Interview with Frederic Barret, International Brand Manager for Wiko


Frédéric Barret ©DR

During the months of September to December 2016; Students from Fashion and Textile Master Degree in Marseille have had the opportunity to discern the marketing techniques which ones are essential in the professional world. With the intervention of Frederic Barret; International Brand Manager at Wiko company; It is all the methods and Marketing processes as well as the importance of rigor in the exchanges that have been emphasized.
Indeed, in a company as in everyday life, it is essential to understand each other to send a clear message understood by all of us.  It’s also important to be curious and get involved and this is what Frederic Barret tried to communicate to us.

What was your academic career ?
"After completing a scientific preparatory class, I joined an engineering school and then a master's degree in marketing at a Business school ".

Which industry sector do you operate in?
"I work in an SME which have an international activity; this SME is specializing in smartphones and connected objects ".

What is the position title of your job?
"I am an International Brand Manager In Wiko's International Marketing Department. I am in charge of 3 main missions”: 
The international strategy of the brand, and all its identity tools
The International communication campaigns
All the strategic or tactical product launch plans.

Did you choose this job for passion?
“Even if I am not a" geek ", I have a real interest in technologies and digital tools. Since I started working and with the evolved of marketing, being able to do this job in the heart of the digital reactor is just exciting. "
According to you, what qualities are required to practice your profession? 
« There are three of them:
- The rigor
- Analysis's spirit
Because contrary to popular belief, constructing a coherent marketing strategy is based mainly on an ability to understand the market and to fully identify the needs of consumers. It’s never intuitive.

- Creativity
Because once the need is identify and the strategy is defined, it’s necessary to bring something new, whether it is through innovation, communication tools, the way you express yourself ... And this creativity cannot be learned at school. This creativity is based on a permanent curiosity which is everywhere".

What are the most interesting aspects? The less positive aspects ?
"Honestly it's hard to say, everything can be interesting in this job, all the parts of the project you conduct.  It is central business that provides contacts with many services in the company but also with the agencies... This job requires constant renewal too. For example, the arrival of Digital has completely revolutionized this profession in the 2000s. It has been necessary not only to adapt but completely to change our way of thinking and build a marketing strategy. Today, we no longer talk about a centric digital strategy, but rather a centric smartphone because mobility tools have become the first tools to have access on the web, and inevitably it changes the behaviour of consumers. Concerning the less positive aspects, I would say is the timings ... We usually work in urgency and under pressure but with experience we learn how to manage it.

Do you have any advice to access this type of business for those interested in this matter? 
« First, you have to make an international experience no matter if it’s professional or personal. Then, work for big international groups to learn the basic methods of marketing, the aim is to facilitate the transition to smaller structures and to feel immediately the added value of the company you work with ».

Why did you accept to give classes about Marketing at the Fashion and Textile Master Degree at Aix-Marseille University?
"There is an observation: I am very surprised to see young graduates people, regardless their background, do not know the basic methods of marketing in a marketing department. They have a very general and very theoretical vision of marketing. So I wanted to teach them these basic methods, which will allow them to differentiate themselves during the interviews. And it is even truer in fashion in which the youth graduates of tomorrow will evolve in a universe with very creative profiles and with whom it will be necessary to exchange and build a common objective. And only rigor can effectively complement the creative richness of designers and their teams. And in a selfish way, it is also a personal challenge. The students do not let anything pass ... It is also to put themselves in danger. To face them for several hours is a way of testing their ability to maintain attention, to convey messages, and I hope so, to help them projecting themselves into their careers”

What vision, aspect, did you teach them from the professional world? What was the purpose?
“I wanted to prove that marketing is a rigorous profession. As all trades, not everyone has marketing skills: it's not because everybody is able to give an opinion on a marketing campaign, that everyone is able to do marketing campaign. It's easier to react on an advertisement and say something about, whereas in front of a financial's chart, unless you are in finance, everyone is quiet! I hope to have made them understand that curiosity is a key for this profession by looking what happens in all sectors - beyond fashion - you will be able to identify the best methods to have ". 

Leva Larbi, MMMT1, AMU

Frédéric Barret ©DR