TONY LUX, The CEO of Tony Lux, Marketing Luxury Goods the French Way: Business is Always “Human to Human”

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Tony Lux marketing consultations are designed to reveal the untapped opportunities that can help businesses to grow their sales and profits by making people fall in love with their brands. Tony Lux, the CEO, explains what makes their approach unique.

Please tell us first a little bit more about the founder of the company?

— Bonjour! I grew up in France born to a military father and a cleaning lady mother. I did not come from a family of millionaires or business-minded people for role models. I never won the lottery, and nobody gave me the money to forge my own path. I started like many, from the bottom, working at McDonald’s during the day and developing my online business at night. I don’t like the term ‘self-made’ because no man is an island. I had to invest a lot and learn from others to succeed. But, to follow the cliche, it is true that I am a high-school drop-out. Once I became successful and started doing consulting for international brands, I realized how my French accent was perceived as exotic. So I decided to study what we the French do, that is natural to us but exotic to others. Based on extensive research and one-on-one interviews with more than 50 of the most legendary CEOs of luxury brands in the world — from Louis Vuitton and Coco Chanel, to Dom Pérignon, Montblanc and Rolex — I identified how the most elite brands have applied the French Way to their marketing. Today, bringing the French Way to the business world is our mission.

What does the French Way in marketing stand for?

— That is a very interesting question which deserves a detailed answer. In fact, I am currently writing the first book on the topic. To summarize, most marketing companies depersonalize customers and treat them like a random number in an excel file. For them, business is all about how many leads you have, what is the conversion rate, which units are the most profitable, etc. People usually say to me, “I have a B2B business” or “I sell B2C”. But you know what? There is only HtH. In other words, your business is always “Human to Human.” Because the reality is, the one thing that makes your marketing really work is not how many leadgen funnels you have, or how hard you’re bombarding your prospects with product launches, or even how persuasive your sale scripts are. The only thing that works is making people fall in love with your brand. That’s the thing: that special something that most of your competitors are not willing to do. So love is a crucial ingredient of our French Way formula. When you genuinely care about what you’re doing, people can feel it. It is a crucial lesson that I learned from a young age. It’s about you caring about the people you’re helping. Because when you care, you’re willing to go that extra mile. You’re not doing it for the money. You’re doing it for the pure joy of creating an experience that people will remember. And here’s the thing: that’s something most of your competitors are not willing to do. That shift in thinking will put you ahead of
everyone else.

Baring in mind that you are connected to luxury brands, please tell us which industries and clients you are targeting in Serbia?

— A few weeks ago I was having a conversation in Paris with someone who helped to develop the iconic “La Robe Noire” perfume for Guerlain. Our discussion was about the research they conducted to find out what women really want to wear as a perfume. For more than a year, they asked women how they want to feel? Why? Which clothes would they wear with it? What would be perfect for them…? This developer didn’t focus on researching for the money, but rather focused on enhancing the female experience and seducing Guerlain clients. In the same way, Serbia has a lot of caring entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and companies worthy of media attention. They do it because they are passionate. For example, there is a Serbian company called Bambino founded in 1990 making high-quality children’s clothes in Serbia. They may not make millions, but they are really making a difference. When mothers know that they don’t have to buy a new shirt for their child after a few washes due to bad quality, it helps them to manage the family budget better. This creates a partnership of trust with the brand, and demonstrates that the brand really cares about the client.

Which consulting services are you offering?

— Our marketing consultations are designed to challenge the status quo, and to reveal untapped opportunities to grow sales and profits, while increasing the numbers of people falling in love with our clients brand. A typical consulting day with us would consist of performing an X-ray of a business. In particular we cover 7 key leverage points:
1. Your positioning and branding. Are you perceived as the first or the best in the world at what you do? If not, studies show that you may have to rebrand yourself to be a market leader, instead of just becoming another brand. Remember, simply believing you are the best does not make it so.
2. Real lead generation strategies. Are you having as much traffic or potential clients as you would like?
3. Conversion sequences. How good are you at turning visitors into clients?
4. Your irresistible offers. Are most of your offers leading to a “Yes” from your potential clients?
5. Your orchestrated referral strategies. For example, one of the best tactics to double sales in less than 6 months is to create a system where your clients are bringing you new clients. If they trust you, they can become ambassadors of your brand for you, and people will trust them more than your sales team.
6. Advanced techniques of client loyalty, tailor-made to your specific market. Do you measure the satisfaction of your clients? Do you have a strategy to win back unhappy clients? Are you able to make your clients buy your brand (almost) indefinitely? And finally
7. Like all chefs, our secret French Way ingredient!

What is a typical reaction from your clients when doing such an in-depth analysis of their business?

— What’s interesting is how managers, marketing directors and even CEOs can be blind to innovation because they have already fallen in love with their own ideas. They are no longer objective. This determination is not a bad thing. However, when you have invested months or years into an idea, it is hard to accept that there are missing profit centers, or even better, smarter ways to increase sales. A big secret of our success is the ability to place our clients ego aside, and enable them to see a new approach. But seeing without fixing and without concrete improvements makes no sense. That is why after our consultation, they receive a consulting report in the mail. The essence of our work is safely kept in a sealed black box, confidential, and tailor-made for their unique needs. This perk allow them to be perfectly autonomous in the implementation of their new marketing strategy. They are usually very surprised to receive it.

How do you perceive your position in the Serbian market?

— This is a tricky question. We are the first French Way marketing agency in the world, and we have come to Serbia to show businesses a new way. It is both an exciting and a big responsibility. I believe we offer something very unique, but you be the judge. Our agency is by appointment only, and our flagship office is located in the Hyatt.

One of the interesting things is that your Marketing House is the first to offer a full refund on your consulting offers. What has been your clients response to this offer?

— Indeed, our consulting offers are fully guaranteed: If you are not absolutely satisfied with the action plan given to you, then you will be refunded. No questions asked. As a result, clients have been positively surprised and reassured by this “fall in love or do not pay” policy.

THE SUCCESS COMES WITH MUCH TRIAL AND ERROR

The media often promotes “overnight success stories” because it sells papers, however it’s rarely that easy. Any serious business person will tell you that any public accolades received for success comes from many years of hard work done in private. This success has come with much trial and error, and many missed opportunities along the way. However it seems that the world rewards value. Therefore my final advice would be to focus on creating real value, and changing people’s lives. I often hear fears about the economy in Serbia. The reality is, in any economy, in any country, the most valuable employees, people or products, will always win. Be the most valuable at what you do and you won’t have to worry anymore.

3 Comments

  1. So proud to seee someone from France finally teaching this in business. If only more politicians understood this…

  2. Bravo Toni!

  3. Hvala Toni!!!

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