An interview with Pierre-Yves Poulain
Pierre-Yves Poulain, Luxury Attitude Academy Ambassador to large private companies - particularly in Asia - talks about the key role that HR policy now plays in Brand strategy.
Could you tell us about your background and experience?
After 10 years working in the operational side of Human Resources, I became Secretary General of the ANDRH - the French National Association of HR Managers. I then moved on to its European equivalent - the EAPM (European Association for People Management). These two positions gave me the opportunity to deal with HR issues in different geographical areas – each with extremely varied economic, cultural and demographic profiles. Drawing on this experience, I founded Luxury Society in 2008, the first global social network dedicated to the international Luxury industry… bringing together a community that has since proved to be highly diverse. Initially focused on cross sectorial B2B, Luxury Society has moved from a purely Internet model to a more events-focused approach. Today it offers a mix of editorial information and face-to-face gatherings – conferences, forums… all with an international dimension. In the space of a few years, over 30,000 members from 150 countries have joined.
What lessons have you learned from this experience?
I have been able to observe deep-rooted change in the Luxury universe. 20 years ago the market was demand-driven – exquisite products generated sales. Now – with globalisation, the Internet bubble and the development of accessories – leading Brands have decided to take an interest in their Clients – who are they? What do they want? How and why do they buy? And we are now entering a third phase, namely, achieving differentiation by building a genuine Client relation – and this is thanks to the efforts of the Brand employees. In other words, we already moved from a product-driven market to a customer-driven market. And now we have a people-driven market – this ties in perfectly with the angle, instructional content and objectives of the e-Learning Movie recently released by the Luxury Attitude Academy.
A few words before we finish?
Most of the companies do not leverage social networks at their best: instead of re-connecting with existing contacts, they'd better focus on the people they do not know yet, but would have an interest in meeting with. As for a manager, the question is not "how many contacts do you have" but rather "who and where are the people you should connect with, the ones who will help you grow your business tomorrow.