Swarovski’s 120th anniversary makes 2015 a very special year for us. To mark it, we asked Daniel Swarovski’s heirs for their vision of the future: here, Markus Langes-Swarovski talks to us about customer commitment, innovations and what it takes to be the best.
Mr. Langes-Swarovski, you are considered to be a strategically thinking aesthete with clear aims. What can you promise your customers for 2015?
In this, our anniversary year, we are very proud to look back at 120 years of Swarovski – and rightly so, as we have had numerous successes across many segments that demonstrate our leadership both in terms of quality and market position. These achievements give us the strength, experience, security and self-confidence on which to build our future.
The breadth of product innovation at Swarovski is astounding. Can you give our readers a little insight into how we achieve this?
Before we launch an innovation there’s a lot of work to do: we invest heavily in trend research and our creative product development because we know, and have always known, that innovation is our strength, and it lies at the heart of our company. We love to inspire our customers and give them the means of reinventing themselves and their products. It’s a real challenge for the whole team to set up the process required to develop a tiny idea into the final product that is launched. There are three main ways that we generate ideas: Of course we have our own teams dedicated to the innovation process, but we also have an internal ‘ideas platform’ where every employee can share their ideas. In fact, 2015 will see the launch of one such idea, which originally came from a colleague in a total different unit. But the most important way to create new ideas has always been, and will always be, to work closely with our customers and be creative together in order to perfectly match their needs. Christian Dior was involved in developing the Aurea Borealis effect in the 1950s. Since then we developed several successful innovations together with renowned designers such as Versace, Armani, Jean Paul Gaultier. And in 2015 we have something really small in the pipeline – revolutionarily small and precious, in fact – that we’ve developed with one of our customers. I’m really looking forward to this innovation.
We know that some very special products will be coming onto the market next year. Can you give our readers a preview?
To celebrate our anniversary together with our partners, we will have two big launches that are completely dedicated to ‘120 Years of Inspiration’. Unfortunately I can’t give more insights at this stage – as this should be a surprise to our partners. But I can already say, that I’m really proud of the products we’ll be launching, as they are designed to match the diverse needs of our different types of customer, creating a toolbox of outstanding products for you to use.
Swarovski has stood for innovation and inspiration for the past 120 years. If you look forward to 2134, 120 years from now, what are your hopes for the company? The first branch office on the moon?
Who knows! On November 23, 2014 we send our Tiuterra Crystals with the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, a member of Expedition 42/43, to the International Space Station. She sacrificed a portion of her precious luggage allowance to take the Tiuterra Crystals with her—the first time crystals have ever journeyed into Earth’s atmosphere. I’m sure that when Daniel Swarovski arrived in Wattens in 1895 he never thought that Swarovski would expand into an international company with nearly 30,000 employees worldwide. He was a pioneer with a great mind, and he always saw the big picture. We are living in a time where things change faster than ever before – this also applies to our business and our customers’ businesses, too. Our big challenge is always to be a step ahead. So I think everything is possible – we are prepared.
What resolutions have you made for 2015, both personally and in business?
Source : Swarovski Professional