Growth Strategy Lessons From Europe’s Richest Person

With a net worth of $187 billion, this French businessman recently passed Bill Gates’ ranking in wealth using 3 distinct growth strategy lessons, and even did so outside of big tech.

Here are 3 growth strategy lessons from from Europe’s richest person! Bernard Arnault is CEO of the world’s largest luxury goods company. Below are 3 growth strategy and business lessons that we can all relate to when trying to expand global market share.

  1. Don’t dawdle, when you can simply begin.
    Arnault didn’t have extensive knowledge of fashion before he entered the industry, but he understood luxurious goods share affinity with each other. Merging fashion (Louis Vuitton), champagne (Moët) and cognac (Hennessy) as a growth strategy eventually created Europe’s most valuable company, LVMH.
  2. Mash several great features together.
    Once there, he did not “stay in his lane” of fashion. Venturing into real estate, he developed signature apartments, for example. He then went on to leverage those luxurious spaces to further the distribution (sale) of their fashion items. This was all done while “branding” the apartment-turned-event-space with scents, spirits and art from the broad and diverse LVMH portfolio. This execution of business growth strategy is so layered, it seems more like an exclusive and sensory-indulgent  party for fashionistas, than a highly strategic marketing effort that zig-zags several industries.
  3. If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em.He used acquisition as his primary growth strategy. LVMH’s list of brands and subsidiaries is staggering (Bulgari, Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Pucci, Tiffany & Co. and Veuve Clicquot to name a few.) According to CEO World Magazine, “acquisition is one of the best strategies to participate in global markets.” This approach has successfully worked for Arnault, but it is expensive. Acquisition may not be a feasible growth strategy for many businesses, especially in younger stages.

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Some business leaders (especially post-pandemic) have the courage to engage with new industries, or even completely pivot their own model, as in #1.

And some business owners are innovative enough to use one asset to promote another asset, as in #2.

But if you lack the capital to buy a complementary brand, as in #3, what then? How do you participate in global markets?

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