Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE MAY-JUN 2018 Contents Exceeding expectations and mastering
a luxury state of mind was perhaps the
biggest thing a leading salon brand like
Kérastase strives to achieve with all of
its salon partners. As the most googled
professional salon brand in Australia it’s no
wonder the main reason why conference
attendees continue to commit to the big K,
beyond the significant in-salon treatment
revemue opportunities. It’s also down to
the fact that consumers continue to come
into the salon asking for Kérastase.
Off the back of this strong retail
presence, further built through Fusio
treatments, it made sense that luxu ry
retail expert and brand commentator, Ian
Clark, led the retail experience to discuss
trust and how the consumer experience
isn’t selective. “People don’t buy what you
do, they buy how you make them feel and
the story you give them to tell,” Ian said.
Discussing his journey in lu xury beauty
firstly for 17 years with Estée Lauder
Companies which culminated in leading
the International Special Events and
Consumer Experience portfolios – Clark
knows a thing or two about engagement
and before going solo, he was the General
Manager at Chanel Australia and New
Zealand for eight years. But Chanel
aside, and despite wanting to know how
he re-launched a seven store (a $110
million) retail business in just five years,
being accountable for sales, Ian’s history
shows that audiences mostly just want to
know how to better connect with their
customers. “The purchase and trust that
occurs in your salon now is a result of
something occurring earlier,” he said.
“You are in the business of what? And all
your consumers want is what?” Ian asked.
The most commonly resounding answer
was related to experience – the experience
is what sells the brand and ultimately the
product comes last – something most of us
already know and focus on but how do we
get the consumer excited about purchasing
more often? “Luxury was once the
ordinary in the lives of the extraordinary
but is now the extraordinary in the lives of
the ordinary,” Ian said.
“My core strengths are enhancing
company performance and market share,
brand integrity and client loyalty. I am
an enabler of achieving results through
people – you are in the business of people
so while I can’t always teach you how to
run your business, I can remind you the
importance of inspiring exactly that,
people,” Ian said.
How do you do your craft and what is
your desire to continually improve it?
Being results driven is the only way to
succeed in lu xury according to Ian – “the
growth is in the experience and sometimes
ignoring the elements of your business that
aren’t going to give you growth.”
Ultimately 25 per cent of the world is
over 50 – how do you communicate with
them? They want to look younger and
have the money to spend. “Ironically a lot
of us spend time and money marketing
to a younger audience – it’s about really
identifying your best customers,” he said.
Many clients will spend between $12,000
and $150,000 on their hair in their lifetime
and today more than ever it’s about
building long-term relationships.
Then there’s the 80/20 rule where 80
per cent of revenue comes from 20 per
cent of clients. Often we think we are in
the business of something completely
different to what we are. It’s important to
u nderstand perception and how the client
The window is often the first way. Ian
discussed how to improve the window and
how less is more – over-cluttered windows
are not appealing to the luxury consumer.
He outlined what the best practice is for
greeting the customer and stick to it.
“What two things can you do to improve
the reception – back bar scent marketing?
Alila Seminyak was a prime example of
how they immerse you with their products
and scent at check in. Have an experience
checklist and look at what touchpoints you
can add,” Ian said.
A speaker that seemed to make the
audience most excited on the second day
was Gus Balbontin – a man that makes an
introduction rather difficult. His website
says Investor, Advisor, Explorer and
he’s probably one of the nicest and most
exciting successful entrepreneu rs you’ve
met (in jeans and a t-shirt too).
Gus is the former Executive Director and
CTO of Lonely Planet - leading one of the
most loved and recognised brands in the
world through an exciting transformation.
Most importantly to the Kérastase
audience he developed a sentiment where
guests felt completely comfortable to ask
him almost anything - approachability
and insight was key.
“Make adaptability your competitive
advantage. It is not the strongest of species
that survives, nor is it the most intelligent.
It is the one most adaptable to change.
We need to talk about disruption because
five years doing something over and over
again is not success,” Gus said. “Just
because your business is doing well, it
doesn’t mean you should stick to what you
know. See just how far the digital divide
Back to the notion of asking what you
are as a business. Generally the Lonely
Planet was a book company with 75 million
books sold – and a scary looking website in
2002 (back then it seemed revolutionary).
Gus ultimately tapped into the intent
of the human spirit and how we move
from one problem to the next, looking for
solutions. “People don’t wake up in the
mornings and say they want to get a loan.
The loan is just a mechanism. What is the
problem you are fixing? The business or the
customer?” he asked.
These notions reminded us that we need
to own a problem before we can change
it. We are always part of the problem and
the solution. Resting on growth is often
innovation – the result of three qualities
curiosity, courage and resilience.
“Often as we get older we get less curious
but having direct relationships with
consumers and access to data is how
we grow our business. It’s almost like
crypto currencies,” Gus explained, citing
Bitcoin for example and how they have
created a considerable amount of wealth
“People don’t wake up in the mornings and
say they want to get a loan. The loan is just a
mechanism. What is the problem you are fixing?
The business or the customer?”
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