Ralph Lauren’s Smart Interactive Dressing Room: How to Build a Dominant Brand

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Ralph Lauren’s Smart Interactive Dressing Room: How to Build a Dominant Brand Image Credit: brandchannel.com

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In the early 19th century, long before the advent of the computer, type- writers reigned supreme. It was highest piece of technology as regards writing, pouring

out at an alarming and unprecedented speed, precision and neatness, a couple hundred words per min. Faster than any human could muster. It was glorious and fulfilling, with its user basking in delight. All organizations wanted to have a piece of it.

But then came along computer, which when first produced was brushed aside with this famous quote from  Ken Olsen "There's no reason why anyone would want to have a  computer in his homes." Although, he later goes on to say what he said was taken out of context.

Well quoted or misquoted... what he allegedly said may be true, because these days, the order of how we interact with the internet has shifted or is shifting from the computer, to more mobile devices.

A mobile phone specifically, which according reports, the average user stares at 110times a day. Mobile phones companies as Samsung, Apple lead the way in this category. We are all obsessed with Apple and rightly so, the brand has continued to remain relevant up until this present day, with no signs of slowing down or being overtaken... At least for now. But the same cannot be said for all organizations that had first mover advantage.

Quite until recently, the only way we could take pictures was via a camera which had film rolls in them, after which the pictures taken are sent to labs, later printed out in paper form. (I remember i used to wait 2weeks to get my pictures or passport printed out from our neighborhood photographer back in the days.)

Phones which initially served the purpose of making and receiving calls , added cameras to their phone features. Although the experience was still not close to what Kodak offered, the organization felt unmotivated to do something different, as it still felt relevant and unperturbed by emerging trends in the industry .

“You either disrupt your own company or someone else will. ” Peter Diamandis said, and Instagram did just that to the industry sending Kodak bankrupt and out of the business pool.

In 1999, before PayPal came into existence, Visa and Mastercard were the only companies that had efficient and secure process to combat crime (scam and robbery), transaction delay and the need to carry cash around, as transactions could be made with the swipe of of a card, flooring what was available before them. It was more efficient than the old process (check and cash transactions combined), plus portable and convenient too.

PayPal promised something better and different, with its founders known to be misfit in all meaning of the word. Their story and rise to relevance is one to cherish. It sought to utilize the "craze" of that era, (the internet) which had begun to gain wide appeal from members of the public, enabling anyone with an email address to send and receive online payments safely, easily and quickly, compared to the rigorous processes, checks and protocol one had to go through using the other options.

Visa one of the big guns as at then, had 2 options: standby and watch the newbie take all of its market or maintain its presence and relevance. I'm guessing you know which option they chose.

Most business organizations are set up for one purpose only; profit making. Organizations that want to continuously do that, must maintain relevance and appeal with 2 of the tools used, being marketing and innovations; the standard 2 wheels every long term and strategic thinking firm roll on.

As each firm competes for market share, they look around to see how they could make their products better, to give the consumers the ultimate experience, who are the end users of their concentrated efforts. A very unsatisfied customer and he/ she flips to the next available alternative for satisfaction.

Fickle as the loyalty of consumers are these days, and the organizational need to keep and satisfy its customers, organizations go all out to keep up with the latest trend and / or "re- invent the wheel."

Brands like Ralph Lauren have constantly done that, and with its recent effort,  the introduction of interactive mirrors in its dressing room,  geared towards increasing customer satisfaction and experience, be sure that customers would keep coming back for repeat purchases . The technology may not be all that new, but its beginning to gain a wide appeal in more of its elite stores, with Puma, Adidas etc., some of the brands to have adopted this new trend.

For your brand to continuously remain in existence and relevance, it must be abreast with trends. Because merely being in existence just to compete with no brand position, does you no good. It would eternally mean that you continuously have to repackage and market your "mediocre and unchanging product/ service, and then scramble with competition for little profits, which would make you no different from selling a commodity, only it has a name/ brand.

A trend canvas lets you stay ahead of others. Letting you anticipate trends, change or possible change, making you effectively position yourself as forerunner or leader in your niche.

trend canvas
Image credit: Innovatenewalbany

An example is what makers of the mirror Oak Labs have done.  "It debuted earlier this year and was co-founded by Healey Cipher, former head of retail innovation at eBay enterprise group; Darren Endo, former head of design at eBay retail innovation; and two others, VentureBeat reports. Oak Park has raised $4.1 million in funding."

 https://vimeo.com/141758597 .

Be sure this firm (Oak Labs) is going to get a lot of free press and public relations for this, which by all means, is good for the continuous image of the brand. But only for a while though, as early mover advantage does not count for much, if you are going to be unseated by the next person who improves on your product.

Innovation is everything. Innovate your way to the top. Innovate your way to remain there!

Read 1106 times Last modified on Friday, 18 December 2015 14:10
Aziz Sadiku

He works as Brand and Content Strategist in an organization he co-founded in Germany. As an M.Sc graduate of the Hochscule Furtwangen University, building loyalty that drives commerce to an organization, both offline and online ticks his interest. His hobbies include reading, chess, the game of football and trying new things!

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