US fashion label Coach is one of the first premium brands to embrace Apple's new iMessage features, which form part of the newly upgraded iOS 10 software system. Most notably, it has made use of the brandable emoji keyboards that let retailers sneak snippets of 'content' directly into messages.
The average US iPhone user has 80 apps but regularly opens just three (ComScore, 2015). Responding to this app overload, Coach has ditched its mobile app and has instead collaborated with American mobile messaging marketing platform Snaps on the Coachmoji app for iMessage.
Coachmoji is accessed directly from iMessage via a new button connecting users to the Apple Store, where it's downloaded and used as a keyboard free of charge. This allows consumers to embed branded virtual 'stickers' of products and characters into their messages. There's also an option to create personalised moodboards of looks from the brand's latest range, with categories called 'New York City', 'Road Trip' and 'American Prairie' (the S/S 17 collection's themes). The moodboards can be saved to users' camera roll or shared with friends via iMessage.
Sticker usage is trackable, enabling brands to gauge popularity and relevance, and update the icons accordingly in real time.
Coach has revealed that in the two weeks since the keyboard launched (September 2016), daily engagement rates have already surpassed that of its former app.
See also Luxury Online for Millennials and look out for our Digitising Luxury Retail report, publishing in December 2016.