MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Return to London

By Emily Albright, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2013-2014, USA

As field project madness intensified and the deadlines loomed closer, team Harvey Nichols returned to London for a second round to spend more time in the city. The focus of this visit was to soak up the British culture, check out some of the newest local trends, explore the food and hospitality scene, spend more time in the Harvey Nichols store on Knightsbridge, and check-in with our internal coach. To achieve these goals, my team and I visited the Shoreditch, Soho, Covent Garden, South Kensington and Chelsea, and Marylebone neighborhoods to see what was hot. All of the communities were inspiring and unique in their own way, but probably the most memorable was Shoreditch in East London with its gritty vibe and graffiti art. After experiencing the best breakfast cake I’ve ever had at Dirty Coffee, we made our way to Boxpark, a pop-up mall that puts mono brand pop-ups to shame. Boxpark is constructed of shipping containers and features a constantly rotating mix of fashion and lifestyle brands, galleries, cafés and restaurants. We visited Boxpark in the morning, but wished we had come in the afternoon to be able to enjoy some of the delicious food that was available!

Tapas and tasting plates seemed to be taking over the restaurant scene in London, but to really see what the city had to offer we trekked out to Borough Market near London Bridge to experience one of London’s most renowned food markets with British and international offerings. We were not disappointed! The size of the market was immense and products ranged from traditional British pies to organic, locally sourced produce.

After sampling nearly everything in the market, we had a pretty good idea of what was popular with the foodies in London! After four memorable days, we checked everything off of our to-do list and returned to Paris, refreshed and full of new ideas to continue on with the field project!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Beginning of the End: Field Projects

By Emily Albright, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2013-2014, USA

Although our time in the classroom has ended for the year, we are far from being finished with our MBA. Starting in June, the MBA Luxe class commenced work on our field projects, the final assignment before we receive our diplomas.

In teams of three to four, students are working as consultants for brands that approached ESSEC with issues that need to be addressed ranging from international expansion to CRM implementation. Not only is this our last chance to enjoy working with each other and reap the benefits of being students, but it’s also our final opportunity to show professors, administration and industry professionals what we’ve learned this year.

I am fortunate enough to be working on a branding project for Harvey Nichols, the UK's premier luxury fashion retailer renowned for its cutting-edge fashion and beauty merchandise, premium food and wine offer and award-winning restaurants. In late May, our team headed to London for the in-person kick-off meeting, and to get a feel for the local market and competitive landscape. We spent an action-filled day meeting with our internal coach at Harvey Nichols, as well as members of the management board. To get a better understanding of the local retail scene, we visited Harrods, Selfridges, Matches, Browns and Dover Street Market. We wanted to observe qualities such as store atmosphere, aesthetics, customer profile, and merchandise assortment. We also spent quite a bit of time in the Harvey Nichols store in Knightsbridge! To really immerse ourselves in the full retail experience, a couple team members may have taken a few moments to go shoe shopping at HN – but only in the name of research. After a long but extremely productive day, we made our way back to Paris and rolled up our sleeves to get to work!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Completion of Conference Series

By Emily Albright, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2013-2014, USA

The end of the school year marks the end of the MBA Luxe conference series for 2013-2014! Since September, our class has had the opportunity to attend more than 30 conferences with alumni, industry experts, CEO’s and recruiters. We were able to meet and interact with professionals from the fashion and accessories, leather goods, cosmetics and fragrances, wines and spirits, jewelry and watches, and automotive sectors on topics ranging from alumni’s experience post-ESSEC to new trends and job outlooks within the industry. Brands that came to speak with us included Chanel, DFS, Dior, Richemont, Kering, Clarins, L'Oréal, Firmenich, Bottega Veneta, Cartier, Tiffany, Estée Lauder, Krug, and Pernod Ricard.

One of our final conferences was with the Executive Vice-President of Hermès, Mr. Guillaume de Seynes (who is also a sixth-generation member of the Hermès family). He discussed the strong artisanal heritage of the brand, the family’s concept of Hermès in general, taking the innovative approach of letting the product speak for itself in external communications, the benefits and challenges associated with maintaining a family-owned business, the origins and future outlook for Petite H, and Hermès’ exclusive and limited distribution structure.

Thank you to Mr. de Seynes for a wonderful conference to close out the school year, and thank you to all of the ESSEC Administration for making this series possible!