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Harrods expands Summer Beauty Festival reach via magazine app tie-in

London department store Harrods is putting beauty in the ?hands of the app holder? with digital content on its branded magazine application to support its month-long, in-store cosmetic event series.

Harrods dedicated the June issue of its magazine app to an ?app-solute color explosion? meant to act as an introduction to the retailer?s Summer Beauty Festival. The magazine content explores the latest summer beauty trends, while the in-store events act as personalized demonstrations that propel the theme of the June edition.

"The mobile phone and apps have become the preferred way for most consumers to absorb information,? said Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners, Boston.

?Harrods' magazine app is a great way to increase the awareness and exposure for its in-store events and become more connected to its customers," he said.

"Keeping consumers up-to-date on fashion trends will make them feel more connected to Harrods and inspire them to attend the events to learn more."

Mr. Morris is not affiliated with Harrods, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Harrods did not respond by press deadline.

Summer of beauty
The retailer introduced the theme of the June issue of Harrods magazine on its social media to generate interest.

Harrods magazine?s June edition features a model covered in powdered pigments described as?hothouse colors.? The issue?s title is a ?A shade more daring? to reflect the brightly-colored summer beauty trend shown in the content pages.

The issue opens with a short video showing different models in clouds of pigment in vivid yellow, blue and magenta. An extended version of this video plays at the top of the ?Color Explosion? article.

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Color explosion | Beauty | June 2014 |

A Harrods magazine article explains how to use vibrant-colored cosmetics on eyes, as bronzer and to enhance complexions. Along with tips, the blurbs also suggest products, sold by Harrods, to use to achieve the look.

By tapping the plus icon found on the images, readers can view what products were used to create the pigment-dusted looks featured in the article?s imagery, but the article is not mobile commerce enabled.

At the end of the content, the reader can explore the summer?s color palettes and Harrods? June beauty events by tapping the ?H? icon that leads to the brand's Web site calendar. Each Summer Beauty Festival event uses the Harrods magazine cover image as an icon for easy association.

Calendar listing for Harrods' Summer Beauty Festival 

Harrods? Summer Beauty Festival includes make-up masterclasses, summer skin-prepping, gifts and month-long beauty exclusives. The festival also includes summer beauty-themed events such as face and body treatments, bespoke makeovers, Q&As and complementary products.

Most of the events are held in either the Color, Cosmetic or Beauty Halls of Harrods? Knightsbridge store. Also, many of the events are more than single day initiatives, allowing for consumers to continually return to Harrods throughout June to experience the numerous beauty brands participating in the Summer Beauty Festival.

For example, Tom Ford?s fragrance focus event runs from June 2-15, while the cosmetic segment will be held June 16-29. Consumers attending the Tom Ford fragrance event can experience a private scent consultation followed by a hand and arm massage using the brand's Oud Wood body lotion.

The Tom Ford make-up event features a 1-hour make-up consultation using the brand?s newly launched cosmetics to create the ?perfect summer glowing skin? and includes a color application from the Summer Color collection.

Masterclasses will be instructed by aestheticians from Christian Dior and Giorgio Armani. Burberry will offer attendees a manicure and Givenchy will give out compact mirrors with the purchase of two beauty products.

Additional brands participating in Harrods? Summer Beauty Festival include BelleCore, Crème de la Mer, Decléor, SK-II, M.A.C, Clinique, Clarins, Kiehl?s, Lancôme, Shiseido and Chantecaille.

The desktop version of Harrods' June magazine can be viewed here.

Beauty and the retailer
Harrods has combined its digital magazine with beauty counter experiences before.

The department store used its iPad magazine application to mimic an in-store makeup trial to strengthen mobile commerce beauty sales.

Found in the December/January 2014 issue of Harrods? magazine app, the interactive ?Makeup Studio? featured four high-end beauty lines carried by the retailer. Interactive digital content that allows consumers to ?try on? a product or see how an item works mirrors the in-store experience and empowers consumers with a better understanding of products (see story).

As beauty consultations become more prevalent in the digital space, events will be increasingly important to maintain a personal relationship with consumers.

For example, Harrods aimed to elevate itself as the destination for skincare with a series of events dedicated to the scientific breakthroughs in the category.

Harrods? Skinnovation series featured both workshops and masterclasses, as well as one-on-one consultations with representatives for high-end skincare brands, including La Prairie and Kiehl?s. By hosting this event, Harrods was able to give affluent consumers face time with experts in the skincare industry, beginning relationships that may grow as they return for product refills (see story).

A one-on-one experience is likely to create a brand loyalist.

?Hosting in-store fashion events is an excellent way for Harrods to have a personal connection with its customers,? Mr. Morris said.

"Engaging customers at educational events that provide value creates an emotional connection that fosters brand affinity for Harrods," he said.

Final Take
Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York