UAE university students to get lessons in luxury [Seven Days (United Arab Emirates)]
(Seven Days (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A UAE university is inviting students to study the biggest names in fashion, sports cars and high-end real estate after unveiling the region's first 'luxury brand management professorship'.
American University of Sharjah is partnering with regional retail firm Chalhoub Group to offer a newly enhanced course that will teach the secrets of marketing the very best in “fashion, cosmetics, fragrances, jewellery, cars, and real estate”.
The course is being offered to marketing students at the university towards the end of their studies. According to Professor Dr Nicholas Ashill, who is overseeing the venture, it was created after Chalhoub Group CEO Patrick Chalhoub identified a “shortfall in brand management skills” in the region when it comes to selling high-end products.
Ashill told 7DAYS that students on the course can expect to study the workings of brands including Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer, Chanel and regional favourite Elie Saab in lectures, and that the course shares the “best practices from Paris and Milan”.
Having taught aspects of the course last semester, Dr Ashill said UAE students were armed with existing knowledge when it comes to luxury.
“I would definitely say the majority of students are regular consumers of luxury products and services themselves. In this part of the world what student isn’t?” he said. And that can lead to scenarios unlikely to be repeated in many other parts of the world.
“They can bring in their own personal experiences - whether it relates to a Ferrari they own or a Lamborghini or whatever it might be,” he said. Asked if the course might attract the ire of educational traditionalists, Ashill said that students learn highly useful lessons about how luxury is different to a more modest level of retail.
“Luxury products and services are not about making a comparison with your competitors. The idea is to promote uniqueness. So the first thing you should never do in luxury is to compare yourself with another competing alternative,” he explained. And forget discounts.
“In luxury price clearly sends a message about the quality of that service or product to the consumer. So you never reduce price when it comes to luxury,” he added. With a luxury retail market estimated at Dhs7 billion, the professor said that the course is well-suited to career opportunities in the UAE, and the university is determined to find students places on internship programmes at leading luxury brand companies in the region.
And has Ashill ramped up his own levels of bling since taking charge of the course?
“I know what you’re thinking,” he laughs. “But I don’t get anything…”
(c) 2013 Al Sidra Media LLC Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]