Construct + Luxury Briefing
Some of you might still think the luxury metaverse is an overhyped niche. Sadly for a sector built on a history of bold innovation, luxury leadership can be slow to embrace change. Until quite recently the sector valued heritage ahead of almost everything else, condemning brands to repeat in a cycle of diminishing relevance and value. All that has changed. The luxury brands we admire today are the changemaker brands, it doesn’t matter how established they are, what matters is their attitude to the future, are they leading or following? Luxury after all, in every sense, is about leadership.
The changes I am referring to couldn’t be more profound, we have wrapped our heads around Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) but we are only just now unpacking the potential of what extends beyond this. The luxury metaverse is a reality in which consumers will decide how to engage with brands and branded experiences. To do this successfully brands need to achieve mastery of data to a level beyond anything they are currently capable of. We are talking about data generation (CRM), analytics (advanced AI) and data-driven actions (automated support tools). Jing Daily summed this up perfectly: “The luxury leaders of the future must fundamentally become data companies centred around the customer. They must provide a ﬂuid metaverse experience no matter the customers global location, where they shop, and whether they experience the brand online or off.”
Reﬂecting on this statement it’s easy to understand the importance of data and the urgent requirement to invest in high quality data generation as the very foundation of all future expressions of brand. Data is the key to unlocking valuable commercial relationships with consumers, no longer about good management and sales optimisation, soon there will be no relationship without robust data.
Given my role as a brand and brand experience creator I can’t help but be focused on what this means for creative leadership. Once you wrap your head around the requirements it becomes clear that luxury brands will need to think very differently about this. How creative leadership is structured and what skill sets will be required to deliver success. Many brands purport to be a step ahead and already organised to respond to the opportunity of the luxury metaverse. However, in reality when I audit the very best I am struck by the disparate nature of brand expression. Every touchpoint of the brand in most cases feels separate, which means that as a consumer I am not able to experience a seamless brand relationship. To thrive in the metaverse this uniﬁed and continuous sense of 'brand self' will be essential.
It’s not surprising that so many brands are failing to create a singularity of experience. If we look at the way most businesses structure their organisations creative leadership tends to be a department with a product focus rather than a universal brief covering product and experience. Technology is often disconnected from creative and therefore not focused enough on the radical customer-centricity required to build data supported seamless brand experiences. And senior leadership in many cases lacks the creative ﬂair for a connected universality of brand vision. All of which makes me question how luxury brands should be structured as organisations ready for the future. Who they recruit and access to inspire customers in a seamless experience of brand?
Creative leadership needs a broader brief, departmental integration and a respect and understanding of the consumer. The challenge today is discovering and developing the talent capable of designing the future. Future success will be in a large part predicated on nurturing creative leaders with a deep understanding of strategy, a mastery of data tools and an ability to inspire emotionally engaging brand experiences with ﬂawless execution. As I stated at the start if Luxury is about leadership, In the Luxury metaverse Creative leadership will be king!
Image credit: Deezen / A. Reisinger