After completing her Double-Bachelor-Degree at Glion and graduating with Honours in 2014, Isabel Claes went straight to work for L’Oréal in Geneva. Starting as a Marketing Trainee on prestigious brand La Roche-Posay, Isabel has made her way up the career ladder to her current position of Product Manager for Vichy, another premium L’Oréal brand.
“My day starts at 7am. At work, I’m responsible for all online and offline Marketing campaigns, budgets, sales forecasts, launches and more for the skin care products of Vichy Switzerland.” Isabel has combined her passion for product marketing with essential skills learned at Glion to propel her career forward in just four short years.
All is going well for Isabel but being a Product Manager does have its challenges. “The job has a huge variety of tasks. Every day and every campaign is different and has its own challenges and perks”, she commented. “As we work in launch cycles, the time pressure can often get crazy, but with time you get used to it and manage to deal with it. Furthermore, you always have to keep an eye on the competition and try to stay ahead. Teamwork is key in order to achieve projects and to deliver on time.”
Diversity is a key part of life at Glion, both in terms of the way students learn and within the students themselves. Exposure to this has served Isabel well at L’Oréal. “The best part of my job is the diversity of the tasks that I cover and to be in charge of the brand’s products, strategy and image.”
Creating the right customer experience
In this age of experiential consumerism, where customers demand more than just a great product, Isabel is drawing on her hospitality knowledge to deliver an excellent user experience. “The consumer experience has changed a lot in the past years. There are many more touch points than before and the consumer path to purchase is not linear but extremely complex,” she said. “The most effective way to market a product nowadays is to accompany the consumer through all stages prior, during purchase and post-purchase. It is vital to provide them with the perfect mix of online and offline experiences and information.”
As consumers get ever savvier with access to reams of information, reviews and product comparisons, Isabel is clear on her role in their decision process. “Consumers do a lot of research in advance before actually going into the point of sale, but when there they want to be inspired by marketers and get recommendations from experts”, she commented.
Applying hospitality skills in the beauty industry
At a recent Glion Luxury Conference, Philippe Tardivel, Head of Marketing and Communications at Hublot, said “To be successful, you have to create emotions”. Isabel knows this all too well and has used skills learned at Glion to differentiate the Vichy brand. “The emotional factor plays an important role nowadays, therefore a brand has to precisely understand its target market, or tribe as we call it, in order to tailor products and services to their needs and engage them”, she said. “This is a big similarity to the hospitality service industry”.
‘Becoming a marketer of excellence’
What has your role at L’Oréal taught you about leadership? “Feedback and transparency are key in order to advance together as a team. Positive as well as constructive feedback is vital for members to build a brand image and strategy together”, she commented.
This Glion alumna has a clear plan for her career. “In five years, I see myself accumulating enriching experiences throughout different brands with different business models and target markets to become a marketer of excellence”, she said.