Monday, March 1, 2010

Representing Asians Part 2: Jimmy Choo

Today was Jimmy Choo presentation day. For our presentation, we had to focus on the brand's co-branding strategy and retail strategy in Asia. Given that I'm Asian (the professor loves when an Asian speaks about Asia), I decided to tackle the Asian retail strategy portion.

We finished the presentation with time to spare. Unfortunately for us, the professor wanted to make the most of the class time, so he decides to pepper me with questions about Asia.

him: "What is your name"
me: "Teena" (professor looks disappointed I do not have a more Asian sounding name)
him: "Have you been to China?"
me: "To Shanghai once, and to Hong Kong several times" (another look of visible disappointment)
him: "Well, I'm sure you have Asian roots."
me (jokingly and incredulously): "enh, somewhat"

The professor starts big, asking me what my recommendations for Jimmy Choo would be in Asia. Given that this question was ridiculously open-ended I counter with a question. The professor then narrows it down and asks me to comment on the number of stores in Shanghai. At this point, I'm thoroughly confused as to what he wants and I ask: "Are you asking me what I think is the maximum number of stores Jimmy Choo could have in Shanghai? Are you asking me to comment on what Jimmy Choo should do operationally?"

"Yes, you can also ask your classmates to help you with this question."
So I respond: "I'd like to then open up this question to my fellow Chinese students. (Point to an Asian student) Bing, what do you think about this?"

For a fleeting second, I considered calling upon Yinka, my Nigerian friend, to help me answer this question since she likes to joke that she's part Japanese. She just wants to see the professor face when an African woman makes sweeping comments about the Asian market. Yinka is also worried (only slightly) about receiving class participation credit since we never talk about luxury brands in Africa.

Regardless of the odd Q&A session, the presentation was a home run. The professor really enjoyed our analysis and even remarked that he would have liked for us to present in front of Jimmy Choo's management team. Gold star? I think so.

Kellogg represent.