The Essence of Successful Management in the Luxury Sphere

Background to the development of the cases

Monte-Carlo Societe des Bains de Mer Case Studies - Marika TaishoffDuring my time here at IUM, I have had numerous opportunities to meet with executives from the Monte-Carlo Societe des Bains de Mer, as well as with the team from the Monaco Tourism Board. I was fascinated by what I learned from, amongst others,  Mr. Guilluame Rose, then Director of the Tourism board and now of the Monaco Economic Board, and from Mr. Axel Hoppenot, EVP of Sales & Marketing at the Monte-Carlo Societe des Bains de Mer, about the Principality of Monaco, and in particular about the creation, in the 1860s, of a zone which was called Monte-Carlo, or Mount Charles, in honor of the reigning prince at the time, Charles III. Mr. Axel Hoppenot shared his unique insights into the development and growth of the Monte-Carlo Societe des Bains de Mer as a key actor, and we jointly held a presentation at the 2018 Monaco Symposium on Luxury on the subject of “Making Monte-Carlo The Most Luxurious Experience in the World”.

It was during that time that I realized that what made Monte-Carlo special and remarkable was not the proliferation of mega-yachts, or supercars, or luxury boutiques which abound here. These were all simply the consequence and accoutrements of something much more intrinsic to the Principality’s uniqueness. Almost 160 years before the concept became popular and the focus of academic research, Monte-Carlo had created and positioned itself by having created an integrated luxury service experience for its targeted segment of High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth customers. And it has successfully recreated this luxury service experience, incorporating novel aspects as times and trends change, generation after generation.


Antique photograph of panoramic view of the Monte Carlo Casino (Officially “Casino de Monte-Carlo) in Monaco as it was during the 19th century, when it already was a gambling and entertainment complex located in Monaco: in the picture all the complex with the Beaux Arts style facade and the park/gardens in front of the buildings

Monte-Carlo Societe des Bains de Mer Cases Studies

Underscoring both cases is the theme of continuous innovation and even “creative destruction”, as value propositions and business models built around enhancing the customer experience and journey in Monte-Carlo were continuously and seamlessly adapted to new customers, trends, and competition, while always maintaining the core heritage of what Monte-Carlo represented. This is the essence of successful management in the luxury sphere: remaining true to heritage, while also becoming relevant, if not indispensable, to new generations and profiles.

You can find below the links to read the two cases studies:


By Marika Taishoff, MBA Program Director


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