CEW UK President Caroline Neville MBE speaks with Amanda Morgan, managing director UK of the Parisian fragrance brand, diptyque
What is your experience in the beauty industry and how did you arrive to be the managing director of diptyque?
I have always been interested in certain brands, more so than a particular industry (however, the beauty and luxury industry is now my everyday life). I knew diptyque from when I lived in Melbourne so when I arrived in the UK 17 years ago, I was delighted to be able to work with them. I was fortunate to be working with the brand as they were acquired many years ago and to be able to redevelop the growth strategy for the coming years.
Who is the diptyque customer and how do you communicate with them?
Diptyque’s heritage lies in the creative world of the arts, with our founders’ passions and imaginations filling the original boutique in Paris with unusual and surprising fragranced treasures. Sixty years on, our brand has evolved from its niche beginnings into a major player in the luxury market. Our customers expect to be surprised and captivated with innovative, remarkable scents and beautiful objects to enchant their daily lives. The diptyque community is strong, loyal and highly engaged through all communication channels.
What do you consider to be the beauty industry’s biggest challenge?
The pandemic has had a huge impact on high street brick-and-mortar locations, with signs that the increased shift towards digital is set to be a permanent change to the retail landscape. At diptyque, we are embracing the tech-led world and weaving this into all that we do to provide a truly synced omnichannel experience by creating a very smooth and straightforward customer journey at every touchpoint.
Brands will need to develop retail concepts that offer more than just a transactional experience to compete with online and ensure that all their comms and sales channels are fully aligned. We always focus on immersive experiences and a very personal approach, connecting on a human level with our community in our boutiques, online and retail spaces.
How has diptyque navigated the challenges presented by Covid-19?
The key to the past 18 months has been to react and adapt quickly – both internally, with our teams and processes, and externally providing a new and flexible customer journey to meet ever-changing consumer needs and behaviour.
We introduced services both online and offline to create a seamless omnichannel shopping experience. New offerings, such as virtual shopping appointments and masterclasses, enabled us to provide the luxury service our customers expect and to continue to communicate with our community during periods of lockdown.
What is your proudest achievement?
I have many. It’s important to reflect and be proud of your achievements and also learn from your mistakes and be humble. I could list many commercial achievements, but what I consider the most important to me, personally, is the team I have built over the years. Surrounding myself with talented people has driven the success of the brand.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in beauty?
I would always give this advice for any industry someone is interested in joining: be passionate and curious. Educate yourself on the industry, competition, distribution, products, communication – everything! Being curious and being able to demonstrate that knowledge goes a long way. Be passionate – this, for me, is super important and you cannot teach it. It has to be an innate excitement that feeds your desire to work in the industry.
Are there any exciting developments in the pipeline for diptyque?
With 2021 marking our 60th anniversary, throughout the year we have taken our customers on a journey characterised by graphic design, encounters, nature, travel and curiosity – transforming 2021 into a cavalcade of youthful creativity. In September, we held our first exhibition in Paris (digitally and physically), a fun and inventive pop-up at The Selfridges Corner Shop and, of course, the most sought-after holiday collection will round up the year of celebrations!