Luxury is a very special segment and standard laws of marketing don’t always apply. Luxury cannot be straight jacketed under the universal laws of supply and demand. Lot of the management theories have to be turned on their heads while dealing in luxury and the special needs of its markets. It requires very specialized skills management schools and Universities have been working on special syllabus that can equip a student with the skill set that enables him or her to navigate the luxury markets successfully. The Ecole Supérieure des Affaires (ESA) and the Institute Français de la Mode (IFM) have just launched their first training program on “Luxury management” in Lebanon.
It is not a luxury MBA program but the Management school and the Fashion institute have come together to design short courses for working executives and managers from the industry. The aim of the training program is to help the executives see the industry in its right perspective and develop an understanding of luxury in its strategic and operational dimensions.
Some of the luxury brands and companies have also come forward in partnering management schools and introduce programs that combine the theoretical courses with practical on the job training. Bulgari has teamed up with the SDA Bocconi School of Management to create a full time MBA program that specializes in luxury business management. This luxury MBA program aims to increase the integration between theory and application. It is one of the first of its kind in a top ranking international MBA program. The management program in Lebanon also aims to develop the skills needed for the creation and management of luxury brands in Lebanon and the region.
It hopes to help the participants to understand the rules of the luxury markets and master the techniques to manage it successfully. The proposed program doesn’t intend following the traditional class room approach but combine seminars in Beirut with ad hoc training in Paris. The fees structure is not very clear but details can be had from the ESA, Lebanon website. In any case if you compare it with the cost of an Executive MBA offered by Wharton in downtown Francisco, you will be relieved. The Wharton program costs $172,000. In fact if you break it down into hours the cost works out to $250 per hour.
The markets have become very competitive today as a large number of companies are chasing the same set of customers with very similar products and services. Under the circumstances it becomes important to develop a relevant strategic and operational vision. And these luxury MBA help you achieve that. Glasgow Caledonian University has also launched an MBA in luxury brand marketing from their London campus. It is again the first of its kind in UK. This trend is on the increase as the industry feels the need for specialists to take care of a luxury brand.
The ESA – IFM program in Lebanon is a small step in that direction that aims to develop managerial skills for luxury brands. At the moment they are offering six course modules in Beirut of two days each. The “Paris Experience” consists of three and a half days in Paris for guided tours of shops, boutiques and emblematic places. You must make up your mind soon as the applications would not be accepted beyond May 12. The courses start from May19.