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by on October 13, 2011

New York University’s Luxury Lab (L2) ranked the digital IQs of 49 fashion brands based on four criteria: web site, digital marketing, social media and mobile platforms. Brands were then classified into one of five categories: Genius, Gifted, Average, Challenged, or Feeble. Class is in session and as usual Burberry is the only one who did their homework. 

Teachers Pet: Burberry the Brand with the Highest Digital IQ

Having mastered the art of social media — they’re #1 on Facebook with nearly 9 million “Likes” and #2 on Twitter — Burberry continues to find innovative ways to engage consumers such as a live-streaming Tweetwalk, where looks from London Fashion Week were Tweeted before they hit the runway. They also scored well in e-commerce and mobile commerce thanks to its global site relaunch, landing the over 150-year-old British label the top spot on the L2 index and the official label of “Genius.”

Kate Spade was a newcomer to the index but their blend of smart e-commerce and a strong mobile and social presence skyrocketed the brand to the #2 spot. Storied houses Chanel and Christian Dior, on the other hand, seem to be resting on their luxury laurels earning only “Average” L2 IQs.

Prada and Hermès started running with the bad girls in school, smoking in the bathroom and dating college boys instead of working on their social media and as a result their IQs plummeted from “Gifted” in 2009 to “Challenged” in 2011. And to make matters worse, Prada was cited as the “biggest digital disappointment in luxury.” Yikes, wait til your father hears about this….

But in their defense, Europe might just have a harder learning curve. Ten of the top fifteen brands in the L2 index were American and on average American brands have a higher digital IQ than their Euro counterparts. Finally, somewhere the U.S. excels in something besides obesity and sluttiness.

The top 10 list is as follows:

1. Burberry: Digital births an icon: Proof that digital investments translate to shareholder value.

2. Kate Spade: Top social media score; Index newcomer did not get memo that heritage is necessary to be iconic digitally.

3. Coach: New York native continues to woo the blogosphere and registers top scores for site experience.

3. Gucci: Gucci Connects dots and delivers with shoppable video and recent Tumblr launch

5. Dolce & Gabbana: Global site relaunch threads needle of edgy and effective.

5. Tory Burch: Facebook store leads fashion F-commerce (r)evolution.

7. Ralph Lauren: New York Times iPad app takeover transforms brand into rich media publisher.

8. Hugo Boss: Top mobile scores and interactive YouTube channel venture differentiate the brand online.

9. Louis Vuitton: Embracing the spirit of travel with Amble app; Leads on Foursquare.

10. Michael Kors: Destination: Kors. Evolving brand into an online lifestyle.

[Luxury Lab, Telegraph]

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Contributed by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester dot brathwaite at gmail

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