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The French bakery empire, Ladurée, has only been in the US for eight years, but the American expansion has greatly benefited the brand. Elisabeth Holder Raberin, of the Ladurée family, is the co-president of Ladurée USA.
She leads the brand’s North American business development, partnerships, and operations with her husband, Pierre-Antoine Raberin. Although Raberin grew up in the Ladurée family, she never aspired to help grow the business. Instead she attended the European Business School in Paris which led her to a career in luxury fashion working with Hermès, Ralph Lauren, and Et Vous. It wasn’t until 2004 that Raberin joined the family business as the the brand director. She instantly saw the opportunity to expand their coveted macaroons and tea room ambiance to the states. Ladurée’s first US boutique opened on Madison Avenue in New York City followed by the US flagship full service restaurant and tea room in SoHo. Since 2011, Ladurée has expanded to Miami, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Washington D.C.
Raberin shares how the US expansion has helped accelerate Ladurée’s global brand.
Yola Robert: How have you brought the French culture of Ladurée to the American stores?
Elisabeth Holder Raberin: The number one piece of French culture we have brought to the American stores are my chefs. They are all trained in Paris which is key to the success of bringing french culinary secrets to America. Another unique aspect of French culture we have been able to bring to the American stores are the handpicked pieces of French antique decor.
Robert: What are the most important things you have learned from your family that you have implemented into your strategy in the US?
Raberin: My father reminded us daily to listen and never give up. More importantly he instilled the habit of being in the stores daily and speaking to the customers. That advice has helped us expand rapidly in the US.
Robert: What advice do you have for legacy brands on growing their brand equity?
Raberin: Stay close to your brand DNA, but keep an open mind as times change fast. Especially in America, brands evolve even faster.
Robert: What has Ladurée learned from growing the brand in America?
Raberin: We never had a digital strategy before coming to the US. Social media, influencer and experiential marketing were never areas we put emphasis on. The success we have had trying these new avenues in America has given us an opportunity to implement those strategies in France and beyond. This has improved our brand equity immensely. The US expansion has enabled us to bring the best of the old and new world together at Ladurée .
Robert: What is next for Ladurée?
Raberin: We have many exciting things coming up around our digital strategy, increasing our partnerships and adding pop ups.
Robert: What is one failure you have been able to turn into a success?
Raberin: I always make sure when a client is disappointed to speak with them, solve their problem and ensure they leave Ladurée happy.
January 31, 2019 at 08:48AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs