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Meet the Member: Pierre Battu, CEO of SELAVI Global
June 19, 2019
In our latest Meet the Member feature, we had the pleasure of speaking to Pierre Battu, CEO of SELAVI Global and U.S. Partner at Virtual Room. Pierre is also an active member of the FACC Food, Beverage and Hospitality Committee and helped bring to life The 2018 Germinators Startup Pitch Competition. Keep reading to learn more about his advice for French brands entering the U.S. market, being digital-forward and relevant to your consumers.
FACC: Selavi is a brand activation agency with offices in Los Angeles and New York City since 2003. For French companies reflecting on entering the U.S. market, or based uniquely on one coast, do you have any insights you can share about the different business cultures? What in your opinion makes New York City a favorable environment for French brands?
PB: As I was told once when I was explaining to Americans that I was living in NYC, they asked me “when are you planning to live in the USA?” This is the day I understood how NYC is different from the rest of the country. One of the most diverse cities on the planet, NYC is at the confluent of so many influences.
For French Companies, it is very easy to travel to the Big Apple, and with a good product, there is always a market in NYC.
The West Coast is much more influenced by Asia than the East Coast. For French companies, It is a far more complex market. Spread out, difficult time difference, long flights, hardly any season….
It is definitely an environment with a huge potential but which requires extra efforts.
FACC: Selavi takes a “4 pillars” approach to brand activation strategies. What is this and how was it developed?
- Tell the story of the brand
- Educate your sales team and consumers about the product
- Bring the brand to life
- Amplify digitally
Today’s environment requires a fully integrated approach to secure the best possible impact.
Brands need to be meaningful, the way their story is told needs to be translated into local cultures, so that the final consumer can relate to them. People want to know why they choose one company over another one, they want to learn about the Mission of every economical player.
The product attributes are crucial, and the more people know about them, the more value you can create for your products. People want to know what they buy, what is the impact of their purchase.
There is so much you can say about your brand and your product. Promises are important, but acts speak for themselves. This is why brands have to bring to life their full dimensions during activation programs.
Today there is no campaign that must not be relayed on social medias.The digital content is both informative but also illustrative. It illustrates how the brand is and what it does. It is the first share of voice that every company has to master.
FACC: Building a connection between brands and their target demographics is at the core of your business. How do you ensure that your actions go beyond a brief “instagrammable moment” and translate into long-term loyalty?
PB: Long term loyalty is based on authenticity and re-recruiting. Everything that a brand does, and therefore anything that an agency does for a brand, has to be perfectly aligned with the brand promise.
But authenticity also requires constant adjustment.
For an agency to nurture the long-term relationship between clients and the brand required a lot of listening and creativity. Empowering the client is key. The relationship with a brand also knows phases, and you always have to remember when another touch point with the consumer needs to be created.
In a hyper-rich environment, brands need to be in constant touch with their clients. It is the role of the agency to imagine these touch points, at the most relevant moment and in the most memorable forms.
FACC: You work with many brands that are considered ultra-premium, often with very closely controlled images and messaging. How do you collaborate with your client to create an experience that is completely aligned with their DNA, yet manages to push the envelope enough to be unexpected and exciting for consumers?
PB: All brands have their territories and key messages. Our job is to know the brands we work with inside and out. We have to become natural at thinking like our clients. It is only when you perfectly know a brand that you can start thinking creatively.
FACC: Are there any trends for 2019 that you have been observing?
PB: Further consumer’s empowerment and technology, especially VR.
FACC: For you personally, what has been your most memorable project?
PB: Launching Ciroc (Diageo) simultaneously in 6 countries.
FACC: Have you made any valuable connections through the FACC network?
PB: Not yet and I am new so I am sure that it will happen
Interested in connecting with Pierre and learning more about how Selavi can help amplify your brand in the North American market? Log in now to the FACC Member Directory.