Friday, 21 August 2009

Casting An Eye On Luxury In The Middle East – 21/08/09

Today, a report in the United Arab Emirates’ Business 24/7, entitled Luxury Brands Are Getting Ready For Life After Recession, struck a chord with us.

To summarise this lengthy article, it revolves around the fundamental rule that the “customer is king, especially in the luxury market.”

Patrick Chalhoub, joint CEO of the Chalhoub Group, also went on to say that you have to research and then adapt to your customers’ needs. He says, “Attitudes and aspirations are going back to values of authenticity and heritage in this period of instability." This is definitely an opportunity for new brands that are able to convey those values, to appear in the market."

“Brands should further develop their standing by strengthening their focus and investments in four key areas – loyalty and value, targeted marketing and creativity; and shopping experience of the customer," according to Chalhoub. These are key points we have flagged several times previously at The MO Down.

The Chalhoub Group is a family business that has grown into one of the leading retailers and distributors for 280 luxury brands in the Middle East. It has trusted relationships with iconic brands such as Baccarat, Chanel, Christofle, Louis Vuitton and Nina Ricci. So Patrick Chalhoub certainly has valuable insights and a number of examples to draw from.

Chalhoub also mentions Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as another key area, and we concur entirely. Our viewpoint is that many companies say, "they use CRM," but realistically the true essence of CRM is not being utilised. The data, if it is being properly captured, is not always being managed well or at all. Some companies struggle with the 'what to do with it' part. So there are many lost opportunities in CRM alone... to take just one of Chalhoub's key areas and focus upon it is certainly worth thinking about and may provide for some sobering reality checks...
Article by: Melinda O'Rourke

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Who's behind the MO DOWN

Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury,