Ranked: Most digitally intelligent luxury brands

New York-based Luxury Lab has released its second annual Digital IQ Index of Luxury Brands. The study quantifies the digital competence of 72 global luxury brands by accessing brand websites, digital marketing strategies, social media initiatives and mobile applications.

The luxury brands that ranked at the top of this year's Index were Coach, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hugo Boss and Burberry respectively.

Coach received accolades for its buzz-worthy Poppy Project which connected 468 blogs and their readers through a web of poppies. Like a public art show, with each hashtag tweet on Twitter the poppies grew.

Ralph Lauren got brownie points for developing a stellar, easy-to-navigate mobile application as well as a shoppable children's video storybook.

Gucci made a splash when it launched its digital flagship this fall and debuted GucciConnect to complement its Spring/Summer 2011 show in Milan. More than simply eyeing the catwalk, e-ticket holders for the virtual event were given the unique experience of going to a show and could even stream live videos of themselves.

And Burberry became luxury's digital darling after it launched its website artofthetrench.com. Scott Schuman of influential fashion blog The Sartorialist teamed up with Facebook to create a social networking fashion blog centered solely around the iconic Burberry trench coat. Like on Facebook, visitors can "like" or "leave a comment" and "share" each image.

According to Scott Galloway, founder of Luxury Lab, the "combination of the economic crisis, the emergence of a more digitally native Gen Y consumer, and several brands getting huge ROI- sales and press - due to digital leadership, inspired a massive investment in both human and financial capital in digital in 2010."

Companies are becoming increasingly engaged in what Luxury Lab calls a "virtual arms race to acquire fans and followers online." More than 90 percent of the luxury retailers in the 2010 Index count maintain a Facebook page. And half of the 72 global luxury brands in the Index have a presence on Twitter and YouTube (up from 17 and 26 percent respectively in 2009).

Luxury brands that fared the worst on the 2010 Digital IQ Index were mainly fine watch and jewelry retailers. Brands like Rolex, Chopard and Cartier have largely ignored social media outlets. None of the three brands are on Twitter and they have a limited engagement and user following on Facebook.

To view the 2010 Luxury Lab Index visit: http://www.l2thinktank.com/luxury2010digitaliq/luxury2010digitaliq.pdf

 

Top Ten Luxury Brands with the highest digital IQ (as ranked by Luxury Lab):

1. Coach

2. Ralph Lauren

3. Louis Vuitton

4. Gucci

5. Hugo Boss

6. Burberry

7. Dolce & Gabbana

8. Giorgio Armani

9. Swarovski

10. Tiffany

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