Chic is a multidisciplined creative agency with offices in London, Paris and Singapore. International Business Director Loïc Molina - Le Bihan tells us how Chic is a specialist in branding for the luxury industry.
You began your career working with LVMH and Diageo. What led you to choose this path?
I truly enjoyed my experience with Diageo and Moët Hennessy. I was amazed by how creative brand management could be. The wine and spirit market is an unbelievably creative industry, both in design and visual communication so it was a natural move for me to focus my career on that, and enrich it by working in the luxury industry. I originally worked with Chic years before joining the company, on various projects. They have a great savoir-faire and a true attachment to luxury brands’ stories and heritage. I also wanted to move to london from Paris and felt like that was the perfect opportunity to set up Chic in London.
What is your process for clients?
Some clients come to us with a clear theme or concept in mind, and it is our job to shape it. But most of them come to us with a blank canvas. Knowing about the trends and luxury credentials are crucial but I think that humour is one of our great strengths. We would often come up with an idea just because we see it from a different angle. In the end it gives our proposal an edge.
What do the creative teams at Chic do to keep their ideas fresh?
We have 3 locations but a single team. We communicate a lot with each other and share trends from London, Paris or Singapore. We have implemented an internal social network that works as an “ideas incubator” for us. We share trends and innovations and maintain a unified vision for the company. It is crucial to us, even more with the opening of our new branch in Dubai in November.
How important is it for luxury brands to engage customers?
The experience of purchasing is crucial and this includes packaging, retail design and “retailtainment”. Studies show that consumers in the luxury market often visit a boutique before buying online. But with online sales growing, consumers need to feel the brand in different ways. Selling is no longer the raison d’être of the retail counters. Their challenge is to offer a unique sensorial experience that will never be digitalised. The Burberry boutique on Regent’s Street is a very good example of this trend. They don’t have anymore till spots, but they do have live music! The real challenge for most brands at the moment is to make a strong connection between their online and their retail experience.
How important is it for Chic to have a presence in Asia?
It is crucial to us in different ways. We have just opened an office in Singapore to understand the local brand customs. Forty percent of travel shoppers are Chinese, and growing. Understanding their needs is as crucial as it is in Heathrow or on the Champs Elysees. Some international luxury brands are relocating part of their teams to the east. Therefore, we need to be there to work with brands on their communication strategies. Also, asian luxury brands are emerging and it is quite exciting to see their learning curve. The Asian luxury consumer has long been perceived as being attracted to ostentatious brands to express their status. But nowadays, there is a growing population of discerning consumers who look for quality, heritage, their own benefits, and would use the brands more as a way of affirming their individual tastes.
Image: Chic’s clients include LVMH whose brands are Krug champagne, as well as Dom Pérignon. Pictured are marketing visuals, as well as a customized crown for Dom Pérignon & Harrod’s as a tribute for the Queen’s Jubilee. See the full portfolio at www.youarechic.com