q&a with jamie paine of le creuset
With its top-quality, signature design and comprehensive range of colours, Le Creuset is one of the most covetable and well-known cookware brands. Marketing and managing a product this big takes a lot of skill. We caught up with Jamie Paine, head of marketing and retail at Le Creuset South Africa, to find out what her job entails.
1. How important is it – apart from sales, marketing and product offering – for a known brand like Le Creuset to stay on trend?
Le Creuset is famous for the beauty and functionality of its cookware, however, there is also a strong lifestyle element to its products. For this reason, we feel it is important for us to stay on trend or, better still, to initiate the trend.
2. Where does it draw its biggest influences and inspiration from?
Our biggest inspiration has always been the love of cooking. Also, the global footprint of our company, now spread across the 40 territories in which we operate, gives us unique insight as to which trends are developing or declining. At regular global meetings, this shared knowledge results in new design ideas and colours being brought to life.
3. How much time and strategy goes into launching a new colour collection?
The strategy behind a colour launch is integral to its overall success. Global colour trends and consumer demand are key factors that are taken into consideration, and naturally, the shade in question also needs to look good in the kitchen.
4. What are the biggest motivating factors for new product designs?
Our biggest motivating factor is the consumer. Our marketing teams spend a considerable amount of time on the shop floor listening to consumers – this, combined with feedback from our sales teams, initiates many of our new products and colours.
5. In terms of local versus international consumers, how much of the global offering is adapted to suit the South African market? Are they essentially the same?
Our local offering is essentially the same as the international one, with some tweaks for seasonality and size. Generally, South Africans lean towards larger cooking vessels. It has also been very gratifying to see that some of the ranges developed locally in South Africa, such as the pastel-hued Sorbet Collection, have been successful on the global stage. We are very excited to launch our new African-inspired range in 2019.
6. Which colour collection has – to date, or unexpectedly – done the best? Why do you think so?
The success of the recently launched Deep Teal range has surprised us. While the deep blue colour is on trend, we also think that the atmospheric collateral developed around it, featuring healthy and wholesome food, has resonated well with the market.
7. Which range(s) do South Africans consume or take to the most?
Our range of enamelled cast iron is iconic and remains the most popular among consumers. It offers much in the way of colour and versatility and can be used for a wide variety of recipes. It's also backed by a reassuring lifetime guarantee.