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Show that we care

Thursday, 24 April 2014
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Franco Cologni
President of the FHH Cultural Council

“Talent demands effort, dedication and hours spent perfecting a gesture which, day by day, becomes a gift.”

An entrepreneur at heart, though a man of letters, Franco Cologni was quick to embark on a business career that would lead him to key roles within the Richemont Group.

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2 min read

According to American author Maya Angelou, people will forget what you said and forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. This seems to me to be a useful observation when considering something a good many luxury brands, too busy conforming to ever more complex marketing analyses, tend to omit: how the other feels.

Even before its manifestation as a rare, costly and evocative product, luxury’s premise is that an individual must be shown respect and attention. There is a reason why the most perceptive customer service initiatives insist on the relationship with the customer, with every customer, and on the pleasant and professional treatment this customer must be given before, during and after the sale.

Of course the luxury industry is not a benevolent fund, yet it cannot ignore the qualities of respect, consideration and empathy that characterise the men and women who each day must attend to our most fundamental wishes. Because however curious it may seem, we each want to feel welcomed and acknowledged, and to know we can express our needs without feeling intimidated. This is true for any individual, from someone who never purchases luxury products to the most meticulous collector.

Someone who feels they have been treated in a genuine and warm fashion will tell others of this experience.

Surprisingly this humanist approach, which exactly reflects our natural inclination to make others feel welcome, not only benefits the customer: its effects are also felt by the person who extends this welcome, from staff on the sales floor to senior management. Someone who feels they have been treated in a genuine and warm fashion will tell others of this experience. Such word of mouth remains the best marketing there is, including for luxury, because it is rooted not in creating but in satisfying a need. A very human, very real fact.

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