Starwood Hotel’s The Luxury Collection is the latest luxury brand to launch a microsite dedicated to marketing a new product, service, or facet of the company. The site is eCommerce-focused, featuring The Luxury Collection Store, where consumers can purchase bedding, towels and robes, as well as art. All products on the site are those that are used in the various Luxury Hotel Collection properties, bringing the guest experience home.
The microsite has become an increasingly popular medium through with luxury brands introduce new products, largely because the channel allows for a much more focused message, free from the distractions of current products already shown on the full brand website. By definition, a microsite is a discrete entity within or complementing an existing website or offline identity. Often it is much more editorial than the brand’s regular eCommerce-based site. Video and other content on the microsite allows the user to narrow their focus and “creates a ground for greater awareness among consumers and social media followers.” Some brands have exclusively promoted their microsite via social media outlets, particularly on Instagram.
Donna Karan launched her microsite for the perfume Cashmere Mist solely through the brand’s social media accounts, and the microsite even now cannot be accessed through the Donna Karan full website. Similarly, Dolce & Gabbana created a limited time microsite for their Light Blue fragrance, and Aerin Lauder’s Aerin Beauty built a microsite that educated the customer about the brand’s scent profile.
Because microsites are focused in their message, they can convert more efficiently, attract a better quality audience and are often easier to manage from a content quality perspective – the latter of which is very important to digital teams that do not always have the resources internally to drive frequent content creation. Additionally, a microsite with focused content helps map semantic associations to the benefit of the main site.
Microsites are certainly not a new concept, but are being used in increasingly creative ways by luxury brands, perhaps as greater budget is allotted to digital - a trend which hopefully continues in the future.