Longtime leader in luxury goods and former Chairman of LVMH North America, Pauline is renowned for acquiring, building, and leading some of the world’s most influential brands.
In her groundbreaking new book, Aesthetic Intelligence, she shows businesspeople how to harness the power of their own senses to create products and services that delight their customers and build businesses that last. Her book is based on a course that she designed and taught at Harvard Business School.
Here, she looks to our industry, walking us through how to build a successful hospitality brand.
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What is Aesthetic Intelligence?
A higher level of perception
The ability to discern and communicate what looks and feels good
Grew up as first-gen Jewish American in a creative but practical household
Going into business doesn’t always embrace the creative side
It took Pauline many years to combine creativity with her business knowledge
The importance of creative briefs
Roadmap for the brand plan
Stems from the company’s central idea into a more fixed template for branding
How to create a creative brief for a restaurant
Start with the core idea/usp/story
The core idea needs to be relevant, original and engaging to capture the imaginations of customers
Create an execution strategy to communicate that idea to customers
A central part of a restaurant’s idea – how do I want people to feel?
Getting to know the customer on a basic level
What do they order?
What is the occasion they come to your restaurant?
How much do they typically spend?
What time of day do they come to the restaurant?
Getting to know the customer on an advanced level
Who are they as a person?
What drives them?
What are the wanting to feel in the restaurant?
Empathizing with the customer and getting to know them elevates the brand
Creating a “halo-effect”
Building anticipation before they come to the restaurant
Creating long-lasting memories for the customer after they have left
Aesthetics don’t need to be expensive
Nice things don’t need to cost a lot of money
Practical ways to save money aesthetically improving a restaurant
Consider the things you are already doing e.g paint a wall. Could that wall be a different color?
Making the same decisions more mindfully
Editing and taking away can also be effective
Having lots of capital can be a bad thing
Lots of money can make people lazy
Less money = more resourcefulness and creativity
Restaurants are not easy businesses
Most restaurateurs think very practically as operators
Tips to uplevel the customer experience in a restaurant
Lighting design, down to the color of the bulbs
Visual design – small details
Pitfalls to avoid
Hiring a team that is not passionate about what they do
Amazing service leaves a lasting impression