MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

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!