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Bernard Arnault Quotes

Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault quotes: the CEO of LVMH, world’s biggest luxury-goods company, speaks some sense into us.

“When something has to be done, do it!”

“I’m more concerned about Marc Jacobs than the United States President.”

“Sometimes you do not succeed.”

“The key to success is this duality: timelessness and the utmost modernity.”

“It just takes experience.  Years of practice – trial and error – and you learn.”

“With some businesses, you cannot avoid risk.”

“In business, I think the most important thing is to position yourself for long-term.”

“I think in business, you have to learn to be patient.  Maybe I’m not very patient myself.  But I think that what I’ve learned the most is to be able to wait for something and get it when it’s the right time.”

“If you control your distribution, you control your image.”

“I like that combination between creativity and the creative process and the organization needed to make a business like this successful worldwide.”

“I deal with creativity all the time.  What I have fun with is trying to transform creativity into business reality all over the world.  To do this, you have to be connected to innovators and designers but also make their ideas livable and concrete.”

“If you deeply appreciate and love what creative people do and how they think, which is usually in unpredictable and irrational ways, then you can start to understand them.  And finally, you can see inside their minds and DNA.”

“When you are on the management side, you still have to understand the artistic sensibility so that there is a dialogue with the creative side.”

“Designers are closer to artists than to engineers.  They’re not like normal managers, and you have to balance their creativity and rationality.”

“If you think and act like a typical manager around creative people – with rules, policies, data on customer preferences, and so forth – you will quickly kill their talent.”

“It is not enough to have a talented designer; the management must be inspired too.  The creative process is very disorganized; the production process has to be very rational.”

“You have to be just as mistrustful of straightforward rationality in business as you do of a uniquely gut approach.”

“Adapting to change raises new challenges for companies and countries alike.”

“You always have to challenge yourself.  My way of managing a company is managing it as if you’re always in a crisis.  If you operate otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a disaster.  That means I’m always vigilant.  When you work in a company that’s doing so well, you must resist the temptation of becoming complacent and smug.”

“In order to be able to sell a product at a relatively high price, you have to offer the craftsmanship and quality that goes along with it.”

“Mastering the paradox of star brands is very difficult and rare – fortunately.”

“A star brand is timeless, modern, fast-growing, and highly profitable.”

“In the luxury business, you have to build on heritage.”

“Luxury goods are the only area in which it is possible to make luxury margins.”

“Affordable luxury – these are two words that don’t go together.”

“A good product can last forever.”

“What made Louis Vuitton famous was the quality.  We don’t do marketing; we just create products which are exceptional in their design and craftsmanship.”

“When I took over Louis Vuitton, everyone said, ‘It’s already so big – what more can you do?’  And since then, we’ve multiplied that success tenfold.”

“Money is just a consequence.  I always say to my team, ‘Don’t worry too much about profitability.  If you do your job well, the profitability will come.'”

“Economically we are pretty confident.”

“We are completely open to selling our products on the internet because the internet is the future.”

“I read books about the internet.  I’m fascinated with it.”

“We don’t like failures.  We try to avoid them.  That is why with many of our products, we make a limited number.  We do not put the entire company at risk by introducing all new products all the time.  In any given year in fact, only 15% of our business comes from the new; the rest comes from traditional, proven products – the classics.”

“Louis Vuitton, the world’s biggest luxury brand in terms of sales, is planning to dampen its expansion worldwide and focus on high-end products to preserve its exclusive image.”

“What we do in our group is the opposite of the bad effects of globalization.  We produce in Italy and in France and we sell to China, when usually it’s the opposite.”

“Every time there’s been a crisis, we’ve gained market share.”

“I am quite competitive.  I want to stay ahead and increase our advance.”

“When you are in a family you have two major advantages.  One is you can think long-term.  I see too many companies in which you have changes all the time.  And especially in the U.S., you have to be all the time looking at the next quarter’s numbers.  What I always say to my team is I am not that much interested by the numbers for the next six months.  What I am interested in is that the desire for the brand will be the same in 10 years as it is today.  The second advantage is that new hires are treated like family.  You are not just a little person in a big thing, you are a member of the family and you will be taken care of as such.”

“We are deeply dedicated to philanthropy, to supporting the arts, medical research and education as well as to sustainable development.  This means we constantly look for ways to do our work in greater harmony with our societies and our planet.”

“The person who I admire most in business is Warren Buffett.  He is a long-term investor and has brilliant ideas, and he sticks to them.”

“I’ve always been pleased with the investments I’ve made with my friend Albert Frere and I regret not having followed him more, because I would have been a lot richer.”

“Can you say that in 20 years people would still use the iPhone?  Maybe not.  Maybe we’d have a new product or something more innovative.  What I can say today is that, in 20 years, I’m quite convinced that people will still drink Dom Perignon.”

“What I love is to win.  What I love is being number one.”

Steve Jobs once asked me for some advice about retail, but I said, ‘I am not sure at all we are in the same business.'”

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