Unlocking Longchamp: A Consulting Project That Provided Students with Experience in Brand Awareness and Retail
As part of the practical course “Communicating through objects: Experiencing luxury”, students worked hand in hand with the French luxury brand Longchamp, focusing on the evolving needs of consumers, current challenges the luxury environment, and experimenting with handcrafted exercises to understand nonverbal communication through objects.
On May 5th at 7pm, the students gathered at the Longchamp store on 56 Calle Serrano, to present what they had been working on for the past months: project proposals that would help the luxury brand to find novel ways of associating the name of Longchamp with young consumers. The presentation was the icing on the cake of the optional subject “Communicating through objects: Experiencing luxury”, taught by Professor Saskia Bostelmann, during which students have been able to act as 360-degree consultants of the brand.
Throughout the course, students from different degree programs like design, business, international relations or communications, worked in groups to create concepts and objects that could add value to the commercial strategy of Longchamp. “They developed a keen ability to understand a luxury brand and learned to recognize its DNA, along with its values of craftsmanship, savoir faire, sustainability, and circular economy”, explains Professor Bostelmann, adding: “This involved not only conceptual research but it was also a practical class where the students had to communicate through objects the essence of Longchamp, whilst working on wax carving, for instance, to create experimental brass keychains, which meant leaving their comfort zone.”
As their final project, they proposed different ideas and multidisciplinary approaches to enhance Longchamp’s connection with its customers. For example, Aline Schmidt, Constance Deleu and Christian Roessler, recovered the idea of the glamor of 1950s travel to celebrate Longchamp’s 75th anniversary. After immersing themselves in the history of the brand, they decided to pay tribute to Longchamp’s duty-free airport stores, an initiative the company pioneered.
Exploring another way to increase brand awareness, Javier Oliva, Clara Flokebo y María Pareja created “Discovering Longchamp”, a kind of detective game in which the user had to test their knowledge of the company’s products and history and overcome tests in a game that could be played in-person or virtually.
“We loved our experience with IE. It was an enjoyable collaboration where the teacher and the students surprised us by understanding the DNA of our firm, proposing projects in relation to Longchamp’s values of authenticity and energy. It is still too early to know if we will be able to carry out some of the projects presented, but I am sure that in one way or another the IE students, thanks to their creativity and analytical skills, have helped to open our minds on how to relate to our customers,” says Bénédicte Deigat, General Manager at Longchamp Spain.
With Longchamp as their luxury experimentation partner, the students discovered the world of brand awareness and the shifting scenarios of the post-pandemic retail world. “Seeing my students presenting their pieces in the store was very rewarding. When they saw themselves being part of the space, presenting their projects next to legendary designs, they felt proud and encouraged to experiment more,” explains Saskia Bostelmann, Director of the course.
Note: A special thank you to Longchamp Spain: Benedicte Deigat (General Manager), Gaëlle Cárdenas (Retail Manager), Aurélie Darorze (Training Manager) and Alberto García (HR Manager). Thanks also to the students María Fernanda Noriega and Ximena Soto for their help, and special gratitude to Bevan Josh Dolon for helping design, prepare and set up the event.