Accelerate your online presence through channel of distribution shift and strong digital platforms.
Philippe Warnery was born and raised in France. After receiving his BA from the University of Montpellier in 1994, he moved to Barcelona, Spain, where he held a job as the store manager for Decathlon España for three and a half years.
Warnery returned to France in 1996 to become Trade Marketing manager for Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) when it was still under Sanofi Beauty, one of the companies he had aspired to work for in his youth. During his five years there, he moved up from Trade Marketing manager to key account director for Van Cleef & Arpels / Boucheron Fragrances.
In 2001, Warnery began working for LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, another company he had dreamed of working for. Starting as their key account director for France Guerlain, Warnery eventually moved to Tokyo, Japan, to become the regional director of travel retail for Asia Pacific Guerlain.
Warnery moved to Singapore in 2006 as the regional director of travel retail for Estée Lauder Companies Inc. for the Clinique brand. In 2009, he was promoted to the role of vice president, general manager, in New York, where he was responsible for the International business for the Origins & Ojon brands. Warnery eventually found himself promoted once again in 2013 to senior vice president, general manager and traveled north to Ontario, Canada, where he created one of the largest affiliates for the Estée Lauder Corporation.
In 2017, Warnery home to Europe, settling in London, England, as the president of the UK and Ireland regions for Estée Lauder where he currently resides.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
When you’re born in France, you have the aspiration to work for one of the French luxury goods. LVMH is one of them, and so are L’Oréal and Estée Lauder. I had strong aspirations to work for these companies when I was a teenager. For me, LVMH, and The Estée Lauder companies took me all over the world.
To a certain extent, European culture exports themselves quite easily. What I mean by this is, we don’t have any problem with moving from one country to another. When you’re from France, you can easily cross the border to visit Spain, Italy, and many other countries. I believe that it makes Europeans that we are much better travelers, and much more open to discovering new languages and new cultures. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to work for one of these famous French companies as it would give me the opportunity to travel and live all over the world.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day-to-day is now about exploring new Business opportunities and spending Quality time with my family. It’s about bringing my children to school and their afterschool activities. I’m also focusing on What’s Next for me. What I want to do from a Business perspective is to work with private equity and potentially create my own business, or work on developing a business or creating a brand. I’m focusing on networking with people whom I know work within the space of private equity and building relationships.
How do you bring ideas to life?
If you want to be a leader, I think it’s important to bring new ideas to life by testing those ideas on a small scale, not on a big scale. Like my previous CEO used to say, you have the right to fail, but if you fail, fail cheap and fail fast. This advice is very much something that I implement in my daily routine all the time. If I have an idea, an initiative, I test it on a smaller scale. If it works and works well, that is when I look to see if we can execute it in a bigger way. So, I think it takes curiosity, understanding the market dynamics, spending time in the field with the beauty advisors, understanding the current trends, and then trying to explore some of those ideas to change the business perspective.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Incubator, Start Up brands are very much an inspiration for me as I feel they must Re-Invent themselves to fight against major companies. Their only way to succeed against the major companies is to find a niche that they excel. In such market dynamics, agility, speed to market, and creativity remain a major competitive advantage. When I was heading the Estee Lauder companies, understanding what those companies do and why they were successful, was a major obsession for me to ensure that Estee Lauder could learn from them.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Being a great listener and spending time with people to understand them and their needs. Continuously trying new things so that you’re not stuck on the daily sheets all the time. I think that is one thing that makes me unique. When you want to be successful, you need to have an entrepreneurial mindset and be willing to take risks. It’s critical. I also keep myself up to date on what’s new, what’s trendy, what’s happening in the industry because of my curiosity and drive to understand the market.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If you have an opportunity that comes to you, jump on it. I’ve had many opportunities throughout my career. Still, I feel that there were other opportunities I missed out on because of various personal reasons or not having enough courage to make bigger changes in my life. So, I’d tell a younger Philippe Warnery to travel the world and to jump on those opportunities when they are presented, don’t think twice. I’d tell him to move on because I believe living internationally and discovering all these new cultures has made me a much better person.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Hard work is only half the battle. While you need to work hard to land your desired job, just hard work is usually not enough, and the other part of the landing that job comes from your personality and networking capabilities.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
This notion of being a risk-taker, I’m doing it now to learn more about myself. I try not to be locked into the typical business model, and I try to find new ways and excitement for everyone. So, I’m trying to reach into these new things myself. Some of them stick, some of them don’t, but at least we are taking risks. I believe that this also creates a dynamic within my team because there are all these new things, new elements. I would say 10% of my job is about challenging new ideas, and I’m doing that all the time because I believe it is the only way to stay ahead of the competition.
From a more personal angle when I’m running early in the morning, that’s the time when I have a fresh memory, and I am structuring out the rest of my day.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I believe that my work ethic and my leadership skills have been a key asset in helping the companies I have worked for grow. Through creating strong, effective marketing plans that can be implemented and maintaining a passion for the goals and mission of the company I have helped to grow the brand around the world.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I have had in my career is coming up with new marketing ideas. It can be difficult to overcome but whenever I get a marketing idea, I make sure to test it on a small scale to see if it will be viable on a larger scale.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
This is where I am at myself right now, trying to come up with a business idea. With all the international experience and the knowledge, I gained from working with a big company, I would love to partner with private equity and to create or to accelerate an incubator, startup brand into life. So, I see this notion of private equity partnership, and developing a brand to put on the market is something that I’m excited about right now. That will be an ideal world. Where I want to go in the next few months will very much be within the space. Perhaps I’ll take an existing smaller brand that will not necessarily have had the marketing expertise required to achieve results.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 dollars I have recently spent is a donation to Médecins Sans Frontières, Doctors Without Borders. As I am from France, the organization has continuously impressed me with the work they have done worldwide to help people in over 70 countries around the world. Charity is an important part of our world and being able to give a little back to improve the lives of others is always a worthy cause.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I just feel that consumers behaved very differently, and we saw a major shift from Bricks to Clicks purchase, Consumers are much savvier that what they used to be and will easily shop online. Every companies must shift quickly to Digital and to provide an experiential platform to shop online and be ready for the next wave.
One thing for sure, any piece of software that will create Greater Experience to the consumer will gain market share as we (Client) are not willing to give up on Experience and particularly the Millennials and Gen Z driving those changes very quickly
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
THE WHOLE NEW MIND by Daniel Pink explaining that in today’s dynamics, the Right brainers will be ruling the world, the future is belonging people that will push creativity to a very different level providing major point of differentiation vs existing brands
What is your favorite quote?
“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill.
● Be a Risk Taker, Entrepreneurial
● Be the first mover
● Push creativity within your team
● Be Curious
● Accelerate your Online presence through Channel of distribution shift (Be where the consumers will be tomorrow) and strong digital platforms
● Provide major experience to your consumers
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.