Yesterday, I visited Armani Box to check out how it's combining beauty and technology. Here’s what I found…
Luxury makeup brand Armani Beauty are just over a month into a three-month pop-up in Covent Garden. The striking red coloured ‘Armani Box’ had previously appeared in Paris, hoping to build awareness for a brand with limited outposts in department stores and on the high street.
You’re immediately faced with a bright red Gorilla, Uri, upon entry and encouraged to share your pictures with free wifi in store and the hashtag #armanibeauty plastered over most surfaces. The emphasis of the displays is to educate on the brand’s ethos of using a fabric type to influence shades and textures, whether that’s a satin, matte or matte satin. For example, different fabrics are used to describe different lipsticks – a red velvet fabric is used to demonstrate the texture of a red lipstick.
There’s a complimentary service menu and staff are eager for you to try the recorded consultation; an iPad mounted next to the mirror films your makeover and delivers a personal link to YouTube for you to review and purchase your products online at your leisure. I gave this a go, but found that the delivery of it could have been better – for example, the makeover footage was 11 minutes long – it would have been better to deliver an edited down ‘highlights’ version. The camera was positioned at an odd angle, meaning Armani didn’t make the most of the lighting around the mirror and when replaying the video, it did not capture the detail of how to apply the makeup that was used. However, at the end of the tutorial, the makeup artist logged every product that he had used, making it possible to leave the store, test to see how long the makeup lasted and then if desired, purchase it at home.
Alongside the tutorials, small screens were dotted around the store showing 15 second tutorials for product displayed nearby. These bite-size tutorials were a simple and effective way of getting key information across and bringing the familiar world of online tutorials into store.
There’s an event space located downstairs for beauty bloggers and social influencers, again with beauty stations set up to record makeovers along with the obligatory photo booth. Product customisation is on offer as well as an exclusive limited edition red shade only available at this store.
Overall, the store is one to visit, particularly for its integration of technology with beauty and the seamless brand story that is told by introducing fabric samples to the shopping journey. It really is a place that allows you to immerse yourself in a true brand experience that makes the most of merging online and offline.
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