Interview with Flora Marchetto – Brand Manager at Sup de Luxe
Founded by Cartier in 1990, Sup de Luxe is the reference school for luxury management and recognized for its teaching team consisting entirely of professionals in the sector. Cartier Chair since then, Sup de Luxe welcome more than 400 students from all over the world every year, from the Bachelor to MBA and MSC. Flora Marchetto has been Brand Manager for Sup de Luxe for more than 2 years now and is proud of what the school became through these years – the alliance between tradition and innovation. Flora aspires to keep the school spirit of a historic school, while innovating as a brand. The opportunity of living abroad and meeting people from all around the world helped her export the French flair of her school to international students. Today we talked to Flora Marchetto about her work as Brand Manager in the luxury sector, about story-telling and about « le luxe cool »…
Flora Marchetto, thank you so much for being here today! Sup de Luxe is focused on luxury management. What does luxury mean for you personally?
Luxury for me is an experience. Luxury is not only about the price; it’s something rare you wish to reach that creates an emotion in you. It makes you feel special.
How is brand management in the luxury sector different from brand management in other sectors?
The power of luxury brands is that you become convinced that you need them even if you don’t. Mainstream brands need to convince people to buy them rather than another, luxury brands need to create a need in you. The second difference is the story-telling. This is definitely something that needs to be cared about for the luxury brands, so people are inspired by your story, your vision, the experience you’re selling. You don’t just buy a Hermes Kelly bag, you buy the story of it. The client needs a story to feel close to.
Which developments and trends do you currently see when it comes to luxury brands?
« Cool luxury » is definitely likely to continue and to further increase in the years to come. Balenciaga, Jacquemus, Off-White, a lot of brands are going « cool », more casual. Hermes is producing really cool and fun social media content. A lot of brands are doing partnerships between luxury brands and sportswear brands, for example Prada x Adidas, Dior x Nike. The luxury target, the new luxury clients are getting younger and this new target wants fun. Sup de Luxe and Dominique Cuvillier wrote a book in French about « le luxe cool » (Editions Maxima), which I recommend for all the french speakers.
What do you think are the top 3 measures to inspire your employees and customers with enthusiasm for a brand?
- We need a sense for what we do, make the brand goal-oriented for your employees and clients. At Sup de Luxe, we want to train our students so they are fully ready to face the tough environment which is luxury.
- To make them feel involved with the brand, so they can get a sense of belonging. The sense of belonging measures attachment to a community in a brand. It is extremely important because it often determines consumer loyalty.
- To animate its brand and its community, engage with them, make your brand come alive. The use of “community” media, such as magazines and blogs, allows committed companies to better embody their initiatives and unite around their project. Companies also use story-telling, which allows them to utopiate their actions.
What significance does the Corona crisis have in the environment of luxury brands?
It’s obvious that shops are having a hard time because of the crisis. The retail sector has to reinvent itself, more and more of virtual reality experiences are arising and I think it will have to develop. For example L’Oréal is experimenting with VR in China so people can see themselves with the products on, in a mirror. And the turning point that luxury had already begun to take before the pandemic, and which will have to evolve further and last is digital. Luxury brands will have to appropriate the new digital levers and make their customers adhere to them.
What are your most important learnings for successful luxury brand management?
Stay in line with your identity. Be innovative, but remain who you are as a brand.