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Why Holition was named Creative/Digital Team of the Year at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries

Holition won the ‘Creative/Digital Team of the Year’ category at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2021. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveal the secrets of their success...

The company

Holition is a London-based multi award-winning creative innovation studio that creates bespoke creative retail experiences for pioneering brands in the luxury, fashion, retail and beauty industries across the world.

Part think tank, part digital studio, Holition is a synthesis of retail experts, scientists, film-makers, artists, mathematicians, UX designers, technologists and other curious minds, united by a digitally empathetic approach to consumer experiences.

Holition’s well-versed portfolio includes deploying creative retail experiences for established global luxury brands such as LVMH, Hermes, Coty, the Estee Lauder Group, PUIG Group and Rolls Royce.

In addition to their consumer portfolio, Holition wouldn’t be complete without the collaborative artistic and academic partnerships with renowned global artists such as American artist, Jenny Holzer or experimental fashion collective, The Unseen, or esteemed academic bodies such as University of the Arts London, Politecnico de Milano, Parsons, and Brown University.

Launched in 2007, Holition sought to understand the future role of digital within the luxury, fashion and beauty industries - then more predicated towards the physical rather than the digital world of online, mobile and experiential. The quest to explore how digital could be applied within the traditional luxury retail context quickly led to experimentation with a variety of technologies, each project categorized by a desire to design digital solutions that explore, enhance, and elevate specific aspects of a brand’s personality.

The approach

Technology is often accused of being a ‘solution looking for a problem to solve’, and Holition’s approach has always been to first think strategically and then creatively - and only then to consider a technology solution. Working in this way, the right technology typically self-selects itself, rather than driving the approach from the start.

Holition’s unique methodology has also allowed the studio to identify key insights that deepen their understanding of how people interact with technologies within the retail environment. Today, as we progress towards alternate types of interfaces, our design and research processes have expanded to include brain/computer interfaces, VUI, gesture & emotion tracking, smart textiles and predictive intelligence, especially at such a challenging time for the industry.

The pandemic

The transition to a digital retail environment has increasing relevance in a post-Covid-19 world. Our experience in helping to create the sector has led us to continually be ahead of the curve in regards to next step innovation developments, as we objectively identify opportunities between consumer and brand.

With the Coronavirus pandemic leaving a massive impact on the industry, more than ever, brands need to rethink how they engage, communicate, and interact with consumers. Concerns and restrictions around product testers and interactions with sales advisors indicate the need to find new ways to communicate product information to customers.

For this reason, we have sought to reimagine the use of Immersive technologies like AR virtual try-ons, web-based 360 virtual environments or virtual spaces to become effective touchpoints for our clients, and even in a post-pandemic retail environment. These tools can help restore confidence among consumers - assuring them that brands are adapting the retail experience to suit consumer needs.

The hyper-personalized experiences that we’ve developed for our clients such as AR-enabled experiences for Burberry Beauty and renowned artist Jenny Holzer, and web-based 360 virtual spaces for brands such as Clinique and Jo Malone London, have served as significant drivers for brand engagement and conversion, helping restore confidence among consumers through innovative retail models.

Holition has risen above the ranks to become known as one of the most successful start-ups or boutique creative innovation agencies that specialize in immersive, future-thinking retail experiences.

This entry was a winner at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2021. Find out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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