MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Monday, November 25, 2013

INYT "S.E.A. of Luxury" Conference Report: Day 2

Get the 2013 INYT Luxury Conference Agenda here.

The second day of the S.E.A. of Luxury Conference began with a focus on the rise of e-commerce. Can the emotion of luxury be conveyed online? How are retailers adapting to the South East Asian markets? Where do the greatest online retail opportunities lie?
Suzy Meknes: “We don't need more things- but we want them. That's the power of emotion in luxury.”

Suzy Meknes: “Emotion can make us cry, but it can also make us buy.”
The discussion began with Princess Marie-Chantal on the extension of the luxury market into children’s clothing. The conversation then focused on the opportunities and challenges of luxury e-commerce in Asia. Andrew Keith, President of Lane Crawford, detailed the company’s successful expansion into online retailing in Asia, highlighting triple digit growth in online business and how connected commerce and online stores give brands greater coverage through a first-mover advantage. Federico Marchetti, Founder and CEO, YOOX Group, detailed the demographic data of online shoppers in Asia and stressed the importance of customer service online.
Andrew Keith: “Our strategy is based on customer feedback. We can't open 60 stores in China but we can connect online.”

Federico Marchetti: “It's not only about impeccable service, it's about giving the customer an entertaining experience."
The conversation then turned to how the excitement, passion and feeling of luxury can be translated through a screen. One of the most important methods is leveraging social media by listening, telling stories, and living in the digital social ecosystem, explained Thomas Crampton, Director of Social Media, Asia Pacific, Ogilvy & Mather.
James Lima, Director, Art+Commerce: “There's no difference between Prada and Warner Brothers. They both make entertainment and need to engage the consumer.”

James Lima, Director, Art+Commerce: “Luxury brands need to balance Show and Business. Too much of one is no good.”
Pierre Rainero, Director of Image, Heritage and Strategy, Cartier concluded the discussion on emotion in luxury by discussing L’Odyssée de Cartier panther films. He agreed with James Lima that luxury brands are “becoming content creators.”

Pierre Rainero, Director of Image, Heritage and Strategy, Cartier, discusses using digital to connect emotions with luxury.
The second half of the day began with a focus on jewelry in South East Asia. Speakers stressed both the emotional and financial investment that jewelry represents, as well as the specificities of the South East Asian market.
Stephen Webster, Creative Director, Stephen Webster & Garrard: “Jewelers make things that are so bound by emotions - it's all about emotional ties.”

Vanessa Herrera, Business Director, Asia, Sotheby's: “Great collectors in SE Asia are driven by decoration, enjoyment, provenance, social engagement & investment.”
Singapore is the hub of jewelry sales in South East Asia; Sotheby’s reported that the average value per lot in wristwatch auctions in Singapore was $173K and that Singapore made up 68% of their jewelry sales in South East Asia.
David Lamb, Managing Director, Jewellery, World Gold Council: “Chinese women could eat through every bar of gold in Fort Knox in 6 years if gold demand carries on increasing.”

David Lamb, Managing Director, Jewellery, World Gold Council: “Gold represents indulgence, but also safety.”
The final presentation by Ian Harebottle, CEO, Gemfields, on Gemfields’ ethical gemstone mine in Zambia transitioned the discussion to the conference’s concluding topic: socially responsible luxury. It is standard for luxury consumers to demand goods that do not harm the environment or the worker who made them. Speakers highlighted new initiatives to further ethical and responsible luxury.
Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs, Kering: “Sustainability is not a way to drive sales. It's a way to ensure you can keep doing business long term.”

Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs, Kering: “CEOs of our brands are bonused on whether they hit sustainability targets.”

Livia Firth, Creative Director, Eco Age, on the green carpet challenge: “Ethics and sustainability should be glamorous because that appeals to consumers."

Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, President, International, International New York Times: “Consumption is important, but sustainable business is essential and it's good business too.”