Friday, 23 July 2010

Luxury Brands Embracing 'New Tourists' - 23/07/10

Brazilians are being encouraged to purchase luxury goods in New York, and Prada is hitting the mark, with their Soho store hosting at least three Portuguese speaking staff members. Although companies like Prada are catering for these ‘new tourists’, luxury brands need to be pro-active and not reactive when it comes to building a better customer experience. Whilst a slow inclusion of staff who understand different cultures and languages is important, it is also paramount to ensure that these staff are fluent in the native language of the country where they are working, in order to make local clients also feel valued.

On the home front Australia has seen this mistake made in the 80’s and 90’s, when businesses didn’t anticipate just how strong the Japanese would be as a tourist group. In addition, stores would cater for the clientele, and would overreact by sometimes hiring entire stores of Japanese speaking staff, when in the end local clients would feel isolated. With the current ‘hot’ PRC inbound tourists, all countries should be mindful of this fine line between catering for tourists, yet also managing those vital and long standing relationships with local customers.

Image credit: starsinfashion

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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,