A focus on excellence à la française and state-of-the-art industries, with a new Master 2 certificate and a new MSc course in Marketing by Alexandre Hidalgo.


A graduate of Montpellier Business School and top student in his “Negotiation and Sales” specialisation, Alexandre Hidalgo is now the regional director of luxury jeweller DINH VAN. Over the past two years, he has been sharing his expertise in all things luxury with the Master 2 students. This semester, he’s teaching a new course in the MSc in Marketing, “Luxury and Fashion”, and overseeing a new certificate, “Excellence à la Française: Luxury and State-of-the-Art Industries”, available in two Master in Management specialisations, “Marketing” and “Negotiations”.

“This certificate follows on from the course I give in the first semester to Master 2 students following the apprenticeship curriculum, which is essential to grasping the full complexity of the field of luxury and industries of excellence,” says A. Hidalgo. “Because, ultimately, luxury is like ecology: everyone talks about it, but hardly anyone knows how to define it! So we need to start with an approach that is anthropological, social, even historical, to lay down the foundations before exploring it in depth. Among the prejudices, myths and realities, we explore this complex theme so that we can do it justice.”

The new certificate covers three modules, each expanding on a component of the complex luxury business. Further insight is given by industry experts and professionals working in the field. “The first module, over two sessions, is about country branding. We’ll be discussing the art of living, and how cultural codes differ according to country. We analyse what role they play in building the consumer experience and how the consumer gains from it. Emotion isn’t elicited in France in the same way it is in Japan, for example. The second module will focus on the retail world and luxury marketing, between modernity and tradition. We’ll be looking back on the history of department stores since the 19th century and making the connection with the cultural background in which they emerged. Finally, the last module is dedicated to France’s standing on the international stage, given its state-of-the-art businesses within the industry. A number of participants will be explaining how their businesses succeeded in taking their products to the next level by focusing on “the excellence of the experience”.

A. Hidalgo also addresses the luxury marketing sector with another, much more international audience, on the “Luxury and Fashion” course studied by the Master of Science in Marketing students. “Students in this MSc inevitably lack the basics that the master’s students learn, so the first step is to spend some time on a brief overview of the marketing strategies in the luxury sector. Next, I have them choose a major brand — one that’s often unknown in France, but important in their home country or in their eyes — and give a presentation on it in small groups. What’s interesting is directly comparing these cultural backgrounds and discussing each country’s conventions. Through scenarios where students share the experience of the brand with their classmates, we learn about consumer approaches and typologies of luxury in a way that’s much more advanced than in the dedicated course in the first-semester Master in Management programme, for example.”

Regardless of his audience, Alexandre reminds us that the final objective is the same. “What I want, and what is the common goal of all my teaching at MBS, is for students to realise through their analyses that luxury is not static, that it evolves and is relative to each person. Luxury is not a label with a price tag on it, but the meaning you give to a product. It’s an art of living, which is not a material meaning. If these words resonate for them at the end of the year, then I did my job! It’s about leaving behind the often-negative initial judgement (the “bling bling” view) and opening yourself up to the differences in others, by attempting to better understand who they are and how that difference shows their talent: that’s what makes our talented students such standouts in the companies they work in!” he concludes.
A big thank you!

Find out more about the specialisations in M2: http://www.montpellier-bs.com/international/study-programs/master-grande-ecole/study-information-brochure

Find out more about the MSc in Marketing: http://www.montpellier-bs.com/international/study-programs/msc/msc-marketing