First NIO Capital CEO Summit in Shanghai

FABERNOVEL was proud to join the first NIO Capital CEO Summit in Shanghai yesterday.

NIO capital invest in fields such as electric vehicles, autonomous driving, shared mobility, new energy network, new materials and more.

(photo courtesy of Nio Capital)

FABERNOVEL at SLUSH Shanghai 2018

Thanks to our guests for joining the FABERNOVEL Tour at SLUSH Shanghai 2018. It was fun!

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FABERNOVEL @Startup Grind Shanghai party

Jack, Elon, Mbappe and our FABERNOVEL volunteers team last Friday at StartUp Grind Annual Party in Shanghai ?

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Event Recap: Virtual Reality for Brands

On Thursday April 21, 2016, VELVET organized the event Virtual Reality for Brands, featuring Crow’s Nest, a leading virtual reality content producer. The event was attended by members of the French Chamber of Culture and Industry, China (CCIFC).

Speakers for the event included VELVET CEO and Founder Patrice Nordey, Crow’s Nest Founder Eloi Gerard, Crow’s Nest Co-Founder Robert Ellis, Youku Business Development Director Jim Lerch, and Thomas Cook Business Development Associate Director, Solene Anglaret.

Guest tests out VR headset and demo.

Guest tests out VR headset and demo.

According to Gerard, humans have been projecting the self into reality since they started creating art. Virtual reality as we know it is the product of the convergence of smart phones and the internet. 2016 also marks the first year that affordable devices will be available to the masses—some could say it is Year One for Virtual reality.

Gerard went on to explain the difference between virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. The virtual reality experience is one of being submersed in an entirely different environment while augment reality involves placing virtual elements directly into real space. Mixed reality is where the virtual continuum extends from reality to augmented reality and augmented virtuality.

In terms of how brands use virtual reality, the popular options include events, cardboard (an inexpensive version of a headset made of cardboard), and in-store devices. Popular industries that use VR include travel, real estate, auto, and retail.

Eloi Gerard of Crow's Nest.

Eloi Gerard of Crow’s Nest.

Case Studies:

Automotive – PSA

The French car manufacturer commissioned Crow’s Nest to create a corporate video that contained scenes from the board room, test lab, and inside a car. The video was published to WeChat.

Retail – Metro

For its 20-year anniversary, the German supermarket commissioned Crow’s Nest to create a video that featured a host walking through a market to showcase the layout, products, and overall consumer experience.

Travel – Thomas Cook

The pioneering British travel agency decided to take advantage of the natural synergy between virtual reality and showcasing travel offerings. For the China market, it hired Crow’s Nest to produce a video that told the story of a Chinese couple’s holiday in Thailand.

As for the distribution model, it is easier in Europe because there are over a thousand retail locations and it is easy to distribute cardboards in store. In New York, sales increased by 300% after the introduction of virtual reality content. However, it’s hard to say for China, since the company started with virtual reality here, according to Business Development Associate Director, Solene Anglaret. In China, the company often distributes cardboards at Chinese partner company Fosun corporate events. The next step would be distribution at airports, sent to homes, and so forth.

Solene Anglaret of Thomas Cook.

Solene Anglaret of Thomas Cook.

Regarding whether virtual reality will replace real holidays, Anglaret seemed doubtful, saying that while she could imagine someone who wanted a quick pick-me-up by watching a travel VR video, for the most part, VR will aid in the decision making process.

What’s next in VR?

Youku Business Development Director Jim Lerch spoke about the potential for VRC (the virtual reality commercial), as well as branded entertainment and VR games. Youku (the “Youtube of China”) recently launched the 360 VR channel. Within Youku, there is a dedicatd APP. It is currently building out its VR product offering. Youku’s approach is content-driven, unlike competitor Tencent, which is more hardware driven.

VR content marketing is in its early stages. So what is the future of branded entertainment? One idea is doing original content teasers in VR, such as an extended movie trailer. Rather than a passive experience, it has the potential to be like a choose your own adventure.

VR e-commerce is another interesting prospect. Consumers will be able to experience a lifestyle and shop direct.

Jim Lerch of Youku.

Jim Lerch of Youku.

Of the four major players in the VR industry in China, Alibaba is the only one that is focused on content. The other three are closed ecosystems, similar to Facebook: Tencent (building out ecosystem with a headset and leveraging its user base), Baidu and LeEco.

But the industry is moving quick—Huawei also announced a headset.

Examples of VR for social media include meeting friends on the moon or having a meeting with your boss and coworkers who are all avatars.

Basically, VR is like the new internet and everyone wants to be Google and the challenge moving forward is about moving beyond the gimmick to create something sustainable, with longevity, Gerard concluded.

Get in touch to learn more about how to incorporate virtual reality into your marketing strategy.

In-Store Digital Luxury Experience Presented By Carlipa

The following is synthesized from a talk by VELVET and Carlipa, a technology company, about in-store digital luxury experiences. The talk took place in Shanghai on March 31, 2016 and is part of a bi-monthly morning series in partnership with our strategic partner, XNode Co-working Space and Startup Accelerator.

* * * * *

One of the biggest challenges in a digital age is recreating the in-store experience online and delivering brand value across a fragmented experience.

The digital experience is important because it is about business.

While a lot of the projects are linked to improving customer experience in store and to providing an interesting and outstanding experience, one of the big subjects is also to solve retail issues. Digital in-store experiences are not limited to communication, they also have a direct impact on sales.

Digital in-store experiences contribute to sales value, greater frequency of purchase, and customer loyalty. The digital customer experience is about business.

So what constitutes good customer experience? It’s not something you can measure, it’s not a metric-–it’s a perception. The only way to know is to ask the customer.

According to Forrester Research, there are three elements that are crucial for building customer experience. A brand should deliver value by bringing something useful that meets the needs of customers. A brand should delivery it in an easy way, and here technology factors a great deal. These two elements are very rational. The third element is extremely irrational and many people forget-–the experience needs to be enjoyable. So these are the three: useful and easy (rational) plus enjoyable (irrational).

The next idea I would like to share with you before starting is the fact that when we interact with clients through different channels and touch points, the interaction will set the expectation. Particularly with luxury, the promise and expectation is that customers will have an incredible experience. So you have all the traditional channels–-TV, ads, print, radio, email, web, digital–-that will set the expectation. But you need to deliver the promise. The higher you set the bar, the greater your deliverable becomes.

Some channels will deliver the value. The in-store experience, the way the manager welcomes you–-all of this delivers value. Furthermore, customer perception will be hard to shift once expectations have been set. The more you meet these expectations, the more you create incredible customer service.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the role of technology within all of that. So we return to the store, because this is the topic of today. We have drafted a value chain and there are three elements technology contributes at the point of sale. First is foot traffic. More traffic means more business. The second element of value is the experience at the point of sale, be it product information, engaging the manager, browsing the catalogue, etc. The third element is the sales conversion, to help conclude sales more efficiently. For example through mobile payment, so a customer doesn’t have to line up to make a purchase. Of course all the tools that lead to loyalty are also here.

That’s one layer. There are actually three layers.

The second layer is capturing foot traffic, which is usually very qualitative. The technology will help to capture the data and to target new customers to deliver personalized offerings.

The third layer involves how technology has the potential to empower staff. At the end of the day, most of the experience will be delivered by the staff, by the beauty adviser, the store manager, so it’s not just about technology for the customers, it’s also about how it will help the sales deliver better service. Technology delivers value to all three layers.

In conclusion, digital in-store experiences can improve overall customer experience and help resolve customer frictions. It is also important to remember that brands should deliver unique messages tailored for local market specificities while remaining true to the brand DNA. Lastly, content is critical to the success of in-store digital experiences. Content must be consistent, useful, qualitative and updated on a regular basis.

A PDF of the presentation containing case studies is available upon request.

VELVET at Conde Nast Center of Fashion & Design

VELVET CEO Patrice Nordey speaks to an audience of young marketing professionals and entrepreneurs about Digital Marketing during the most recent Conde Nast Center of Fashion & Design meetup at 10 Corso Como in Shanghai. VELVET is an educational partner of the Center and will design and teach two courses this fall. (www.condenastcenter.com.cn)

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