Brand manager of fashion retail store Mango, Wrangler and Etam, Lana Tarraf Konjock has revealed the brands winning formula. She said all this in this chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly.
How did this love for your kind of business start?
My grandmother was a seamstress and my mother was in art business. I was introduced to the world of art and fashion very young. I learned how to appreciate art, beauty and craftsmanship. Then I decided to study Luxury marketing and followed my dream and passion which is fashion
What motivated you to go into this kind of business?
As I said, I always wanted to be in the fashion business. I am very creative and I love challenges. I think those franchises are the future here in Lagos. Nigeria is a fast growing country, people are eager to discover new brands. Africa in general is a very inspiring and creative continent. We excel in dancing, singing and creating. We have amazing artistes and craftsmanship. Fashion is just another way of expressing our creativity. This is globalization! It is about mixing and sharing.
I think that introducing foreign brand to the Nigerian people was a very motivating and interesting challenge. That is why I decided to accept the position of general brand manager. When I joined the group, we had the brand, Wrangler, then I decided to bring new global fashion brands such as Mango and Etam. They were eager to work with us and we started a journey together.
Would it be right to say so far so good?
Lagos is about to be the latest hot fashion and design destination. It was very exciting to adapt Mango to the Nigerian market. We had to select our product according to what the urban Nigerian woman would like. Due to our expertise, we were able to please our customers and we won an award for Mango as Female Cloth Retailer of the Year. I was very honoured to personally receive the award which I proudly displayed in my office. So, I would say so far so good!!!
What separates you from other brands?
Mango is an internationally famous fashion brand for women and men. Mango currently has a total of 2,500 stores in 109 countries worldwide. But most important, we have the trust of our customers. When they enter our store, they are confident we will fulfill their needs and expectations.
This is what separates us from other brands. A woman will always recognize herself in our brand. I personally go to the stores every day to talk with my customers, listen to what they have to say and what they want or need.
What are the challenges in the course of doing your business?
Competition. The world of fashion is a fast paced environment. We always have to think forward, innovate and create new trends. We can’t be followers. The competition is strong and we need to be up to date all the time.
We sell a life style. It is not only about your product: the quality, the uniqueness but how the product will affect your daily life.
As I said, once you gain the trust of your customer you have achieved a lot already. A woman expresses herself through her clothes, her personality, her likes, etc.
What has sustained this business?
Excellent customer care, always innovating, renewing the store, the merchandising, keeping the customer entertained. The Mango concept is based on an alliance between a quality product, with an original design and a coherent and unified brand image.
Dressing the modern, urban woman for her daily needs is the formula we have analysed, adapted and applied here in Nigeria. It has been and remains one of the keys to our commercial success and international prestige.
What business lessons did you learn last year and how do you intend to apply it for improvement this year?
We need to make sure that the line between dream and reality is as thin as it can be. The price to get the prize is not too high to pay. As I have explained before, fashion is always evolving, and we need to make sure we’re always be the best and the most competitive.
How many branches do you have in Nigeria and Africa as a whole?
We have two stores here in Nigeria, and one in Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Senegal. I am currently working on the opening of new stores.