Learning about the Successful Ones from a True Success

Being fans of everything high quality and luxury-related, we are excited to speak to Florine Eppe Beauloye, Editor in Chief of the online publication Luxe Digital, and co-founder and CEO of mOOnshot digital. We want to learn about her work principles, secrets of success, media partnership with Luxury Lifestyle Awards and more.

Florine, such a pleasure to do this interview with you. Your experiences are definitely outstanding — starting your own business, writing a book, speaking at universities, international events and conferences. How do you manage to juggle it all? What motivates you?

Thanks for the opportunity. It is always a pleasure to share my journey.

I am definitely a multi-hyphenate and I love that I have the opportunity to be a woman of many hats.

Although life can feel like a constant juggling act at times, I’m really committed to everything I do and always try to live in the moment. There are 24 hours in a day, but I don’t let time get the better of me. I think the key is being clear on what your purpose in life is so that you can say yes to the things that matter to you, and perhaps even more importantly, so you can say no to the things that don’t. It’s all about prioritising and setting realistic expectations so you can maximise life: to live more, love more, and be more.

No matter how busy I am, I always find ways to pause and ponder, to step back and unwind so I can recharge with positive, creative energy. By keeping my mind open to new perspectives, I make space to embrace new ideas and novel opportunities.

When it comes to what motivates me, it’s first and foremost about the people I surround myself with. I have built an incredible support system of mentors and friends who hold me accountable for being the best version of myself. They help me design a life and career I am proud of.

Driving positive change is definitely another powerful motivator for me. I am inherently a compulsive creative with an appetite for greatness and new challenges. I wake up curious and determined to be better every day. Whether it’s through keynotes, custom trainings, writing or bespoke consulting services, I love that I can inspire and empower people and brands to shine brighter and realise their full potential through digital innovation. I consider every day when I am able to make a positive impact on someone’s life or business with a smile, a friendly word, a helping hand, or a successful project, a happy and fulfilling day.

Digital opens so many new doors and opportunities to innovate. We are just at the beginning. As an entrepreneur and marketeer, it’s a pretty wonderful time to be alive.

What had you been doing before entering the luxury business sector and how did you end up where you are now? What continues to attract you to the world of luxury and digital innovation?

Prior to venturing into entrepreneurship and digital luxury, I worked as a TV Journalist, then transitioned off-screen to take on the role of Head of Marketing for international, award-winning B2C and B2B brands in Europe and Asia. My experience spanned across sectors such as F&B, Beauty & Wellness, and E-Commerce. Sometimes it feels like I have lived many lives. But these varied yet complementary experiences provided me with a holistic understanding of the marketing ecosystem, and the knowledge and skills that led me to my current ventures.

Through my experiences, I noticed a gap in the market for a boutique digital agency specialising in premium and luxury brands. I jumped at the market opportunity, and from there, the trajectory of my business and my career all happened very organically.

As for what attracts me to this space – I am from a modest family so luxury didn’t enter my life until I had progressed in my career and attained a level of professional success and recognition. I started to genuinely appreciate luxury goods for their remarkable quality and craftsmanship, and to admire them for their sleek and stylish design. I was attracted to their stories and the alluring aura that envelops them. To me, luxury isn’t about buying expensive things, nor is it superficial. It is about the desire to experience memorable and meaningful moments. I love the thought of being a part of that dream.

I will say that an appreciation for beautiful design, a passion for excellence and an uncompromising attitude towards quality manifested itself early on in my life, even before I started working with luxury brands. Perhaps that is why my work with luxury brands today feels like such a natural extension of my own affinities and inclinations.

How do you define the notion of “luxury”, and what does it mean to you personally?

The lifestyle surrounding luxury is still too often characterized by unflattering stereotypes, especially among luxury non-consumers: Superficiality. Materialism. Opulence. They are largely misconceptions, in my opinion.

The expression of luxury, in its new, modern context, has become less ostentatious, more subtle and understated, more individualistic and intimate. Luxury is now all about offering consumers something outside of their ordinary experiences. Modern consumers want to bring their own personality to the products and experiences they purchase, and for these products and experiences to be an expression of their own personal creativity. Luxury is now about inclusivity and this authentic connection between brand values and the consumers’ own personal stories.

To me, luxury is craftsmanship and excellence. Luxury is emotional and personal. Luxury is unique and experiential. Some of my most luxurious experiences were moments that money cannot buy — for example, walking the red carpet at Le Festival de Cannes and feeling that nostalgic Old-Hollywood-Glamour and magic in the air.

Which emotional and rational characteristics do you think a luxury brand should possess to be successful?

There’s clearly a (generational) shift happening. To stay relevant in the modern context, luxury brands must lean in and transform from a brand-centric and traditional model to a seamless and more customer-centric organisation.

Rationally speaking, luxury brands are inherently of the highest quality. They are crafted with extreme care and time-tested expertise. This excellence is earned and consistently delivered.

But luxury is above all emotional; luxury has been, and will always be, about how it makes us feel. Authenticity is definitely a key intrinsic value. As luxury consumers become more diverse and discerning, they are also increasingly seeking personalisation and bespoke products and services.

You’ll be joining LLA’s panel of expert judges this April. Have you already thought about your criteria in selecting winners?

I am very pleased to join Luxury Lifestyle Awards’ esteemed panel of judges to help recognise the best and most innovative luxury brands.

Beyond product and service excellence, I will be looking for extraordinary brands that are timeless yet modern, those that are offering true luxury experiences with outstanding attention to detail, and with a certain “je ne sais quoi”.

I am also particularly interested in recognising environmentally and socially conscious luxury brands — the ones that are combining sustainable thinking with luxury savoir-faire to redefine the industry and drive positive change in the world.

Based on your expert opinion, what are the differences between luxury consumers in Asia and Europe/America?

When you think of traditional luxury, the global luxury giants that are likely to come to mind are Hermès, Prada, Tiffany & Co., Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Rolex and many more. Many traditional luxury brands have their origins in Europe, a continent seen by many as the ‘natural’ home of high style and fine craftsmanship. The U.S. is also a very mature market in terms of luxury consumption.

In Asia, there is less luxury brand history in a sense. Luxury consumers in Asia – with their spending power now exceeding that of their Western counterparts – represent a segment that is still untapped in many ways. Affluent consumers are emerging across all Asian markets, and, for some, they are experiencing the luxury category for the first time.

With that said, a long heritage is no longer a necessity in order to be credible in the world of luxury. We have seen the emergence of new luxury players that are literally taking the industry by storm, because they tell modern, authentic stories that resonate with a young, affluent consumer.

Asian shoppers are omnichannel shoppers, highly comfortable with buying luxury products online and, in the case of Chinese luxury shoppers in particular, with buying luxury products while traveling overseas.

Another point to consider while discussing international modern luxury is that perceptions may vary depending on the country. For example, Coach New York is perceived as a premium brand in Europe, while it is positioned as a luxury brand in Asia.

It is important to note that within the Asian region itself, various markets are at different stages of luxury consumption. A typical luxury shopper in India or Indonesia is not the same as a luxury shopper in China.

One of your projects – the online publication Luxe Digital – is becoming media partners with Luxury Lifestyle Awards. Can you tell us more about the publication and your approach to content creation?

Luxe Digital is a luxury online media publication that equips professionals with the right tools and knowledge to be at the forefront of digital transformations. Luxe Digital’s vision is to inspire, empower and drive positive change for leaders at the helm of luxury businesses.

Luxe Digital is redefining luxury for the modern age. We publish first-class original content crafted by a team of professional copywriters, academics and luxury insiders. Every month, we have a topical subject that serves as the editorial focus.

We distill the babble of digital marketing into an intelligible digest. Our aim is not to flood people with average content but rather to offer highly curated, timeless, thought-provoking ideas and fresh perspectives that have the power to shape the future of businesses.

Our content is organised into a few different categories — featured Reports dive deep into topics that matter, Trending articles highlight digital and luxury trends you should take note of, Opinion pieces share stories of inspiring thought leaders, Speakeasy is our tool that translates digital jargon into plain English, and Ranking reports systematically showcase the best of the best in various categories.

Tell us about your agency mOOnshot digital: what are its competences, who are the main clients, and what services do you offer them?

mOOnshot digital is a boutique creative and digital marketing agency specialising in premium and luxury brands. What really makes us shine is our one-of-a-kind dream team of change- makers. Our advisory board and management team include former managers of Google, Facebook and YouTube, all passionate about innovating in the digital space.

Since our humble beginnings, mOOnshot digital has expanded its portfolio of renowned clients and added more services to offer fully integrated business and digital solutions. Our services include business strategy, branding and design, social media, SEO, online advertising, content marketing, website design and development, and more.

At the heart of it all, we move digital boundaries and empower brands to push the edge of what’s possible and improve digital experiences at scale. We call it Digital Craftsmanship. We adopt a bespoke approach and act as a one-stop digital partner, pushing digital knowledge and brands forward.

We had the pleasure to accompany both international luxury brands and innovative startups in their journey towards digital relevance – from Esquire magazine, Kohler, The Luxury Network, and Brioni to Givenchy, International Flavors & Fragrances and more.

Florine, you were recently recognized as one of Asia’s Top 50 Women Leaders by CMO Asia magazine and The World Brand Congress. What was your path to success, and what secrets did you learn along the way?

It’s always uplifting to be recognised amongst other inspiring change-makers.

Everybody loves a good secret (smiles). But there isn’t just one ingredient or one road to success. As an entrepreneur, you constantly encounter challenges, enlightening lessons and opportunities. How you decide to approach each of them, and what you are able to take away from those experiences is what will ultimately define you and your success.

No matter where your starting point is, be clear about what success means to you personally. Oftentimes small acts of kindness and moments of positive, personal interactions have the greatest impact.

Success is a marathon, not a sprint. So make sure to enjoy the (long) run.

What are your plans for the future? Any new exciting projects in sight?

Working in digital means we are by nature constantly innovating, rethinking and refining our approach to offer real value to our clients and the larger community.

I’m always scanning for inspiration, and my head is always spinning with new ideas.

I like to think of my work as a portfolio of well integrated concepts and projects that ladder up to an overarching goal of empowerment for forward-thinking business leaders and the upcoming generation of change-makers.

Unlike the luxury media market, the broader media market is consolidated into big global corporations. Why is that ? Do you see any trends of such a massive media conglomerate being created?

Actually, if you look at traditional luxury media, you will see that only a few media groups own most of the luxury titles.

What is most interesting to notice though is the cross-functional convergence. The lines have blurred. Creative agencies are now offering media placements and media agencies are producing creative work.

With the digital transformation of the media industry and the rise of digital publishing, I suspect we will see the emergence of new media owners creating content specifically targeted at various tribes.

The media landscape is changing as our consumption behaviours change. People are naturally shifting toward digital content consumption and the seamless navigation from one device to another.

And one last question: what advice can you give companies that are planning to launch local luxury brands in Asia? What should they place emphasis on when communicating with their target audience? Which channels of communication should they pick?

Every business has its own path to becoming digitally successful, depending on its unique set of needs and priorities. But the fundamental attributes are all the same and explained in my book, Shine – Digital Craftsmanship for Modern Luxury Brands. To me, the prerequisites to adopting the right mindset for digital success can be illustrated as a constellation connecting five key pillars -Strategy, Holistic implementation, Intelligence, Nimbleness, and Engagement. I like to call the convergence of these factors the “digital sweet spot”. And of course, at the heart of it all, luxury brands must emphasize the niche they are serving.

Affluent consumers are changing, so modern luxury brands need to adapt accordingly.
With the rise of a younger, highly connected generation of affluent consumers who are quickly becoming the most important luxury segment, luxury brands must embrace digital and social media to engage with them.

 

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