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Bulgari uses mobile apps as Glorified Product Catalogs


By Rachel Lamb at Luxury Daily

Bulgari's apps are expanding to offer products to individual consumer groups   Bulgari’s apps are expanding to offer products to individual consumer groups. Bulgari is expanding its mobile strategy to target different consumer groups with its specific applications for various products.  

 The applications focus on fragrance, watches and jewelry and allow consumers to visualize the brand’s newest products. Interactive games, 360-degree exploration and life-size close-up views of products are some of the characteristics that the applications employ.  

 “The applications are glorified product catalogs,” said Ryan Peterson, manager of business development and marketing at Ubermind, Seattle. “Once the application is downloaded, anyone who wants to see it can look at it anytime they want for free. “It’s a much easier and more productive way to view products than print ads.”

Ubermind is a technology firm focused on the development of implementation of custom desktop, Web and mobile phone applications. Ubermind is not affiliated with Bulgari and Mr. Peterson agreed to comment as a third-party expert. 
Bulgari has been around for more than 125 years and specializes in watches, jewelry, fragrance, skincare and leather goods. The brand was not able to comment by press deadline.
 The world of Bulgari
Each application focuses on one sector of the Bulgari brand which targets a consumer group interested specifically in that category. Depending on the features of the application, each is optimized for either the iPhone or iPad. “The point of these applications is allowing the consumer to fully explore the products,” Mr. Peterson said. “The close-ups and 360 tours are what makes luxury brands’ [use of mobile apps] different from other mobile applications.  

“Consumers want to be as close to the product as possible, and something like an iPad app has a large screen where you can see a product’s intricacies,” he said. The fragrance iPhone application B.Man incorporates a game where the consumer completes a puzzle, and in return receives more information about the Bulgari Man fragrance (see story).  

Interactive puzzle game on the B.Man application

Interactive puzzle game on the B.Man application

 The application also features product information about the fragrance and offers a chance to compete with friends through email and the Bulgari Web site.  Another application, B.Magsonic, focuses on watches and is made for the iPad. The consumer watches a short video of a watch being taken out of its box and then offers a 360-degree exploration of the product with close-up views and a feature where the consumer can wind the watch.

360-degree view on the B.Magsonic application

360-degree view on the B.Magsonic application


There is also a close-up diagram of the watch’s intricacies and explanations of the watch’s functions. A third iPad application, Bulgari Collective, serves as a catalog for Bulgari’s vintage and modern jewelry products. The home screen focuses on eight tap-through graphics that go through to each collection. Viewers can learn about the different collections while looking at images. Clicking on a graphic will bring a close-up view to an individual product.

bulgari-individual Individual product page on the Collections application


The final Bulgari application is B.zero1. Its camera functions are adapted for the iPhone letting users take distorted pictures of friends to share on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. This application also allows consumers a chance to browse the B.zero1 ring collection. 

bulgari-zero Consumers can look at the ring collection in the iPhone app

  Logistics of the mobile strategy
Mr. Peterson believes that the Bulgari applications serve well in raising brand awareness, as well as opting for the smart choice of an iPad application. He says that iPads are an upscale product, so Bulgari is already targeting the audience that is most likely to buy its items. Despite offering almost all of its products through mobile marketing, none of the applications are commerce enabled, nor do they offer a store locator so consumers can find stores nearest to them. 

A store locator is necessary because consumers are most likely not going to buy Bulgari products from the applications, nor do they have the ability to, per Mr. Peterson. “Luxury brands can get away with not allowing customers to buy on their apps because the entire novelty of buying a luxury product is going to the store and holding it, being emotionally connected to it and deciding that you want to buy it after seeing it in person,” Mr. Peterson said.

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