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Luxury Roundtable

Luxury Roundtable 2013 New York conference May 1: Four Seasons, Mercedes, Donna Karan, Graff Diamonds, Douglas Elliman, Michael Kors, Wall Street Journal, BCG, Ipsos

February 11, 2013

Graff sparkles


Please click each session title below for access to presentations from the Luxury Roundtable: State of Luxury 2013 conference in New York 

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts: How Storytelling is the New Defining Luxury Experience

Boston Consulting Group: State of the Luxury Business 2013 and Beyond

Mercedes-Benz: Balancing the Art and Soul of Risk

ePrize: The Marketing Revolution

Douglas Elliman Real Estate: The Art and Science of Luxury Property Marketing

Ipsos MediaCT: Understanding Luxury Consumers and Their Decision-Making Process

Donna Karan: Brand Evangelism’s Role to Widen the Luxury Customer Base

Registration for this event is now closed. Below is the program agenda for the conference that was hosted May 1, 2013 by Luxury Daily

Registration is open for the Luxury Roundtable: State of Luxury 2013 conference Wednesday, May 1, 2013 featuring speakers from the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Mercedes-Benz, Donna Karan, Graff Diamonds, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Michael Kors, The Wall Street Journal, Boston Consulting Group, Ipsos MediaCT, Social Muse Communications, FondueMix and Lure of Luxe. This daylong New York event is a must-attend for luxury brands, luxury retailers, ad agencies, market researchers and publishers looking to get a temperature reading on the health and prospects of the luxury business and strategies to become a stronger player.

At this exclusive summit organized by this publication at the National Museum of the American Indian across from Manhattan’s Battery Park downtown, attendees will get to listen and meet with key executives moving the needle for luxury marketing, retail and media. The conference, whose agenda is below, will be limited to only 200 delegates.

“As pointed out by BCG Consulting Insights, luxury is a $1.3 trillion industry – the size of Australia’s GDP, the world’s 13th largest economy – so the welfare of such a large influence in the global marketplace is key,” said Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Luxury Daily, New York.

“But like any other sector, luxury needs constant tending and caring for it to flourish,” he said. “That means consistent practices across product and service quality, controlled distribution, responsive marketing, customer touch points and perception of value. Some luxury brands are holding the line, not succumbing to premium temptation, while a few have convinced themselves otherwise. Regardless, an eye on heritage, quality and customer experience is essential for long-term thriving.”

Marketing for all seasons

This conference will help luxury marketers establish benchmarks for best practice in brand building, marketing and retail.

Under discussion will be the role of storytelling in maintaining the brand narrative, finding best friends for diamonds, why cookie cutters do not work for luxury property marketing, brand evangelism’s role in this noise-fused economy, the state of the luxury business and what motivates today’s luxury customer. Key luxury trends, issues and opportunities will also be aired.

Attendees will get access to all presentations made at the event.

Central perk of marketing

The event is priced at $595 for the day, which includes breakfast, lunch and cocktails. Refunds will not be given 72 hours before the event or for no-shows on the day of the conference.

For sponsorship, please contact for prompt attention.

Luxury Roundtable: State of Luxury 2013 is part of this publication’s exclusive summit series.

The summit agenda can also be accessed via

The agenda is below.


Luxury Roundtable: State of Luxury 2013
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Napean presentation

National Museum of the American Indian

Diker Pavilion

Bowling Green

New York, NY 10004

(Directions: Directly across from Battery Park in downtown Manhattan and at the beginning of Broadway)

8 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:45 a.m. – 9 a.m.

Welcome Address: Managing Luxury Expectations in a Discerning World

Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief, Luxury Daily

9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts: How Storytelling is the New Defining Luxury Experience
Today’s luxury customers are as much into physical goods as they are into flawless experiences whose memories last a lifetime. Indeed, the largest spend category in luxury is travel and hotels, estimated annually at about $355 billion. The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts brand understands well the motivations of the luxury guest, from the aspiring luxury traveler to the worldly jetsetter. The global slowdown in 2009, however, refocused the hospitality industry to move brand dollars to digital media, especially social where consumers wanted to be part of the brand story. As Four Seasons has discovered, storytelling and engaging content is now key to getting more heads in beds. In this session, attendees will learn:

 What today’s luxury customer expects from experiences

 The state of the luxury hospitality industry

 Marketing that works for Four Seasons hotels and resorts worldwide

 How Four Seasons became a storyteller and a custom publisher of content

 Tips for how luxury brands that sell experiences can translate them into digital for consumer engagement


Elizabeth Pizzinato, senior vice president of marketing and communications, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

9:45 a.m. – 10 a.m.


10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Graff Diamonds: Marketing High Jewelry to Today’s Consumer
British high jeweler Graff Diamonds knows a thing or two about elegance and style: some of the world’s best diamonds have passed through its hands. In addition to diamonds, the marketer sources and polishes gems such as emeralds and rubies, encasing them in rings, earrings, necklaces and watches that sparkle with life and dazzle eyes that behold. Holding quality standards and stoking demand in a competitive world is not easy, but Graff presses ahead with creativity within its stores, online and via its catalogs and magazine. This session will discuss:

 The state of the luxury jewelry business

 Graff's positioning within the high-end jewelry market

 How vertical integration has been central to Graff's success

 The role of stores, catalogs, magazines and print advertising in Graff's story

 Marketing: what works for Graff Diamonds


Courtney Smith, vice president of marketing, advertising and communications, Graff Diamonds

10:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.


11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Boston Consulting Group: State of the Luxury Business 2013 and Beyond
Evolving consumer behavior requires luxury brands and retailers to adapt, even more so in a global economy where growth lies in emerging markets but the developed countries cannot be ignored. Some key trends are already obvious, such as an emerging middle class trading up and a growing reliance on China to fuel a luxury brand’s growth. Still, the recipes of the past will not work. In this session, attendees will learn:

 How consumer behavior is changing to include experiences, moving from a mindset of “to have” to “to be” with older demographics and millennials

 The role of geography in driving growth: how an emerging middle class in the BRIC countries plus South Africa is eyeing and buying luxury goods and services

 Why the United States should not be ignored

 How new business models are emerging in luxury as the relationship between consumers and brands changes

 How digital is changing the rules of the game for ecommerce, retail and marketing


Jean-Marc Bellaiche, senior partner and managing director, Boston Consulting Group

11:45 a.m. – Noon


Noon – 12:45 p.m.

Mercedes-Benz: Balancing the Art and Soul of Risk

Luxury brands have long eschewed risk, but the past decade has virtually demanded that luxury marketers decide their risk tolerance. Open the brand to new buyers? Preserve the exclusivity? Take part in the social media dialogue? Any choice is a risky decision. Mercedes-Benz, a brand with a vaunted 125-year heritage, believes that the generational transition and rapidly changing communications channels will mark the biggest challenges that growth brands in the luxury space have ever encountered in this market. With an all-new model coming this fall – the CLA – that will reset the brand's entry point in the United States and create a new gateway to its product line, the automaker has already signaled its intention to embrace risk via marketing that has raised more than a few eyebrows in the course of paving the way for the biggest growth phase in the company's history. Itself balancing the voracious appetite of the new while delivering on the brand promise of "The Best or Nothing," Mercedes-Benz will offer a perspective on:

 Engaging a new generation of buyers

 Navigating exclusivity versus access

 Assessing today's "risky business"

 Mercedes-Benz’s marketing philosophy


Bernie Glaser, vice president of marketing, Mercedes-Benz USA

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Sponsored Lunch Break

1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Sponsored Lunch Keynote

The Marketing Revolution
The path to purchase is not linear, but luxury marketers can still direct the journey. This session will discuss how top brands are refining mobile, social and loyalty tactics in the way they engage consumers, providing a holistic experience across digital and in-store experiences. Learn how to connect these meaningful touch points and inspire consumers on their path to purchase.


Matt Wise, CEO, ePrize

2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Douglas Elliman Real Estate: The Art and Science of Luxury Property Marketing
The nation’s fourth largest real estate company with 4,000 agents in more than 70 offices has spent 102 years servicing its clients’ desire for a dream home – great view, large bathrooms, pet-friendly, access to the water and, yes, the right neighbors. New York and Florida are its key markets, with clients flocking from all over the world. Elliman is a full-service real estate firm, offering services spanning sales and rental, retail and commercial, new development marketing, property management, financing and title insurance. Yet the traditional real estate industry is rapidly transitioning, especially as consumers seek more information and experiences from their brokerage firms. In this session, attendees will learn:

 The new face of luxury property marketing

 What today’s luxury buyer expects from the interaction with the real estate company

 Why a cookie-cutter approach does not work: high-end properties are all unique

 How the real estate business has become so visual with videos and content-rich with magazines rivaling leading shelter titles

 The heightened role of artistic open-house events, public relations, advertising, customized marketing and content in wooing the luxury buyer or renter


Camilla Papale, chief marketing officer, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

2:45 p.m. – 3 p.m.


3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.


Ipsos MediaCT: Understanding Luxury Consumers and Their Decision-Making Process
Getting a handle on the luxury consumer is not easy. Old stereotypes do not apply anymore, as younger consumers are eager to sample luxury goods and services, while the older group seeks out more experiences as rewards for a lifetime of putting shoulder to the wheel. What better source to synthesize luxury brand and consumer data than the acclaimed 36th Annual Mendelsohn Affluent Survey as well as the much-cited Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer tracking survey? This session will address questions such as:

 Who is today’s luxury consumer? Building a profile of today’s luxury targets by exploring the best predictors of luxury interest and purchase

 How can brands best reach these luxury consumers? Exploring the role of digital and traditional media throughout the luxury funnel

 How do luxury dynamics change across categories? A brief look at luxury in categories such as apparel, travel, automotive and mobile devices

 How are luxury purchase decisions made? Exploring brand considerations such as quality, design and value, as well as today’s multichannel shopping process including showrooming

 What does the future hold for luxury? Exploring the outlook for 2013 luxury spending with the latest tracking results from Ipsos’ luxury interest indices


Stephen Kraus, senior vice president and chief insights officer of Ipsos MediaCT’s audience measurement group, and coauthor of “The New Elite: Inside the Minds of the Truly Wealthy” 

3:45 p.m. – 4 p.m.


4 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Donna Karan: Brand Evangelism’s Role to Widen the Luxury Customer Base
As one of the trendiest luxury womenswear apparel and lifestyle brands, Donna Karan New York is known for deploying the latest communication tools to keep its customer base engaged year-round. Its use of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr are nothing short of democratic in its approach, pushing a lifestyle that is stylish yet classic and so New York. Given the state of the global economy, Donna Karan is doubling down on its branding efforts to maintain ties with not only existing customers but also those who may enter the brand at a later stage. In this session, attendees will learn:

 Why brand evangelism should trump a singular focus on ROI for luxury marketers

 Embracing social media to meet luxury consumers wherever they are

 Donna Karan’s approach to brand evangelism

 The increasingly critical role of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,, Tumblr, Pinterest, Weibo and blogs in shaping the luxury brand’s perception

 Why the mediums are the luxury message


Aliza Licht, senior vice president of global communications, Donna Karan International

4:45 p.m. – 5 p.m.


5 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.


Why It’s Not Just the 1 Percent Anymore and Other Luxury Trends, Challenges and Opportunities
It is well documented how marketers and retailers of luxury goods and services mostly thrived in the recent economic slowdown while their main street counterparts struggled to hold on to market share. But demographic changes and evolving tastes are forcing luxury marketers to look anew at their marketing and retail practices. Consumers, even the affluent ones, want a say in the brand’s story, thanks to new technology and media. Resistance is futile, as the Borg said. This closing session will feature the full weight and wisdom of its panelists, opining on key luxury issues including:

 Stepping into Choos: Will Gen X and Gen Y transition smoothly into the new generators of demand?

 All over the map: Headwinds in China, Japan not back to form, and the prospects of BRICS

 Old money, old turf: Sustaining customer relationships in Europe and the United States

 Experiences: The new luxury good?

 A little more conversation: Online, mobile, social and in constant dialogue – the new face of marketing?

 Turning the page? Not print advertising

 What’s in store: bricks and clicks

 Counterfeiting: falling trees in the forest

 Big is beautiful? So think LVMH, PPR (Kering), Richemont, Swatch Group and Labelux

 Mystique, not mistake: turning brand into product


Nina Lawrence, vice president of global marketing for ad sales, The Wall Street Journal

Barbara Bissoni, senior director of ecommerce, Tod's

Darren Floyd, cofounder, FondueMix

Farryn Weiner, director of social media, Michael Kors

Jordan Phillips, founder and director, Lure of Luxe

Christine Kirk, founder/CEO, Social Muse Communications


Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief, Luxury Daily

5:45 p.m.

Raffle for Dom Perignon

5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

Sponsored Cocktail Hour

Hotels in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood (from nearest to farthest):

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New York City - Financial District, 8 Stone Street, New York, NY 10004; tel: 212-480-9100; please click here for the Web site

The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, Two West Street, New York, NY 10004; tel: 212-344-0800; please click here for the Web site

New York Marriott Downtown, 85 West Street at Albany Street, New York, NY 10006; tel: 212-385-4900; please click here for the Web site

W New York Downtown, 123 Washington Street (entrance on Albany Street), New York, NY 10006; tel: 646-826-8600; please click here for the Web site

Millennium Hilton, 55 Church Street, New York, NY 10007; tel: 212-693-2001; please click here for the Web site