Gamification creates a new world of fun, technology and profit - All about the new attraction and how the trend can be used for positive change
"Louis - The Game" - Source & Copyright by Louis Vuitton
Author: Evgenia Lozinskaya
Louis Vuitton is celebrating the 200th birthday of its legendary founder on August 4, 2021 with the release of a smartphone game called "Louis - The Game". But why is the luxury industry increasingly relying on tools like gamification and virtual reality? Besause, it takes customers into a fantasy world and creates an emotional anchor. Not a surprise, that the gaming market is valued at $180 billion with around 3 billion players worldwide. This development is supported by the increased demand for new customer experiences and broad access to technologies such as smartphones.
Why are luxury companies interested in gamification?
Nowadays, the challenge for legacy brands in the luxury segment needs to be innovative in all areas. Not only in terms of product and design, but also in terms of story and presentation. Brands that position themselves close to their target groups, have managed to become the most successful competitors. As luxury consumer become younger, more demanding and more impatient, the importance of user-centered experiences increases.
Louis Vuitton Game of Thrones Collection | © Louis Vuitton
Gamified Luxury brings brands close to the user and provides the opportunity to create an individual customer journey. For this kind of re-humanisation of legacy brands, technology has become a reliable means. Milton Pedreza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, says: "I think particularly for millennials and especially GenZs, who grew up in virtual online worlds with the rules of eGaming, luxury gamification can work well. As long as it has a value added reason to be part of the customer experience, as judges by the customer, we are on solid ground."
So gamification in particular attracts the younger generation, who will account for 40% of the future luxury market . Special attention is paid to luxury consumers,who are constantly on the lookout for extravagance, fun and experience. Virtual worlds offer limitless opportunities to remain emotionally connected to the customer, resulting in a positive brand perception.
Rewards, gifts, exclusive access and leaderboards are among the tools that maintain a psychological bond. One example of this is the digital styling gaming app "Drest", where customers can try on various luxury styles as avatars and then purchase them online from partners such as Farfetch, Cartier and Prada if they want. The app caused a sensation primarily with its digital display of prominent supermodel avatars.
Farfetech Drest App | © Dresden
Gamified Luxury and Digi-Couture take customers on an emotional journey
With game-based brand experiences, customers are drawn into interactive opportunities. In a playful way they learn more about brand messages. Louis Vuitton and Burberry take shoppers into a virtual reality, where shopping becomes an unforgettable experience through digital extension and interactions. Christian Dior is using VR headsets to give shoppers a glimpse of the Paris fashion shows.
Gucci launched the Gucci Arcade as well as Gucci Sneaker Garage, in which customers design their own virtual sneakers, can buy them digitally and take them into various games. Here, the famous "Gucci Virtual 25" was sold at a fair price of € 12.99. Even the Gucci Off the Grid Collection has been released to the Sims 4-community. The French luxury house Kenzo has also relied on a gamified e-shopping experience for the release of the new Sonic sneaker. It was made difficult to get a turn, as players had to defeat opponents in order to access the sale of the limited-edition sneakers. The campaign challenged consumers and provided an exciting shopping experience at the same time.
Virtual Gucci Sneaker Garage | © Gucci
The TOMS brand uses VR headsets for its "A Walk in Their Shoes" campaign to take buyers on an emotional journey. Buyers were able to travel virtually to Colombia and interact with a child, who benefited directly from buying shoes. According to Milton Pedreza, "like all trends gamification should evolve and innovate to remain desired and relevant. Right now we are the beginning and we are still at the gimmick or subpar tech stage." But he is sure that it will improve.
Classic gamification elements can bring environmental benefits
According to the UN environmental program, the fashion industry is causing 10% of global emissions. Likewise, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the global textile production has already doubled between 2000 and 2015 to 100 billion items of clothing. The demand is to be duplicated again by 2030. Gamified fashion has a great potential to lower the high level of consumption and production. As gamification combines typical game elements such as competition, scoring or collecting tokens with the areas of everyday life.
For example, responsible behavior, such as upcycling, could be rewarded with it. Digital design also has a sustainability advantage. With 3D avatars, brands could only use digital designs to create a new collection. Fabric samples, cuts and prototypes do not have to fly around the world. Designs would not be produced until the digital design is approved. For the world of influencers, too, digital clothes offer a more sustainable solution, as the shipping and return of the often expensive outfits could be avoided.
The Fabricant, a Digi-Couture fashion house, which already collaborated with brands such as Adidas and Mulberry, has found that the production of a conventional cotton shirt has a carbon footprint of 7.8 kilograms per item. While the digital design for the same item only generates 0.26 kilograms. With digital fashion, brands could reduce their carbon footprint by up to thirty percent. The Fabricant designed the first digital couture dress, Iridescence, sold for $ 9,500 at the Ethereal Summit in New York. Only the buyer can now use it as a digital filter and share it on social media channels. Without a question, a digital artwork.
© The Fabricant x Dapper Labs - Photo by Julien Boudet
Digi-Couture and Gamified Luxury to be enjoyed with caution
The gamification approach in the fashion industry could address ongoing challenges, such as reducing environmental pollution and waste, as well as optimise the use of raw materials, budgets and manpower. Gamification mechanisms attract and retain customers, but also improve sustainable performance.
However it is questionable whether users lose the sense for reality, which then brands can take advantage of with exorbitant margins. According to Milton Pedreza, "the gaming offer further need to be relevant and you must provide alternatives for all types of generations. Brands should be ageless and timeless so they must also address Boomers and GenZ if they are truly inclusive. Some of these technologies may not be valued by older consumers who still have a high demand and purchasing power." There is also a clear heads-up with regards to the underlying data volume and electricity consumption. For example NFTs are openly criticised due to the resource-intensive blockchain technology.