Under the Spotlight with Paul Graham

Event review by Andy Gray, StudioLR

The Marketing Society Scotland put Paul Graham, Marketing and Comms Director at Moët Hennessy, Under the Spotlight, to get his insight on handling luxury brands and how the market is changing with the impact of Covid-19. 

Paul’s career has spanned working for Versace and Burberry after founding his own agency whose client list included Umbro, Diesel, Skype and Sony. He is also a Board Member of the Marketing Society in London.

Paul’s presentation was relaxed, informal and very honest. It revealed some fascinating insights.

Paul introduced himself with a photo of him aged four and the message to embrace your inner child. That sense of childish wonder is largely lost in marketing. Being locked into what we have learned before is safe but means that we don’t learn or move forward. As adults we want the world never to change or to go back to the way it was, while a child finds everything new and relishes every twist and turn. Channelling that sense of wonder allows a healthier approach to marketing and understanding of the consumer, and it allows us to be more flexible.

The current situation has forced Moët Hennessy to embrace delivering their experiences digitally which means more creativity and stronger brands. The focus of sales has moved online with surprises like home delivery services. All of next year’s plans will be based on a digital infrastructure and any physical intervention will be an add-on. 

Paul had advice for other marketeers based on his own experience.

Never forget the business that you're in rather than the one you think you’re in. Facebook is a good example of adaptability. When they see a service that consumers like they simply add it to their platform.

Remember that humanity is a constant. Our desires and motivations – we are all consumers – rarely change only our context and options. The world has turned on its head in the last few months but as long as we remember the business we are in, but don’t fight change, we will survive.

The very concept of luxury is constantly changing. In the last decade it has moved from being distant and aspirational to an attainable expression of where the individual wants to be. Their key question is ‘Is this product worth the money?’

With the environment and sustainability top of the agenda in the next few years, consumers are already paying more for products that are seen as ethical. It becomes part of the consumer expectation for a luxury product.

In the “new” world, brands are no longer physically available so memorability becomes key.

Start with the history of where the brand came from like Veuve Cliquot and make it relevant for a new and modern audience.

Paul’s presentation was followed by a lively and thought-provoking Q&A session from the 97 attendees.

His final advice was: ‘Look after yourselves and the world and each other before you become a marketer because that is what a marketer is.

Watch Paul’s presentation.

Andy Gray is co-founder and MD at StudioLR. Connect with Andy on LinkedIn or @StudioLR_Andy on twitter.


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