Global Luxury Management Class of 2014
Marketing Manager – Skincare, Merz, N.A. – Raleigh, NC, USA
Luxury skincare and pharmaceuticals are a rapidly-growing market, and NC State’s Global Luxury Management program gave Anna Reynolds the experience and skills she needs to give her company’s products a competitive edge.
First as a marketing intern with Merz North America’s pharmaceutical division in North Carolina, Anna was involved in creating a new strategy for two of the company’s brands – “working on promotional materials, creating a cohesive marketing campaign.”
Following a six-month internship, she successfully made the move into an associate brand manager position for NEOCUTIS, a luxury skincare line sold exclusively through medical professonals and certified skincare specialists.
“In our marketing, we target the end consumer, and we also target physicians,” Anna said. “It’s really about creating a marketing campaign that speaks to both of those audiences and sets us apart from our competitors.”
Competing in the luxury aesthetics market means creating a compelling message, and Anna said the knowledge she gained in her Global Luxury Management studies has given her a competitive edge.
Building on her bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Anna said the program’s international component gave her knowledge and skills that set her apart from other candidates in the job market.
Today, Anna said, “On a daily basis, I could have a meeting with a vice president. I’ve met with our CEO. The program has given me the confidence to speak with executives.”
And she’s ready for the next challenge – a new opportunity to put her strategic marketing and branding experience to work in a fast-paced luxury industry.
Q. What made the program the best choice for you? What does it offer that other marketing programs might not?
A.“Marketing isn’t just creating pretty promotional materials. It includes understanding everything from your supply chain to your consumers. Throughout the program, I focused on skincare and cosmetics – really going in-depth, conducting brand analyses. And that deep-dive approach really helps me today in how I brand the products I work with.”
Q. Beyond marketing knowledge, what were the most valuable parts of your program experience?
A. “One thing that stands out is the coursework in understanding the growth venture. We learned about all aspects of business, from financials, to marketing, to supply chain – everything. And that helped me look at business in ways I hadn’t thought of before, seeing how everything is connected. Another is networking and relationship-building. I really gained a lot of experience with that from the program, and gained a lot of confidence.”
Q. The program is fast-paced – you earned two master’s degrees in one year – but did it offer you the depth of experience you need?
A. “It was really fast-paced, but incredibly thorough. We were able to experience branding, managing a startup company and planning the consumer experience through our Creativity in Management class. That experience helps me whenever I develop something that our customers are going to use. Then, there’s targeting and segmenting, from our strategy course at SKEMA in France, and through our Luxury Marketing course at NC State. In this industry, you can’t be everything to everybody. You have to be really good at what you do for a select number of people in order for your product and messaging to really stand out.”
Q: How has the international business experience you gained in the program added value to your career?
A. “As long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in French culture and language. I speak French and studied it for seven years prior to the program; I also studied abroad in Lyon. The ability to study in France was a key selling point. It’s one thing to study and meet people in your own country. But many luxury products are European products. Whenever you experience a different luxury market and see the culture, you begin to truly understand the heritage behind these products.”
Q: What advice can you offer to prospective students?
A: “If you’re truly interested in working in the luxury market, and if you really want to build your business background, I would say that this program is definitely for you.
And, the connections you make through this program, the career fair opportunities and the study tours, will give you experience you won’t get anywhere else. If you want to build your network, your background and your knowledge of the luxury industry… then this program is 100 percent for you.”
“In the luxury industry, you can’t be everything to everybody. You have to be really good at what you do for a select number of people…for your product and messaging to stand out.”
— Anna Reynolds