Exclusive Interview with Daniel Cohen from Swarovski

Having come back from Milan design Week 2015, our luxury magazine is eager to share with our readers the interview that is telling a bit about Swarovski approach in the lighting business. As we know, Swarovski crystal offers a wealth of possibilities for integrated lighting solutions, innovative design and exceptional architecture. The company believes that crystal opens up the senses, guides our understanding and gives a sense of security. Those who know how to handle crystal have the power of light in their grip as well. At Euroluce 2015 our team was lucky to talk with Daniel J. Cohen, who is the Member of the Executive Board of Swarovski.

CovetEdition Magazine: First of all, tell us about Swarovski in this approach to the lighting business.

Daniel J. Cohen: Swarovski is a 120 year old company which is now celebrating anniversary in a few weeks. Swarovski is run by the fifth generation of the family. Four of cousins and me run this crystal business. The Crystal business itself is the heart in soul of the enterprise and the area where Swarovski began in Tyrol (1895), making loose crystal stones for the jewellery and accessory industries. I think that our core message is to bring sparkle to people’s everyday lives by combing crystal and light. It is very logical in two combinations. We have decided about two brands – Swarovski brand on the contemporary modern side and Schonbek brand representing fine traditional crafts.

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CM: Why did you decide to come to Isaloni 2015?

Daniel J. Cohen: I suppose that Euroluce, geographically, is the heartbeat of lighting industry, modern prospective. It is a great cross section that is happening in the lighting market and around the world. Thus, it is a must for us to be here.

CM: Where will the brand be until the end of the year?

Daniel J. Cohen: We have a number of different businesses and seven business units. We range from loose crystal stones to natural stones, finish jewellery, table top, lighting products. We attend many fairs. There are more than one thousand of them a year.

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CM: How would you describe your main customer?

Daniel J. Cohen: I suppose our customer is interested in brands, luxury. Moreover, the customer has a keen design sensibility, because our products are premium products and not commodities. Every small detail of each product is stored out and careful attended to, whether it is crystal figuration, size, proportions, surface finishes. Besides, we look after every detail. Our customers have high design sensibility. Overall, I would say 30-60 men as well as women but with fundamental interest for design and attention to detail.

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CM: Can you tell us more about a piece that really represents the lighting business of the brand? For instance, a top seller or the object people like the most.

Daniel J. Cohen: This is a very subjective question. One thing that we try to do is to have diversity of different styles, so there are many different product families within each brand to cover any taste.

CM: As it is a competitive business, how may the brand be distinguished from the other brands? What is the marketing approach?

Daniel J. Cohen: We always have premium proposition and aspirational luxury proposition. It works for all of Swarovski business. Most of all, the marketing package includes design properties, the brand, service experience when you come to one of our top partners and you acquire about the products. Generally speaking, this justifies the premium price.

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CM: In terms of customer service, I suppose this is one of the most important things in all business. What do you do to get people really closer to the brand?

Daniel J. Cohen: In our company this is attention to detail and the story that is behind the product. For many people there is also the story about the purchase. So from our prospective, we can tell the part of the story of the design inspiration which lies in the fact where the product comes from, its details. We are actually vertically integrated manufacturer. Thus, we make our products and don’t buy them from the commodity manufacture. We pay attention to every detail from the beginning of the design process until the product is hanging in the customer home. That part of the story, I think, is what makes us special. Also, we usually find the consumers aren’t buying a lighting fixture just to have the light hanging in the kitchen or in the dining room, but they try to tell the story of their home. When the two stories combine together, the consumer has the feeling that the product is really special and it fits in well. Such things make us dive to a deeper level.

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CM: What can you expect in the future from the brands (Innovation, new materials)?

Daniel J. Cohen: We are going to build on the capabilities that Swarovski has as a manufacturer of crystals. This is something really special that we can take advantage of. We are going to continue to be premium in everywhere telling unique stories from the design prospective, where every detail is considered. We are going to incorporate technology in a very integrated way as well. For us it is not only about taking a lighting fixture and putting it to the top. This is about using all the benefits that LED has as light source, so it allows to integrate light source into the form of the fixture in a much smother way. Be sure, you will continue seeing our new design products and new ways of telling the stories.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading the interview with Daniel J. Cohen. We will publish more interviews from Isaloni 2015. Check our website!

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