As vice president, interactive marketing and e-business at Lancôme USA, Alessio Rossi challenged attendees at the WWD Digital Forum to modernize their view of the digital universe.

This story first appeared in the February 28, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“If someone asks you what your digital strategy is, it’s like asking your electricity strategy, because digital is completely commoditized,” said Rossi. “Technology is available; it’s inexpensive, and everyone has it.” Instead, he said, companies ought to ask, “What is the company’s goal?” and “How can digital efforts advance that mission?”

He shared that for the redesign of, which was first launched in 1999, Lancôme wanted to convey its heritage as a French luxury brand, and to both acquire and retain customers.

Guided by an insight from a Lancôme mascara customer who said, “When you wear it, you feel beautiful,” the brand sought to build site elements around emotion. Rossi noted that the use of the word “wear,” as opposed to “use,” indicated how emotions play a pivotal role in the beauty experience whether offline or online.

New components to the site include Paris Rendez-Vous, a platform for American blogger Haleigh Walsworth, who lives in Paris, to comment on multiple facets of the French lifestyle.

To showcase Lancôme’s relationship to fashion the Web site live-streamed the Jason Wu fashion show held in New York on Feb. 7.

“It’s a place where you can be engaged and start a beauty conversation that is not necessarily driven by the products themselves,” said Rossi.

The brand is also using other digital platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter, to engage women.

Rossi shared a recent effort around its DreamTone serum that asked influential bloggers to drive a conversation around dark spots, and post before-and-after photos of themselves using a specific hashtag.

Rossi said that within the first few weeks of the Instagram and Twitter campaign, users submitted more than 500 photos.

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