01/27/2011 04:59 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Just Back From -- London's Luxury Briefing Conference

What a great week it was! (after the mishap of lost baggage was solved that is)!

I co-hosted the industry-respected Luxury Briefing conference last week in London. It was truly a top-notch line up, with talented, industry leading speakers and a quality audience with whom to network and share ideas with.
Here is the schedule and speaker line up viewable via this link:

Thursday's line-up began with a very cool presentation about plenty of retail and online based innovations and Friday ended with a fast and intensive montage of what is happening in the fabric of our western society from a consumer and zeitgeist perspective.

There was a lot to take away from the expert line up of speakers and panelists over the two days; here is a brief summary to provide a sense:

Kate Ancketill of GDR's online developments such as Facebook Deals; some of the remarkable new retail ideas showcased by Marc Worth of WGSN and; Land Rover Design Director Gerry McGovern's insight into keeping an icon relevant in the 21st century; a high-powered travel panel who underlined the need to be cutting-edge to engage; Matt Webb of BERG who brought a little humour and magic to the proceedings, and some prestigious luxury ladies (Nadja Swarovski, Kate Reardon, the new Editor of Tatler, and Marigay McKee from Harrods) who underlined the need for charm and manners.

John Kearnon told the audience about "me to we" marketing. Dana Thomas, author and Newsweek columnist said doing less is better; Jeffrey Miller (whom I could listen to for hours he is so clever) asked "Is boredom the new luxury?" (because consumers are getting so tapped out on media and noise) ...Nick Jones, Soho House founder, smartly said "as we get bigger we must remain small". Then - the panelists debated & discussed attention span & media consumption + how to get ones message out. Last up was Chris & Martin of the Future Laboratory (always fascinating to hear from year after year) informed that we are in a heightened state of living in these turbulent times. That's ... one way to look at it!

Bottom line: if you are in the Luxury sector / the consumer goods/services sector - you had to be there, and should make it to the next. I learned about an incredible mix of innovations, tactics and realities from the great speaker line-up.

Remember: Content is King and ... context is King! Take a look at the speaker line up for more detail.

Some additional notes and take-aways provided by Lauren Steventon - on my team at What's Worth It (thank you Lauren!)

  • Heritage and authenticity are key to the super wealthy, however, so are innovation and a social conscience.
  • Storytelling is important
  • Consumer trust their peers more than they trust a sales pitch - brands need to be on a consumers social graph and allow interaction between consumers.
  • Digital marketing should evoke magic. It should be a communication that enraptures the consumer and allows them to interact with the brand in a two-way communication.
  • Buzz words for luxury branding in the digital age:

  • Charm, magic and conversation - many luxury brands have lost these
    Trusting, engaging, wowing - what luxury brands should provide
    Ethical, moral (practical stewardship and leadership in social conscience)
    Authentic experience
    Personal, bespoke service
    Conversation with consumers

    Key new technologies to consider:
    1. Geo-location and how that helps brands to interact with consumers in a personal way
    2. Augmented reality - how information is delivered to consumers, and how the layers of this information can build up
    3. Immersive digital experiences (QR codes etc.)
    4. Cross-platform campaigns that create a conversation with the consumer
    5. Innovative ways to embed information/media
    6. The iPad is ... crucial Lessons we've learnt since the crash Dana Thomas (author of the excellent book: 'How Luxury Lost its Luster' (only two bullet points below - buy her book - you'll not put it down)

      • Luxury brands should do less, better.

      • Luxury is special, unique, rare and a treat. Prada, Louis Vuitton etc have become common, everyday items - no longer luxurious.

      • Luxury in the past was not just a label, it was a history. Luxury shopping was about being pampered in a small atelier, which created unique artefacts made by crafastmen. Louis Vuitton originally had just two stores. Niche businesses for a niche clientele. Bought for their quality and timeless appeal.
      For tickets to this October's event: THE WEALTH SUMMIT or next January's FUTURE LUXE 2012 contact: If you do not already receive the monthly Luxury Briefing report - get it. It has been a helpful source for my businesses the last 6+ years:
      Here is a sample: