Monday, June 15, 2009

Demanding clients are in our future

I found an interesting article at WWD today and wanted to pass it along here as well. Very interesting regarding the future of clients and their demanding behaviours.

Arnault Spies More Demanding Customers After Downturn
Elena Berton

MONTE CARLO — Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, remains optimistic about recovery prospects for the luxury sector, but has warned that the industry will be facing more discerning, demanding consumers once the global economy recovers from the current economic downturn.

Arnault said customers would demand quality, craftsmanship, creativity and exclusivity from luxury brands. But they will also expect commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

“Nothing will be the same again, it would be illusory to think it will be the same again,” he said, speaking at the Financial Times’ Business of Luxury Summit here.

Arnault also noted that the difference in customer behavior between customers in developed economies and those in emerging markets would narrow in the luxury markets of tomorrow.

“In the most developed countries, customers will want exceptional brands,” Arnault said, while noting that, “in developing countries, customers will increasingly adopt consumption models of developed countries.”

At the same time, Arnault pointed at the increasing importance of the Internet as a marketing channel to reach out to new, younger customers, even though it poses some risks for the industry, as witnessed by the booming trade of counterfeit items on e-commerce sites.

“I don’t want to stop the Internet, I want to use it efficiently, to develop growth of brands, but in a safe way,” he said.

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