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A Focus on Client Experience

As temperatures rise to an almost unbearable heat in the UAE, the rest of the world is preparing for a summer full of unpredictability and still uncertainty. Concerts and festivals getting cancelled, cities and islands reopening and then re-shutting; These are still very confusing and unpredictable times.

At Sen8ate, we decided to focus on positive thoughts and what better to do than to look at some of our favorite brands and how they have grown from a small intimate boutique in London or Paris, to huge global conglomerate luxury brands.

This month we shifted our focus completely to Client Experience.

This is one of our favorite topics and the one that we work on regularly with all our clients.

We wanted to show the direct correlation between the world of hospitality and retail, how these two very different worlds. One which is about selling items to clients and the other about hosting guests in buildings and rooms away from their homes. How the two got interlinked and nowadays, inseparable. Like the stories we see on TV shows, where twins were separated at birth and then reunited many years later (we decided to use this analogy for dramatic effect).

We hope you enjoy the read. Please follow us on our social media handles or check out our website. We count on our community to support us and spread the word about elevating client and employee experience in all fields in all countries. We all count, we are all the same, we are all human. Happy summer! Ben Safra

It occurred to us that we, as consumers, often overlook the importance of hospitality when it comes to luxury brands. We mainly associate it with a home or a hotel, not a Boutique. Hence, we decided to write about the unbroken link and bond between the world of Retail and Hospitality. Now, in order to tell a good story, we needed to go back in time and investigate the roots of hospitality, and this is what we found: Many years ago, when road networks were scarce and traveling was difficult, strangers arriving in a foreign country had to rely on either their camping skills or a local’s kindness when looking for shelter. During the age of major trade routes throughout Europe, it was mostly inns and taverns offering primitive rooms to weary travellers. The idea of a hotel built for the sole purpose of hosting guests did not exist in Europe until the 18th century, when technological progress and the introduction of faster and more reliable modes of transport made long distance travel available to the wider public. With the influx of large numbers of foreigners into major cities, the need for accommodation led to the opening of the first hotels in the modern sense. Since then, the sector has known a nearly unbroken run of growth.

One of the first entrepreneurs and visionaries at the time, Mr Louis Vuitton, saw this as an opportunity to link retail customer experience with travel. This link was the motive for founding his brand and creating the first LV Trunk. The trunk was specifically designed to fit onto a carriage, be durable for long travel, and most importantly fit all the clothes, accessories and personal belongings a customer might need for their travels. This was a clear link and merger between the world of Retail Hospitality and Travel/ Hospitality. Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Chanel (The three brands we decided to focus on), were all birthed from humble beginnings and eventually, through innovation and consistency grew to be some of the most sought after luxury brands. The common denominator amongst all of the current top luxury brands is that they all strive to have unparalleled client experience. Guest experience is defined as a sensory, and behavioural client response during all stages of the consumption process including pre-purchase, consumption, and post-purchase stages. Louis Vuitton has elevated their branding to such a high level that even after clients purchase goods, the carrier bags that hold their purchases are often kept due to its iconic and high quality packaging, as well as representing a certain status. LV Started off by producing trunks to ease commuting, to patenting locking mechanisms that improve the safety of aforementioned trunks, to the highest end of fashion and opulence. Louis Vuitton as a brand has many qualities that we can look at and reflect on to improve our own customer’s experience and ensure loyalty, but most importantly, consistency. Consistency is paramount when it comes to luxury brands as regardless of what happens with your profit margins, you must not change what the brand stands for, this ensures that you create a constant anchor of your brand within the minds of the public.

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Another brand that started from humble beginnings is Burberry. Originally caught traction during World War II supplying waterproof trench coats for the British army. From that to modern day, where 1 in every 5 coats exported from the UK is Burberry highlights the leaps and bounds taken by the brand to ascend itself as dominant in the luxury fashion world. In 2006, Burberry’s former CEO and chief creative officer declared that they wanted the brand to become the first fully digital luxury company. Today, digital has become a core component of how Burberry runs its business, and it’s reaping the rewards in a category that has notoriously lagged in digital savviness. Burberry’s attention to the pre-purchasing aspect of customer experience put them ahead of competition. The brand is considered to be the digital leader amongst luxury fashion brands. All of which have since made the move onto platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and WeChat in order to remain closer to their customer and gain new fans to the brand. It made sense to also look at one of the most renowned luxury fashion houses, CHANEL. Around the age of 20, Coco Chanel was offered aid in starting a millinery business in Paris. Opening her first shop in 1910, Chanel started out selling hats. From those humble beginnings to becoming one of the most profitable and successful luxury fashion houses in the world, was a story of great customer loyalty, outstanding service and immaculate clienteling. The CHANEL business was always about creating a feeling of family and belonging, almost like a private, exclusive members club. It is evident that although all three creation stories of the now well-known luxury fashion brands all stem from different motives, one aspect that is sure is that there was a clean-cut vision in sight that never left all three of the creator’s minds. They all wanted to be close to their customers, know them personally, make sure that when they visited the boutiques, they felt like home. Overall, the customer experience provided by all three brands was unparalleled at the time, whether that be pre-purchase or during transaction. Which is why these brands have managed to maintain their allure and desirability to the public, even years after their creators have passed. All three brands showed and continue to show a unique approach to luxury branding & clienteling, to which we now follow as they lead the market segment. By Ben Safra & Kaiser Abdulrahim Sen8ate

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