MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Experiencing Italian Craftsmanship and Expertise with Ermenegildo Zegna

By David Sandoval, MBA in International Luxury Brand Management 2014-2015, Colombia

One of the highlights of our trip to Italy, was definitely the visit to Ermenegildo Zegna. A 90 minutes drive to the countryside, driving up to a charming Italian town called Trivero. We were warmly welcomed, as custom, by Benedetta Zegna, the Talent Development Director and member of the Zegna family.  

The Italian family-owned company values were palpable through every single detail and the presentations during the whole day were charged with lots of current news of their business, from the recent creation of a Digital Department, directed by the youngest generation of the family, to the details of their made to measure CRM program and the new vision of Zegna, targeting millenials, which is key for the company to stay relevant for this group of growing customers.

Efforts in digital, customized after sales, ultra luxurious VIC program, eyes on the millenials and a new Zegna generation coming into the company; all of these initiatives point to the company’s commitment to innovation and drive to remain current in the market today.  These changes are definitely interesting to observe, as they are forcing the evolution of the company, but always in a positive direction. They also reveal a company who is thinking with regards to long-term strategies, rather than the short term future.

Another interesting part of the day was the factory visit, which was fundamental for those of us who are interested in fashion, to comprehend all manufacture processes and be able to think about where things can be improved and how. A detailed accompanied tour through the factory where Zegna is developing all its fabrics allowed us to see the extreme attention to the different steps in developing a fabric. Numerous quality controls, and more importantly, a mix of industrial and artisanal methods showed the know-how and expertise on fabrics of this highly respected brand. 

A brief visit to Casa Zegna, the place where they hold their archives, was the final experience of the day, where we had the honor to see all the history of the brand, the improvement that Zegna brought to Trivero, the prizes in fabric making and other important achievements. The class was also able to view a rich and organized notebook from Aldo Zegna on the different methods he used over time to develop hundreds and hundreds of fabrics for the brand. 

ESSEC is proud to have maintained a strong relationship with Zegna for almost a decade now. Definitely an inspiring visit for us all.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Where are they now...? Interview with Octavian Cornea L11

Octavian Cornea graduated from the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management in 2011. We reached out to him to get a glimpse of what he has achieved since his time at ESSEC and to ask him for some valuable advice for current and future students.

  • What were you doing before the MBA and why did you decide to come to the ESSEC MBA program?
My latest appointment before the MBA was CRM and Marketing Coordinator for an East European luxury group operating various franchised monobrand and flagship stores. This experience was instrumental in my career as it provided me with a background in retail, CRM and marketing for luxury brands in emerging markets.

I wanted to work in the luxury industry from a very young age. The ESSEC MBA in International Luxury Brand Management was the natural and only choice for a specialized MBA in the luxury industry.

The rationale behind my choice was that ESSEC being the oldest luxury MBA out there, must also have the biggest alumni base… also the number and quality of companies that participants are exposed to is by far the highest compared to any other Master program or MBA with a luxury track.

  • Please describe your career path since graduation. What is your current position and responsibilities? 
I joined Ermenegildo Zegna’s Talent Program in 2011 and have since been working in the central CRM department where I’ve had the opportunity to hold several roles that consolidated the company’s customer retention and delighting efforts. I currently coordinate at Global Level the company’s programs and initiatives for customer loyalty, delighting and also new customer acquisition.

  • What in particular in the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management helped you prepare for your career path or qualify you for your current position?
Besides the academic contents, I credit my professional success to the multi-cultural teamwork and case study method that the MBA promotes. Learning to cope with and manage diversity, being an effective communicator, influencer and motivator, gaining fresh perspectives and developing my critical thinking are all outcomes of my intense and rewarding MBA experience and teamwork.

  • What is your best memory from your time in the ESSEC MBA program?
There is a unique feeling that you get when you do what you love. Working late on field projects, studying state of the art research for projects, debating with teammates on the directions in which to take a project… all of this hard work would culminate in the moments we would present in front of delegations from luxury powerhouses. The feeling I had in my stomach moments before a presentation, going in front of companies that I admire, knowing that I was part of a team of hard working, creative, passionate and inspiring professionals – that feeling is my best memory from the MBA. 

  • What advice would you give to current students in the program? 
Give before you ask to receive, use and nurture your network, research the people and companies you will meet throughout the year, be curious about everything, learn to really listen, think creatively and never forget this acronym – HWPO (Hard Work Pays Off)… always!