In early 2022, luxury jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels brought France to Singapore in an immersive, dreamy exhibition titled “A Journey Through the Poetry of Time.” Audiences were guided through the recreated streets of Paris—complete with delectable Parisian pastries—as they explored the luxury jeweler’s collection and immersed themselves in the richness of the brand’s culture.

Examples like this, where brands move out of the stores and leverage technology to create compelling, immersive experiences, is the future of luxury brand marketing, Sonja Prokopec, a marketing professor at ESSEC Business School, declares.

Growing Demand For Digital Marketers in Asia

The implication of this is simple: More luxury marketing jobs will be available. “Marketing positions are the bread and butter of luxury and can range from product development all the way to the customer-facing retail environment,” Prokopec explains, adding: “Merchandising, digital marketing, and retail roles are the ones you will see predominantly hiring in the local markets.

This is particularly so in Asia, where although China may be one of the largest markets, luxury brand growth is spiking in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, the Philippines and more.

“The need in these markets is to create pop-ups, advertising, and other events with localized content, generating demand for those marketing roles,” Prokopec explains.

That said, she cautions that breaking into the luxury industry requires specialized knowledge, which an average marketing student is unlikely to have. NFTs, for example, commonly used in digital art, have a vastly different role in preventing counterfeiting in the luxury market.

Even sustainability initiatives—a growing area of interest in luxury, as seen in Stella McCartney’s use of plant-based leather, Bottega’s biodegradable boots and plant-based handbags, and even Prada’s use of recycled nylon, just to name a few—face different challenges when managed the context of luxury goods.

This is where Prokopec’s courses taught at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific MSc Marketing Management and Digital come in.

Immerse in Luxury Through Learning-by-doing

The MMD program is ranked second worldwide in the 2023 QS marketing masters ranking. It is also top in Asia for value for money and alumni outcomes. This is partly because, besides learning the theories behind luxury branding, students also get hands-on practice by working with industry partners to develop marketing strategies that solve current real-world problems.

Jyotsana Tripathi from the class of 2021 credits her projects done with the Asian Civilisation Museum and Benefit Cosmetics, a subsidiary of LVMH, as key to helping her grasp the nuances of the industry. As a client relationship manager at Christian Dior Couture today, she testifies that the MMD program helped her “understand the essence of luxury” despite not having prior experience.

Ziyang Wang, who graduated a year later, echoes these sentiments. “Thanks to the courses I took, I was able to share unique insights about the luxury industry and luxury brands during my interviews,” she says, adding that her experiences working with Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany and Co are undeniably what caught the eye of recruiters and helped her also secure a role at Christian Dior.

It also helps that Prokopec arranges guest speakers from luxury brands like Macallan, Dior, Van Cleef & Arpels, and more to help students understand the industry. “Hearing from these professionals really allows you to enter the storytelling of these brands through their careers and unique journeys,” Prokopec shares.

Learn about Luxury to Take on the World

Although this industry-specific immersion works wonders in opening the door for graduates in the world’s top luxury houses, it is arguable that luxury branding skills are relevant to marketers no matter the industry of choice.

“You are essentially learning about the tools and fundamentals of good branding and how to elevate your brand,” Prokopec explains. As companies worldwide seek to improve their brand reputation and connect with customers, “these are ideas you can apply almost anywhere.”

“What recruiters like is that students have worked on real projects, interacted with real companies, and are ready to hit the ground running,” she says. Specialized luxury brand knowledge is a valid bonus to their skill set, offering graduates an added edge to take on the marketing world.