunday with short, mobile-optimized subject lines.

The company found that the measurement of this effort?s success was primarily anecdotal, though it did notice a spike coming in from those emails.

Ms. Glispy said that her company and other luxury brands need to understand what is brewing in the next three years for mobile.

?We need to understand what?s coming down the pike from providers,? Ms. Glispy said. ?We?ve got too much going on to be the ones to ask for it.

?I think [mobile and luxury] is a natural fit and we really need to think about how we utilize this medium more and how we should be pushing the envelope more,? she said.

Here is a photo of Ms. Glispy speaking at the Mobile Marketing Summit:

Final take
Kaitlyn Bonneville is editorial assistant at Napean LLC. She interviewed Ran Farmer of Netbiscuits regarding the luxury marketer's role in mobile.