How important is it for designers to create an identity

By 12 September 2015

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Branding is the feeling people have about you.

One of the first requests I ask a potential new client is, “give me three words to describe your brand.” Most can’t answer this question.  Those who can, have to think about it before answering and their answers are always the same: chic, effortless, sophisticated, or some variation of these. I’m not denying these brands their functional attributes, or comfort level of specific fabrics, but these words don’t tell me about the brand.

I have found one of the most crucial elements necessary at the beginning of a new business venture that often goes overlooked or in some cases completely unheard of, is branding.

To some, this concept may seem redundant; doesn’t simply having a brand fulfill the branding? The answer is no. A brand identity is the entire experience of your brand, not just the visuals, but rather its core, its foundation, integrity and values. There are obvious visual elements pulling a brand together, the web design, logo, packaging, and font that are undoubtedly important features do define a brand in certain ways, but really…

 If you’re thinking about how to rebrand your business, its products or services, or if you want to assess where your brand stands at present, there are a few key aspects you should consider:

  • The big idea – what lies at the heart of your company?
  • Values – what do you believe in?
  • Vision – where are you going?
  • Personality – how do you want to come across?

If you can start to answer these questions with clarity and consistency then you have the basis for developing a strong brand.   NK Luxury Consultancy (NKLC) is a boutique consulting house based in Dubai Design District  dedicated to helping established, international, luxury lifestyle brands create presence in Dubai and GCC. NKLC advises companies on their long term brand strategy, developing near term tactical planning for execution across communications, products, and retail touch points. As part of our ongoing commitment to the industry, NKLC established a  mentorship program dedicated to supporting emerging brands grow from a product into a business. We work with emerging and established fashion and consumer luxury brands, designers, retailers, art associations and luxury associations.   To connect with Narimane Kurdi, Managing Director narimane@nkluxuryconsultancy.com  

Narimane and #HouseofBazaar

By 8 September 2015

 

IMG_8506Narimane Kurdi, Managing Director of NKLC always supporting new initiatives.

This is the new secret door of an initiative by Harper’s Bazaar called House of Bazaar – a beautiful pop-up installation at Mall of the Emirates, where the season’s most coveted fashion, beauty, lifestyle, wellness and art come to life. Through various interactive and educational events.

NK Luxury Consultancy (NKLC) is a boutique consulting house based in Dubai Design District  dedicated to helping established, international, luxury lifestyle brands create presence in Dubai and GCC. NKLC advises companies on their long term brand strategy, developing near term tactical planning for execution across communications, products, and retail touch points. As part of our ongoing commitment to the industry, NKLC established a  mentorship program dedicated to supporting emerging brands grow from a product into a business. We work with emerging and established fashion and consumer luxury brands, designers, retailers, art associations and luxury associations.

To connect with Narimane Kurdi, Managing Director narimane@nkluxuryconsultancy.com

 

 

 

How to find the right Production partner

By 3 September 2015

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Based on my experience, new brands hire production companies several times a year and try to negotiate every time as if it was the first time. This happened recurrently with emerging brand Dee By Dalia so I decided to offer a solution by highlighting the Objectives to hiring the right company which are to

  • Plan ahead of time and schedule timings for your campaigns
  • Negotiate the right deals with the right company
  • Ensure consistency of the brand identity
  • Build stronger relationships and improve workflow

 

Below suggested basic deliverables we need to enquire from the studio company ( for both online and offline marketing materials)

  1. Product imagery for Lookbook, press and online ( white background)
  2. Closer imagery of your brand
    1. Fasteners (close-up shot of any buttons, hooks or laces in the cloth)
    2. Material of the fabric (extreme close-up shot to capture fabric detail)
    3. Feel of the fabric (nicely lit environment can take care of this)
    4. Stitch, Seam & Lining (one close-up picture that captures both)
    5. Brand Tag (it can be captured in any of the above shot)
  3. Creative Campaign
  4. Video Campaign
  5. Behind The Scenes Imagery
  6. Behind The Scenes Video
  7. Event Video and Imagery ( depending on what your marketing plan includes but this is something that could be included)

Note that number of times per year is something you need to discuss based on number of collections you produce per year, and budget you have allocated for this

Let us know if you need any assistance in finding the right agencies,  helping you negotiate the right deals and build your marketing plan for 2016 ahead of time

 

NK Luxury Consultancy (NKLC) is a boutique consulting house based in Dubai Design District  dedicated to helping established, international, luxury lifestyle brands create presence in Dubai and GCC. NKLC advises companies on their long term brand strategy, developing near term tactical planning for execution across communications, products, and retail touch points. As part of our ongoing commitment to the industry, NKLC established a  mentorship program dedicated to supporting emerging brands grow from a product into a business. We work with emerging and established fashion and consumer luxury brands, designers, retailers, art associations and luxury associations.

To connect with Narimane Kurdi, Managing Director narimane@nkluxuryconsultancy.com

What is the significance of collaborations today

By 26 August 2015

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NKLC core value is Collaboration.

As long as it is done with fundamental motive it works. Brands that do team up with an artist should ensure that values align and the occasion furthers some tangible agenda such as reaching a new audience.

The trend in cross-branding is also partly the result of fashion’s social media machine, brands are hungry for content and things to fuel social media feeds. Artist tie-ups give them something to talk about and gets them to tap into a new audience and is a brand- building exercise. These collaborations imbue the brands with a sense of heritage and cultural relevance. Art is still seen as an uncommercial world. It aligns brands with a higher commercial purpose.

 

NK Luxury Consultancy (NKLC) is a boutique consulting house based in Dubai Design District  dedicated to helping established, international, luxury lifestyle brands create presence in Dubai and GCC. NKLC advises companies on their long term brand strategy, developing near term tactical planning for execution across communications, products, and retail touch points. As part of our ongoing commitment to the industry, NKLC established a  mentorship program dedicated to supporting emerging brands grow from a product into a business. We work with emerging and established fashion and consumer luxury brands, designers, retailers, art associations and luxury associations.

To connect with Narimane Kurdi, Managing Director narimane@nkluxuryconsultancy.com

Some of the challenges of the luxury industry in the Middle East

By 23 August 2015

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One of the main challenges of the luxury industry in the Middle East is taxation. People who invest in luxury products are also people who can afford to go abroad and buy the same products for cheaper. Another challenge is that UAE locals and rich expats view luxury differently. For expats, luxury is about attaining a very well made products from prestige designer houses, whereas luxury for locals is more about the kind of services the designer has to offer them as a brand. The challenge here becomes trying to work with these companies to develop creative ways in allowing luxury to be viewed in a fresh and different kind of light.

 

NK Luxury Consultancy (NKLC) is a boutique consulting house based in Dubai Design District  dedicated to helping established, international, luxury lifestyle brands create presence in Dubai and GCC. NKLC advises companies on their long term brand strategy, developing near term tactical planning for execution across communications, products, and retail touch points. As part of our ongoing commitment to the industry, NKLC established a  mentorship program dedicated to supporting emerging brands grow from a product into a business. We work with emerging and established fashion and consumer luxury brands, designers, retailers, art associations and luxury associations.

To connect with Narimane Kurdi, Managing Director narimane@nkluxuryconsultancy.com

 

 

Expo2020, sustainability and design

By 20 August 2015

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The concept of sustainability is quite young to our region. The UAE however through their Expo2020 are introducing it to the society as a way of creating a better future for developing our nations and pursue progress. The Expo in Dubai will be a landmark in sustainable development and will create a legacy as one of the most sustainable Expos know to mankind. In the fashion, sustainable design is currently running the industry with designers such as Stella McCartney being one of its pioneers. People however have a misconception of what being ‘sustainable’ really means and mainly view it as being organic, where it is actually being ethical and sustainable from the initial thought process, design, production, packaging and shipping. Since it is also very difficult to create a truly sustainable brand, smaller companies are winning at the sustainability game and we believe it is something regional designers should capitalize on.

NK Luxury Consultancy (NKLC) is a boutique consulting house based in Dubai Design District  dedicated to helping established, international, luxury lifestyle brands create presence in Dubai and GCC. NKLC advises companies on their long term brand strategy, developing near term tactical planning for execution across communications, products, and retail touch points. As part of our ongoing commitment to the industry, NKLC established a  mentorship program dedicated to supporting emerging brands grow from a product into a business. We work with emerging and established fashion and consumer luxury brands, designers, retailers, art associations and luxury associations.

To connect with Narimane Kurdi, Managing Director narimane@nkluxuryconsultancy.com

What does a successful mentorship program entail

By 17 August 2015

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 3_27_20 PM70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs.

Small businesses that receive mentoring are 20% more likely to experience growth than those that don’t (source: the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative).

The dates/timings will be arranged to suit the schedule and workload of the designer/entrepreneur.

Mentoring sessions typically cover the following specialist areas:-

  • developing a new or reviewing your existing business plan
  • range planning/market research
  • product development
  • sourcing and production
  • branding, marketing and PR
  • routes to market
  • business finance

We aim to develop them from a business angle, help them in their business plans, PR, marketing etc. From helping designers put together their business model to how to attract the correct funding and best sourcing manufacturing and production units, we aim to work as the proverbial red thread, connecting talent to their core market through guidance

A unique approach to luxury brand-building

By 11 August 2015

Iyad Naja

 

The ‘brand’ must be a Soulmate

The most effective brands capture your attention with their look, win you over with their unique personality, impress you with their heritage and breeding, get under your skin with their magnetism, work their way to your heart with their warmth, and seal your loyalty with theirs. Creating a successful and enduring luxury marque is about forging a deep emotional bond with the consumer. The luxury brand must aim to become a soulmate. When you have a one-to-one relationship, you don’t need to ‘brand’ yourself, you already exist in the mind and hopefully, heart of the other. You are unique to your client and your client is unique to you.

The luxury brand story is more about the artist, his creative universe, his beliefs and values as well as perhaps technique, materials and all the emotional touch-points that the work may evoke. Luxury brands need to recognize that they have to engage with consumers on a more personal, emotional as well as functional level, in order to succeed in today’s marketplace because sooner or later they will move on and leave your brand behind. As with human relationships, you need to build shared experiences with the other, over time. It’s about building stories, not telling stories.