Lessons Learned from One of the World’s Most Valuable Brands

Recently, I was given the privelege of working on a project in Paris for Louis Vuitton. The team and I flew to Paris to work with several other contractors on what was really the perfection of a new look. This experience working with such a high-level design team taught me so much about what sets this group apart in terms of image and branding; the quality and value of the Louis Vuitton brand is visible in every aspect of every final product.

The design team in Paris meticulously develops a thoughtful theory and creative design on paper, then renders the design as a three-dimensional model – allowing all finishes and products to be examined, critiqued and improved upon again and again until perfection is achieved in all areas. The entire process is a collaborative effort by a remarkably talented group that consistently exceeds expectations.

What I witnessed in Paris stands in stark contrast to what I’ve noticed from the many companies we deal with on a daily basis. Time and again a company will send its specifications through a general contractor who then sends the pieces out to bid in order to get the lowest price. Finishing touches are usually hasty, last minute additions after a project is behind schedule and over-budget. As a result the company has to compromise its goal because of budgetary issues or because the chosen vendors failed to deliver the high-quality product originally intended. Repeatedly I deal with customers who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a project only to be met with frustration and, after escalating construction costs, forced to sacrifice the beautiful details originally intended for something cheaper. In the end, the company devalues its own brand.

There is a reason the Louis Vuitton brand is considered one of the most valuable brands in the world… the brand is never discounted. An acute attention to detail and desire for quality is present from the very beginning. The team itself is designed for the pursuit of perfection.

In walking into the Louis Vuitton flagship store on the Champs-Élysée, I found myself admiring the exquisite purses lining the shelves. One purse in particular caught my eye. After asking the sales woman to see the purse, I patiently waited as she put on her white gloves. The woman held the purse with such presentation that you might think it to be the most perfect purse ever made… a flawless work of art. Seeing this made me smile; I knew it was perfect. And I knew that somewhere, there was a design team that painstakingly worked out every detail of the finished purse before it was even put in production.

Perfection is the only expectation and always the result

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