16
Sep
2013

Staff attitude in luxury brands; determining immediate impressions

Working in China and in the luxury sector means you meet some interesting people. Of course this is the English interpretation of ‘interesting’, by which I mean some can be while others are just bland. There are those who are genuinely in love with their job and put their heart and soul into it, and others for whom it’s a step on a ladder to relative power and money. Now I am not complaining about the range of characters because in an evolving market within a rapidly developing country it is to be expected, but it can be amazing how attitudes can differ, and short term gain outweighs long term relationships and success.

I have the privilege of currently working on a new luxury lifestyle TV series called The Highlife, perhaps the only new show of its type that has been given the OK to be aired on TV here. There is no advertising before, during or after the show because it has to be educational and entertaining, which is something that has not been delivered by ‘luxury’ shows of the past that were basically long advertorials for the sponsoring brand. We are doing all we can to avoid telling consumers what to do, but showing them that a luxury lifestyle is about choices that you have and you make.

So back to my ‘interesting’ people. As we plan and film episodes we of course have to talk to executives in luxury brands across all categories of the sector, and how different they can be. The real professionals are extremely helpful and very pleasant to deal with. They understand what you are trying to do and do their utmost to make a positive contribution to the objective. There are others however, who either think of themselves and not the brand they work for and really don’t think how their actions affect others. We may not be actual consumers of their product or service, but what we do could have a positive or negative affect on it, directly or indirectly.

The one point I want to make here is that the luxury sector in China is getting older and should be becoming more mature in nature from its core. The issue is that this maturity for some brands is a fundamental attribute of the business, so everyone is brought in line with it, while for others, their staff are left to deliver whatever level of brand value they think acceptable provided the business hits its targets. Luxury brands have earned the respect of consumers and the world because of their values and the way they handle themselves, and not just by selling their products. Staff in China that do not understand this and their part in continuing this tradition are doing a great disservice to their employer and all those they meet.

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