MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Friday, February 27, 2015

Field Trip: Hong Kong

By Stephanie Walker, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2014-2015, USA/UK

In February, the MBA in Luxury Brand Management Class embarked on a two-week field trip to explore two markets and cultures first hand. The first stop was Hong Kong. Once considered an emerging market, Hong Kong today is a bustling hub of activity for luxury retail and often the city of choice for a brand’s Asia-Pacific headquarters.

During our one-week stay in Hong Kong, the class met with eleven luxury companies and/or groups to discuss how the Hong Kong and Asian market has evolved over time and what challenges and opportunities might lie ahead. The company visits ranged greatly and included key players, such as Chanel and LVMH, in addition to covering all four of the main industry sectors: Fine Wines and Spirits, Fragrances and Cosmetics, Jewelry and Watches as well as Fashion.

The topics for each company varied greatly as well. This variety truly provided the class with an inside look at key issues for each company or specific objectives that the brands are looking to achieve within in the next few years. The topics ranged from the importance of travel retail, to the concept of relaying key messaging in the Asian market, as well as the rising impact of digital on the luxury market.

During several of the conferences, the class also heard from the regional HR team about opportunities within the company and what it is like to work in Hong Kong. For the both students considering a career in the Asia-Pacific region and those interested in learning more about business practice in Asia, it was a great first step towards understanding the regional company culture for these brands.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Learning from the Experts: How to Manage a Perfume Brand

By Stephanie Walker, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2014-2015, USA/UK

What does it take to master the management of luxury fragrances in the market today and with so many scents, what is the key to building an icon? In January, the MBA Luxe class of 2014-2015 was able to discover the answers to both of these questions and more as we experienced the first of the sector specific elective workshops for the year.

A two day seminar, focused on the management of luxury fragrances, this elective course exposed our class to all of the aspects of the perfume market today as well as provided the students with an in-depth look at the history of scent and how some of the top players, such as Guerlain, Parfums Christian Dior and Chanel, have evolved their scents and messaging over time.

Our class was also treated to experience the world of the luxury fragrances discussed in class as each student was invited to experience the perfumes and brand materials first-hand. During these discussions, the class was introduced to the notes that the fragrances contained as well as how the specific notes of the fragrance relate to each other as well as how they tie back to the key message of the scent for the brand. For example, amber notes, like vanilla in Guerlain’s Shalimar, relay a soft and powdery scent and provide a seductive and sensual experience for women.

On the second day, the students welcomed the L’Oreal Luxe team into the classroom.
 L’Oreal presented the class with thorough insight into the performance of their fragrances in the various markets around the world (US, Europe, Asia, etc) and following the presentation, challenged the students with an elaborate case study to develop, position and market a new fragrance for a top L’Oreal brand.

After a few hours of deliberation and dedication, our class returned to the classroom that same day to present our concepts. It was such an honor to be afforded not only the opportunity to work on a real case for the L’Oreal Luxe Division but also the chance to relay our ideas first hand and receive constructive feedback from this team of experts.