Team CDE – Nicolas Brunau

Nicolas Brunau has a long corporate experience in retail business and management. His career started in the French Trade Commission in Osaka and evolved from Area Manager for North-East Asia to Retail Director APac for several prominent fashion and sports brands. His last role was of General Manager in department stores in Hong Kong and Macau.

With an acute interest for foreign languages and cultures (6 languages), Nicolas grew-up as a kid in Africa. He has completed an MBA in Audencia Nantes and Georgia State University in Atlanta, whilst studying Japanese in INALCO Paris and Mandarin in Jiaotong University in Shanghai.

His research focuses on business data applications on businesses. Retail customers, being his field of expertise will be a pillar of his research. Beyond customers engagement and psychology during B2C interactions, his scholar interests surround “bringing value” to businesses in using data and digital tools.

Research focus

Business strategy, data analytics, business data, real-time data, digital marketing, touch-points, retail, teams management, customers engagement, clienteling and VIP service

What excites you the most about the digital economy?

When I graduated from my MBA, online business or even communicating (too much) online were perceived as damaging their image by most brands. Now, digital marketing has taken over traditional media. More interestingly, our digital footprints usage in business has created both controversy and opportunities in our daily lives as consumers. What excited me is the rise of the digital economy as a benefit for customers and communities.

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?

Amazon or Alibaba are criticized for allegedly destroying dozens of millions of jobs in retail. Nothing is more frustrating than spams, robotic service interfaces or agents whose job tasks have been so impoverished that it merely consists in dealing with users’ frustrations when web-pages or interfaces failed to provide solutions.

When almost all daily life interactions are controlled at our fingertips or by voice recognition, digital technologies could offer more than convenience (faster, cheaper, more choice and information), but also an “experience”.

Two-thirds of consumers are willing to spend more for an “experience”, in particular Millenials. It is not just a cup of coffee or smiles. Bringing value and meaningfulness to our communities could be the major challenge for the digital economy.

Finish this sentence: In 2050, there will be…

More convenience and more digital, certainly. However, how to design our lifestyles and interactions for the next thirty years remains a great topic for scholars and decision-makers.

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