Creating a tailor-made CEM strategy for post-pandemic market
Well-trained and dedicated staff is vital to providing a memorable and satisfying retail customer experience. The Master thesis by Jan Koskinen suggests that luxury retailers must embrace a memorable retail story if they wish to gain solid competitive advantage.
In the luxury and fashion retail world, sometimes the student becomes the teacher. After getting his start at Diesel and G-Star Raw, Jan Koskinen went on to work for one of the most iconic luxury brands such as Versace, Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bvlgari.
After studying customers for two decades, the Customer Experience Manager is making all his own moves in his master’s thesis for Klaus Haapaniemi & Co, titled “Standing Out – Developing CEM Excellence at Klaus Haapaniemi & Co”. It is simultaneously a culmination of his previous work and a rebirth for Koskinen, as he creates a tailor-made CEM strategy for the case company to maximise sales in retail in post-pandemic market. Making calculated moves such as opening a boutique in Helsinki has never been part of the slow fashion label Klaus Haapaniemi & Co’s modus operandi according to Ms Wallenius, Manager and Art Director of the company.
This thesis provided the case company practical, contemporary, and multidisciplinary expertise that is useful to create a memorable luxury experience tailored to the emotional and functional needs of Klaus Haapaniemi & Co retail boutique customer. The question Jan Koskinen set out to answer was as follows: How can the case company design efficient, enjoyable, and memorable customer experiences that differentiate them from competitors in the physical store environment? In order to answer this question, a critical realist approach was adopted, focusing on understanding the six essential disciplines of customer experience, the new role of future luxury brick-and-mortar stores and luxury staff training as a critical strategy that luxury houses should take into account when designing luxury experiences.
With regards to the methodology deployed within this thesis, both quantitative and qualitative research techniques were applied in this thesis research. The qualitative data was gathered by conducting a total of eight interviews with industry professionals and KOL in Finland. Throughout the interviews, the experts provided their thoughts and insights about luxury customer experience and how the pandemic and the change of luxury consumers are affecting companies and the retail industry at large.
For the purposes of this study, it was also an important objective to understand how Klaus Haapaniemi & Co boutique customer experiences are reviewed through eight interconnected touch points. The primary way to review experiences was through a customer survey, which then showcased if customers had been happy with the current efforts or if there were any points of improvement to take into consideration.
In general, there are limited studies on luxury customer experience in Finland combining the industry expert and retail manager’s perspective, meaning that new insights were shared on the luxury customer experience that can be utilized by other researchers studying this topic. Overall, the practical implications of this thesis suggest that a well-trained and dedicated staff is vital to providing a memorable and satisfying retail customer experience. The thesis suggests that luxury retailers must embrace a memorable retail story if they wish to gain solid competitive advantage.
Contact details for more information:
Standing Out – Developing CEM Excellence at Klaus Haapaniemi & Co
Picture by Aleksi Niemelä