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Black Tie International:
Maison France



Six Leading French Companies Educate 30 French Newcomers

Pierre Frey, Claudette Blackwood, Aamir Khandwala, Heather Ryan, Jean Wiart, Carolyn Englefield of Veranda, Antoine Roset

Pierre Frey, Claudette Blackwood, Aamir Khandwala, Heather Ryan, Jean Wiart, Carolyn Englefield of Veranda, Antoine Roset. Photo by:  Katherine Kostreva



New York, June 10, 2010 - The French Trade Commission, or UBIFRANCE, 
co-hosted with Veranda Magazine, a panel discussion on June 21, 2010, at 6PM, atop the Hearst building in New York City. Esteemed guest speakers from six leading French companies having strong US divisions, shared their expertise in their relative fields, and educated the audience about their experiences on the US market. Audience members  included 30 French companies participating in the MAISON FRANCE exhibition, most of which are new to the US market, and eager to learn how best to succeed.
Panelists included: Claudette Blackwood, PR Director for Bernardaud North American; Robert Couturier, President of Robert Couturier and Associates; Pierre Frey, US National Sales Director of Pierre Frey textiles, Antoine Roset, Executive Vice President of Ligne Roset; Heather Ryan, Managing Director of Grange Furniture, Inc.; and Jean Wiart, President and Founder ofL-M-C Corporation. The moderator of this panel will be Carolyn Englefield, Editor-at-Large for Veranda Magazine.
Among the topics  discussed were the following:
1) How important is the term "Made in France" to the 'marketing/selling' of your collections?
2) How (if at all) is your product marketed differently in the United States with regards to the rest of your export markets?
3) Tell us about the American consumer, your clientele, and how they differ from say, a French consumer?
4) Were your respective businesses impacted by the economic crisis of 2008-2010 and how is your company working to get that luxury customer back?
5) Would you say that the New York metropolitan area is your 'most important' market in the U.S?  If not, please explain and which other regions are surprising you?
6) How important are your Marketing/Advertising budgets in the US market and do you notice a direct correlation between your various Marketing expenditures, such as Special Events, Press Campaigns, Advertising campaigns and your sales?
7) What advice would you give luxury brands and/or skilled artisans from France who are looking to develop their 'activity' on the US market?



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