It appears that there is a makeover of sorts beginning in luxury goods. Traditionally luxury labels have shunned direct to consumer sales channels in favor of their maintaining their existing distribution network of partners, franchisees and wholesalers. Now some are changing their tune and embracing online retail by opening their own store. Longines, which opened their store earlier this year, and today, the Wall Street Journal profiles the corporate makeover of Burberry (subscription may be required) which includes selling goods directly to consumers through their online store. The Burberry article does a very good job at highlighting some of the process changes that were required to support the new model.
About a week ago Google blogged about its plan to monetize their Google Maps offering. As a consumer I am happy to identify locations of interest via a company’s brand especially since recognizing a logo on a phone is much easier than reading text.
From a business view, I am impressed at how Google is sticking with their strategy of free to the user, but pay to the corporation. Thus securing plenty of users and as a result, plenty of paying corporate brands (a similar business model to their search approach). Going forward I believe this has the ability to become a solid – yet secondary to search – revenue stream.