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Posted at: Jan 2, 2019, 12:39 AM; last updated: Jan 2, 2019, 2:19 AM (IST)CAREER COMPASS: LUXURY BRAND MANAGEMENT

Create your niche in the market

Akshay Gupta

The retail sector in India hasn’t been completely tapped. It offers a plenty of opportunities, more so in the luxury retail sector, with the industry promising exponential growth in India. 

The luxury sector is a niche space. It is for a restricted number of elite or up-market  brands. The industry segment has opened up new avenues for youngsters who want to be a part of ever-evolving and recession-proof sector. Easy to acquire skills make it a viable career option. The sector is divided into several segments and one can switch jobs within and grow professionally.  

The big, elite segment

Today, luxury has become a part of our lifestyle. Automobiles, fashion, travel and tourism, health and wellness, hospitality and fine dining, aviation, medical tourism, watches and jewelry, home decor; technology and hybrid — almost every industry has a luxury segment to boast of. Further segmentation of the phenomenon has resulted in premium, accessible, aspiration and core luxury divisions, thereby demanding a workforce that understands the dynamic of the industry.  

Just like any other consumer business, luxury product sector requires personnel at the front and back end. Managerial jobs are hence created in the fields of marketing, communications, research, supply chain and  logistics, merchandising, banking & finance, design, manufacturing, etc. The front-end roles, which act as the customer touch-point area would include sales consultants, sales supervisors, store managers, etc. 

Eligibility

Working for a luxury brand demands the right attitude. One should be well educated, well behaved and willing to learn about the demand and supply of luxury goods. One needs to know the history of the product one is selling and should be able to plan future strategies to add value to the brand. One should be passionate about promoting the services or the product. Advising users on the utility of these products demands creativity and imagination. Besides, one needs to develop good communication skills, which helps one to explain it to the consumer the need to invest in luxury. 

Be a people’s person

Since luxury brand management involves a lot of customer interaction, those with a natural flair for networking, especially with the corporate class, and the ability to build a rapport with key decision makers will do well for themselves in this industry. 

Luxury houses show zero tolerance for anything that is mediocre or of low quality. Thus, it is essential for an individual working in this field to maintain customer relations. One should also be exceptionally good at time management skills. 

A luxury brand manager, who assumes the role of a mentor, can spearhead the transformation of a masses’ brand into a luxury brand and at the same time make it dominant player in the market.

—The writer is COO of Luxury Connect Business School


Develop communication skills

One should be an avid listener and must be good at customer services to retain customers. People who are ambitious and determined to excel professionally  should give luxury brand management a shot. Usually, since the stakes are so high in the industry, people with strong academic background are preferred. Command over English will always give you an edge over others. As international brands are demanded by customers around the globe, it is suggested that one should know an additional world language, besides English. 

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