London – Omni-channel global fashion brand Burberry is taking a pioneering step into the realm of digital customer engagement with a new program called Burberry Kisses. Partnering with the Google Art, Copy & Code project that presents itself as a “series of experiments to re-imagine advertising,” Burberry is allowing consumers to send online letters which are sealed with digital replicas of their kisses, complete with their choice of Burberry lipstick shade.
Burberry Kisses is available via PC, smartphone or tablet and creates a digital imprint of the customer’s kiss with a webcam. Other features include an interactive global map that tracks the deliveries of kisses all over the world in real time.
This program does represent a reimagining of advertising in that beyond coloring the user’s digital kiss imprint with an official Burberry lipstick shade, it does not promote any specific Burberry product or directly encourage purchase behavior. Burberry Kisses does create numerous “soft” benefits including creating highly intimate brand engagement and helping to develop a global community of consumers with Burberry awareness.
As retailers (and Burberry does operate 457 of its own branded stores as well as e-commerce and m-commerce channels) continue to delve deeper into digital marketing and customer engagement, they will discover that soft benefits are at least as and maybe more important than hard benefits such as sales conversions. Convincing a customer to make a one-time digital purchase of lipstick is nice, but convincing a customer that the Burberry brand is an integral part of the most intimate and personal parts of their life is even nicer.