INNOCOS interview with Daniel André Langer, President and CEO, Équité

Please can you give a short overview of Équité – when was it launched, which markets do you operate in, what products are in your portfolio?

Équité is a leading luxury, lifestyle and consumer brand development group focusing on elevating the positioning of brands to significantly accelerate their growth, profitability and brand valuation. We support our clients in mastering the massive disruption today’s brands are confronted through digitalization, technology shifts, hyper-competition and the need to create memorable brand experiences. We work worldwide in consumer and prestige beauty, fashion & apparel, hospitality, services and automotive, to name a few. Among our clients are brand icons like Ferrari.

 

How is the luxury beauty consumer experiencing evolving? What new consumer demands are emerging?

Luxury consumers buy an experience. But not just an ordinary experience, they want to be surprised, indulged and wowed. And the brand becomes more important than specifics of the product. This is where many brands fail. They focus too much on product features and not enough on a brand experience that resonates with consumers. And with millennial consumers, the times of “bullshit” are over. They seek for authenticity, question promises, reject junk ingredients, demand products that give them perceivable benefits. The times of overpromising and underdelivering are over.

 

How are products evolving? Are we seeing a greater focus on personalisation/ethical/sustainable/etc. and how can brands respond?

Sustainability is one of the key disrupting forces in luxury across all categories. But ethical shopping is difficult. Origin, quality and ecological impact of ingredients, production and logistics – factors that are difficult to evaluate for consumers. However, because there is a high awareness, those brands who can build transparent and sustainable business models will be the brands of the future. I see sustainability as one of the most promising fields for competitive advantage and creativity that can catapult a brand forward. But lip service is not enough. Holistic, sustainable concepts are needed. It is one of the areas we work with our clients.

 

Do you predict any major changes/disruptions are going to affect the luxury beauty market moving forward?

There are several major disruptions. The face of luxury will change. Millennials, digitalization, technology shifts, ethical shopping, outsiders who offer new business models, aggregators who combine services in a drastically more convenient ways. Brands that will have a better understanding of their consumers and act consumer-centric will win. This requires change beyond the comfort zone. But being comfortable is no option anymore for luxury beauty.

 

– Any other thoughts?

Working with some of the best luxury brands in the world but also with highly disruptive luxury startups that think out of the box and are eager to redefine and reshape the face of luxury inspires us every day. The face of luxury will change. Fast. Brutal for those who approach today’s world with old concepts and old thinking. Luxury will always be relevant. But its expressions will change and evolve with the way consumers’ expectations change. We want our clients to lead the change.

About the Author

Dr. Daniel Langer is founder and CEO of Équité, a leading global branding and brand strategy firm where he develops luxury, lifestyle and consumer brands to accelerate their growth, profitability and brand valuation. With a proprietary and systematic methodology, he focuses on elevating the positioning of brands, building disruptive business models and new revenue streams and connecting brands stronger with millennials and generation Z. He holds a PhD in luxury marketing, has an MBA in business administration and attended executive education at Harvard Business School. Through his acclaimed academic work he is a major contributor to the advancement of luxury science. He is author of several top-rated books on luxury management in English and Chinese and regularly contributes to the Economist. He is also a sought-after keynote speaker, holds seminars for the top management of global luxury brands and is a frequent commentator to the media. He held several top management positions in USA, Japan and Europe, where he developed multiple triple digit million-dollar brands from scratch and accelerated billion-dollar businesses. He lives in USA, works all around the world, speaks seven languages and enjoys traveling and yoga. For more information: contact@equitebrands.com and visit equitebrands.com.

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