25th column for trade magazine De Juwelier – Het Nieuwe Luxe

7 03 2019

This is my fifth year that I have the honor to write in every publication of Dutch trade magazine De Juwelier and therefore the first column for 2019 for this magazine is my 25th edition.

You can find every single article in PDF format on the Oak Consultancy page.

I have decided to start 2019 with the most imporatant consumer group: the millennials. I named the article in Dutch: The New Luxury. Personally I am a huge sneaker fan since my early childhood. And, I still collect sneakers today, especially Nike Air Jordan I shoes. I am fascinated that today kids all over the world collect them too, even though Michael Jordan stopped playing basketball for over 15 years now. Because I collect sneakers I read up a lot about it and therefore one of my regular destinations is Highsnobiety. Their white paper about their target group fascinated me so much, it inspired me to write this column.

To download the PDF, please click here.
This issue got launched 1 March 2019 in physical format and this is the text in Dutch:

25th column for Dutch trade magazine De Juwelier

“Het Nieuwe Luxe”

Sinds de komst van het internet wordt de ondergang van traditionele retail voorspeld. Al jaren wordt het nieuwe detailhandel voorspeld te gaan plaatsvinden in 2020. De luxe industrie lijkt echter dit jaar al aan de beurt. De eerste tekenen aan de wand voor The New Luxury werden het afgelopen jaar langzaam zichtbaar. Millennials zijn volledig tot bloei gekomen en dicteren de trends in consumentengedrag. Waar luxe vroeger draaide om hoge prijzen, exclusiviteit, vakmanschap en status, draait het nieuwe luxe om het horen bij een stroming, gedachtengoed en een community.

Highsnobiety.com is een van de toonaangevende websites voor de nieuwe generatie consumenten. Een smaakmaker zo u wilt. Kunt u raden wat volgens deze website de top 10 merken zijn van The New Luxury*? Toen ik moest raden had ik er maar vijf van de tien goed. Twee daarvan waren makkelijk. Ze bestonden een aantal jaar geleden niet, maar zijn inmiddels niet meer weg te denken uit het modebeeld: Off-White en Yeezy. Millennial-merken pur sang! Hierna had ik drie merken op mijn lijstje staan die het al een aantal decennia lukt te evolueren in dezelfde richting als de nieuwe generatie van luxe consumenten: Nike, Louis Vuitton en Prada. Deze merken zijn altijd blijven innoveren en gaan met hun tijd mee. Tot mijn verbazing waren de overige vijf merken in dit ranglijstje traditionele, oude merken: Balenciaga, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Raf Simons en Stone Island. Zelf dacht ik meer aan hippe namen als Supreme, BAPE (A Bathing Ape), Diamond Supply Co. (niets te maken met onze branche), KITH en het Nederlandse Patta.

Hoe lukt het gevestigde merknamen om zich te ontworstelen aan het stoffige imago en deze nieuwe generatie van consumenten aan zich te binden, als het draait om gedachtengoed en sense of belonging? Het paradigma van luxe verschuift van exclusiviteit naar inclusiviteit. Vroeger was luxe elitair, voorbehouden aan slechts enkelen. Toegang werd verleend door pure en koude monetaire middelen. Je moest vermogend zijn om het te kunnen aanschaffen, omdat hoe exclusiever, hoe luxer het was. Het nieuwe luxe is meer democratisch. Vandaag is luxe een lifestyle, een stroming, een gedachtengoed. Dus luxe wordt gekoppeld aan style hebben. Geld alleen is niet langer genoeg. In de taal van de millennials: ben je cool of niet!?

Het Nieuwe Luxe staat ook symbool voor een andere beweging: street style. Luxe is casual geworden. Het tegenovergestelde van formeel en statig. Het is geïnspireerd door de skate-stijl, door hiphop, en is vele malen minder pretentieus. De gevestigde merknamen die dus wél in de top 10 voorkomen hebben het beste van beide werelden. Ze bieden daadwerkelijk vakmanschap, kwaliteit en kunnen bogen op een rijke historie. Tegelijkertijd hebben ze dit weten te vertalen naar de democratische lifestyle van de inclusieve millennials.

Weet u wie Virgil Abloh, Takashi Murakami, Hiroshi Fujiwara en Alex Monopoly zijn? Niet schrikken als u ze niet kent. Ik ken ze bij toeval. Zoals ik al eerder liet doorschemeren ben ik gek van sneakers, en deze heren hebben in het verleden met Nike samengewerkt aan exclusieve limited editions. Dit zijn de culturele leiders van millennials. Ze zijn doorgebroken van een subcultuur in de mode, een niche, tot mainstream. Virgil Abloh, oprichter van Off-White, is tegenwoordig creatief directeur van Louis Vuitton. Takashi Murakami is een kunstenaar – en er is geen luxemerk dat niet met hem wil werken. Hiroshi Fujiwara is een muzikant en oprichter van Fragment Design, maar tegenwoordig vooral bekend als de godfather van street style. Zijn talent ligt in het herkennen van iconische designs om die vervolgens een moderne twist te geven. Een remixer van luxe noem ik hem. Recentelijk heeft hij dit ook gedaan met horloges van Zenith en TAG Heuer. Ik raad u aan de namen van deze heren eens te Googlen en hun achtergrond en designs te bestuderen.

De kritieke succesfactor om de aandacht te grijpen van millennials is het product, maar even belangrijk is het verhaal er achter. Het moet authentiek en oprecht zijn, en als het van hoge kwaliteit is mag er ook best een hogere prijskaartje aanhangen. Dat is ook democratisch! Wij bij Ace proberen altijd te evolueren en te innoveren. Wij waren in 2007 de eerste luxejuwelier die online begon te verkopen. Omdat wij wisten dat de nieuwe consument hier behoefte aan had. Ik heb een aantal jaar geleden in De Juwelier een artikel geschreven over maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen. Wij zijn daar niet gestopt. Vorig jaar hebben wij een horlogeband gemaakt die volledig plantaardig was: de bovenkant is van natuurlijk hout en de onderkant van natuurlijk kurk. Omdat vegan niet cool klinkt hebben wij het een andere naam gegeven: Contemporary Luxury. Wat doet u om uw zaak en dus merknaam te laten aansluiten bij Het Nieuwe Luxe?

Reageren op deze column is mogelijk door een e-mail te sturen naar alon@oakconsultancy.com of te bellen naar Oak Consultancy, tel. 020-2602100. Aanvullende informatie is ook beschikbaar op OakConsultancy.com.

* Bron: Whitepaper The New Luxury by Highsnobiety – https://www.highsnobiety.com/p/the-new-luxury-whitepaper-highsnobiety/



Why we started the June Dating app

1 08 2018

Why did we start a new dating app? My buddy Jonathan Salomon and I started a new company back in September 2017 named: Mokum Tech B.V. We did so because we are both serial entrepreneurs whom always have a zillion innovative ideas twirling around in our heads. The first development of this company is June Dating, a new dating app for both singles and matchmakers.

June Dating logo

I hear you thinking: ‘another dating app?’ and that is also the first thing we said to ourselves, should we really create another one. But, after many fueled brainstom sessions, discussions and research quests, we were conviced we had a winner in our hands. Our aim with Mokum Tech is to create products, technologies, software and tools that actually add value. That improve our lives. So, whatever we come up with has to tick that box. Please it needs to bring positivity and good karma.

June Dating app in the Apple iTunes App Store

June Dating ticked all these boxes and we truly believe we created something that is not out there yet. It adds value, it is innovative and it is definitely good karma.

What makes it really different is that it is actually a matchmakers tool, it makes life of matchmakers easier. And, for singles it really adds value and creates qualitative matches. Please read more here about the application and what the added value and benefits are.

We love Simon Sinek. We have read his book “Start with Why” several times. These are the reasons why we have started June Dating:

Necessity
Love is a necessity. According to Abraham Harold Maslow it was, but we kind of agree with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. But, that is not what we mean when we formulate The Why of June Dating. We mean there is a necessity in today’s world for a new dating tool. A tool that is more qualitative. More fun. More today. June Dating is that app that helps singles find the needle in the haystack.

Technology
Jonathan and I, love technology. We love bringing people together. The combination of the tool, plus timing (the technology finally makes it possible) to launch the app June Dating.

Fun
It is important to have fun in what you do. Especially in your work. So, Jonathan and I, childhood friends, love to work as a team and have a lot of fun. But, we have also decided that June Dating needs to be fun. Fun for all users. Both the singles as the matchers. Not fun in a childish way. Not fun like a computer game. Not fun as in a fashion trend. No, fun like it gives pleasure and really adds value.

Good Karma
Besides having fun working as a team. The both of us also want to add value in everything we do. And, not only adding value in a monetary way, but also bringing value to all stakeholders. We do believe that the ultimate form is: good karma. Karma is that age-old universal theory of getting what we deserve based on our thoughts and actions. We believe love is good karma and therefore June Dating is an excellent ‘good karma tool’.

The June Dating app is available for free in the Android Play Store and the Apple iOS App Store via this link: https://k7s2p.app.goo.gl/invite.

Please try it and share your thoughts and experiences with me.

Have fun.

#JuneDating #OnlineDating #DatingApp



Social Media Holiday

2 02 2018

My Social Media Holiday has started today and will last until February 14th, 2018. Although I am not on an actual holiday and traveling, I decided to take a week plus off from posting and interacting on all the social media channels I am active on.

Social Media Holiday for Alon Ben Joseph until 14 February 2018

I am a huge of technology, the Internet and social media too. I think that they empower people and can do a lot of good. This social media holiday is a little social experience for me. I want to see what it does to me, to my surroundings and to my social media accounts. The longest I have been offline is almost two weeks for our honeymoon in Africa (back in 2009) and annually I am offline on holidays (literal meaning of the word, the holy days).

So, I am curious to see if I actually miss using my social media accounts. I want to test if I really (still) love it or will this social media holiday make me realize that it is a force of habit and I gain no pleasure and fun out of posting on social networks.

Secondly, I am very curious what reactions it will spark from my surrounding, my friends, my family, my colleagues and other people I am connected to on these actual networks. Will they find it odd that I am doing this? Will it inspire more people to do it? Will they miss my presence on these networks? And, most importantly, will it generate more face time with my friends? Or, interaction in less digital ways and more ‘old school’ ways: actually meet more, talk more and write (read: WhatsApp) less?

Last, but certainly not least, will it effect the actual social media accounts. I mean by this: does your account loose its relevance when it is not ‘fed’. I see the internet and social media a living organisms and I have to be very honest here, I use it 80% (or even more) to promote my businesses. So, will it have an impact on the traffic to my businesses? Will my accounts loose followers?

So, basically, it’s a social science project 😉

I will try to post my findings some weeks later after this project ends. Please share if you have also done social media holidays like these and what your experiences were.



Speaking at Netcomm Suisse eCommerce Meets Fashion Event 2017

14 02 2017

This year I am speaking at a high-quality event organized by Netcomm Suisse in Swtizerland. On Monday March 13th, 2017 the third edition of the international event “e-Commerce meets Fashion 2017” in the Ticino Fashion Valley of Switzerland will take place. This is the event for players operating in the fashion sector in Europe.

Last year in February I spoke at the Swiss event: “e-Commerce and Digital meet Luxury Watches” organized by the national ecommerce association Netcomm Suisse. This was not just a lot of fun, but very professional and meaningful. It was meaningful in several facets: very high quality of subjects discussed, exclusive guests and relevant  to the topics and superb location & organizxation/execution.

Although this is thrid edition of the eCommerce Meets Fashion event organised by the Swiss eCommerce Association, this is the first time attending. And, I am honored to have been asked to speak during this event as well. I will speak about omni-channel retail in the luxury industry.

Alon Ben Joseph speaking at Netcomm Suisse eCommerce Meets Fashion 2017

During this event I will have the honor to share other professionals operating in both the luxury industry and tech world. Executives working at leading companies like: La Perla, Brunello Cuinelli, Merck, Bally, and many more. I am really excited and hope to meet you in person as one of the 650 visitors in Lugano, Switzerland.

Pre-order your tickets via worht CHF 1.100 via the official website: Netcomm Suisse Site.



Speaking at NetComm Suisse event

29 01 2016

A week after I spoke at the Webwinkel Vakdagen 2016 event in Utrecht, the Netherlands, I have been invited by NetComm Suisse, the Swiss counterpart of the Thuiswinkel Organisatie to speak during their event: e-Commerce and Digital meet Luxury Watches on Thursday February 2th, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Alon Ben Josep speaking at Netcomme Suisse event in Geneva

NetComm Suisse enables their members to build a strong community of e-Commerce operators. Through networking events, training, institutional relations and research into the digital market, the organization enables greater consumer confidence in e-Commerce and greater success for operators in the industry. They also engage proactively with the media and international institutions, providing information, concrete data and a voice for the wider industry, seeking above all to help build a more engaged and successful future for the Swiss eCommerce sector.

On February 25th, 2016 NetComm Suisse in collaboration with Fongit will host the “e-Commerce and Digital meet Luxury Watches” event. The event will look at the latest trends in digital and e-Commerce for luxury jewellery and watches industry. In this domain our speakers will share knowledge on:

  • Digital innovation, smartwatches, wearable jewellery devices
  • e-Commerce for the luxury industry
  • Online counterfeiting and digital reputation
  • Digital influence in purchase decisions
  • Start-ups to help solving industry problems

An increasing number of consumers is turning to the internet to get their purchase decision. In addition to that, upwards of 70% of people in Europe have shopped online, amounting to some 247 million consumers, with commerce between countries continuing to grow. As regards the luxury sector, e-Commerce represents an excellent opportunity for the industry, including the smartwatch sector, to open itself up to a global market filled with internet- savvy consumers, add this to Switzerland’s long history of watchmaking, perfectly blending a spirit of artisanship plus innovation, and the opportunities in this particular brand of digital innovation are clear to see.

As you might know I love to speak about my passions: fine watches, diamond jewelry and eCommerce. I am humbled that Netcomme Suisse has heard about me and booked me to speak during this event in Geneva next month. Together with managers from the Swiss luxury industry, companies like: Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Richemont, I will speak about my experiences in this industry we have built up with Ace Jewelers. I am also very curious to hear what experts from Facebook, eBooster and Deloitte, attending as speakers during this event have to share.

On that day I will travel from Amsterdam to Geneva and at 16.55 hours I will have the honor to speak about the topic: “Digital influence in offline purchase decisions.”

To attend this event, please register via this direct link: Eventbrite.