Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Getting Down To Business: How To Enter The World Of Luxury 21/9/10

Luxury is magnetic. Intelligent luxury brands understand that their success relies heavily on those who work for them. After all, a business is nothing if not its people. Recruitment strategies are fundamental to total business strategy.
Names such as Gucci, YSL, Hermes, Prada, Chanel, represent legacies- years of excellence and stability. The people behind them keep the wheel turning, and reinforce the power and standing of these iconic luxury brands. But how does one get over the counter, so to speak?

In Australia, one can work within the luxury industry a lot more readily than in other countries. In France, positions in head office are highly coveted by retail staff, who themselves are often well-to-do, society people to begin with. In Korea, you almost need to be royalty- at least from a recognised political or wealthy family. The same can be said for a lot of senior positions in Hong Kong and China. Luxury brands are at the top of the consumer/retail pyramid. Entry into these rarefied environments is highly desired, and highly limited, by very nature of the niche markets themselves. When dealing with people’s ‘dream’ brands on a day-to-day basis, it never ceases to amaze us how difficult potential candidates find it to articulate why.

In order to secure the ‘dream’ job, there is one tactic that almost never fails: research. Passionate people only apply please. Introduce yourself to the brand. Let it become a part of you, consume you even. If you can’t do this, then the brand is not for you. This is a career choice, a lifestyle choice even, not a job. Know the difference. The success of luxury brands is not only driven by innovation, quality and exclusivity, but also by the lifetime loyalty of clients. Working for luxury is an extension of one’s passion. It cannot be feigned.

Image credit: luxuryinsider.com

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1 comment:

Joseph Shippee said...

Great post ma'am! I hope this message finds you well. You'll also notate that, in addition to strong research and brand knowledge, is an unrivaled service minded individual. Luxury retail is about the glitz, the glamor, and the art of the presentation and sale. One must be able to memorize product knowledge and company heritage and history and be able to tell the story, in their own words, with excitement and zest. I agree that it's important to live the brand. In America, consumers have so many options when it comes to buying their luxury goods - from high end department stores like Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and others, to the branded boutiques, to various internet sites as well. If an associate can represent a brand for a designer, and not just sell the products, but the lifestyle and image associated with the brand, then the associate is surely to build a strong, loyal clientele.

Speaking of strong, loyal clientele, the ability to clientele and drive the business is probably the most valuable asset any associate can bring to the luxury industry. Creative, competent, and confident interaction with clients - whether by traditional mail, electronic mail, phone, text, or in person - one must conduct themselves with poise and utmost professionalism, as well as with shining personality.

Add all these together, with dashing good looks, serious style, a few fluent languages, and the financial ability to live the lifestyle yourself, and you're sure to be successful in this luxury industry we all so love.


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, www.moluxury.com.au