Rémy Cointreau goes digital
French luxury liquor group Rémy Cointreau has a history that predates the French Revolution, and has seen it transform itself numerous times to capture consumers’ attention. The latest transformation in this 300-year history is to embrace the digital age. For the first time ever, the company sees an opportunity to speak directly to customers, using digital platforms, rather than go through retail middlemen.
Rémy Cointreau’s share price is up 13% so far this year
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
Chief Technology Officer, Sebastien Huet, recently spoke to online publication Diginomica – a media site aimed at “enterprise leaders in the digital era” – to explain how and why the company is pursuing this transformation. He said:
“As we are selling alcohol, we can’t sell it directly to customers. We sell through retailers. This digital transformation gave us the opportunity to have direct contact with the customers. It’s a huge opportunity for us to have this direct contact, to have this feedback, and to engage our marketing teams to develop new products.”
Huet describes his own role in this process as a collaboration enabler, who champions new ways of working using digital innovations:
“I really see myself as a sales guy. I am a sales guy for the IT, going to the business and saying ‘OK, this is what we can do for you, and so give me your feedback and we can adapt our product. I am also an interface between all of our teams, because business, the digital team, marketing, application development, are not speaking the same language. I try to be the guy who can help everybody to collaborate and discuss.”
This transformation is not just outward facing, where the brand embraces powerful new communication methods like social media. It has an internal element too. Most of Rémy’s IT is now in the cloud, meaning it can operate far faster through real-time data sharing. As an example, Diginomica cites the difference in the time it takes Rémy to open a local office in a new country: 2 days now, six months beforehand.
“Now we have everything in the cloud. Basically we just need internet connections, we can buy a computer at the shop on the corner and get ready with a secure system – because we also have a lot of cloud security. We have this agility in the business, we can be more efficient. If we need to close the office tomorrow because the business is not there, we can do it also very quickly, without any suffering.”
This gives the company an ability to expand at a pace that would have been “just impossible” a few years ago. Huet says the company has two main goals in the digital age:
“First one is to become more giant, because we are a smaller company. We are two thousand people around the world. Our competitors are ten times bigger than us, so we can’t survive if we can’t be more giant, more smart. And the second one is tools to help the business go faster.”
Dominion holds Rémy Cointreau in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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