Remi LEFEVRE

Global Social Marketing, Upscale Brands, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

About Remi

Bio

Global Social Marketing at @IHG taking care of @InterConHotels & @CrownePlaza

Areas of Expertise

Social Media, Digital Marketing, International Relations

I'm passionate about

#tea #books #design #travel #socialmedia #history #sociology

Talk to me about

Absolutely everything. Especially if it sounds trivial. Triviality is what truisms flee best.

Comments & conversations

180549
Remi LEFEVRE
Posted over 1 year ago
How can a global business create a fulfilling relationship with a local community?
A very interesting summary of a handful of big underlying issues, Greg. How would you propose to go about integrating the local destination into a hotel? Where would you start? I think the constant balance that has to be found by global businesses between homogenisation and localisation is the key issue, and you'r every right in underlining it. Where should global brands place the needle, knowing that on one hand travellers cherish having their own standards in terms of comfort, whilst on the other hand they are keen on experiencing the true nature of a destination's character? Another interesting question could be, still focusing on the hospitality industry, is there such a thing as an ideal size for a hotel so as to minimise its cultural footprint whilst having the resources to bring local culture to like in a meaningful way?
180549
Remi LEFEVRE
Posted over 1 year ago
How can a global business create a fulfilling relationship with a local community?
Thanks for the answer Tify, full of interesting insights once more. The apprenticeship issue notably is one that is started to be rekindled in a handful of countries, where governments now realise how useful of a method it can be. I've seen this focus in France and the UK recently, but Germany has been putting the emphasis on apprentices for some time. However, results are scarce for the moment and there is certainly a lot of work to be done on educating not only students but also their parents about the benefits of this option. Agreed that the main goal needs to be on value creation, and furthermore on creating value through raising standards of services rather than on cutting costs. I do believe this is something that can be achieved in the higher-end segments of many industries, where the mindset is more easily inclined towards such an end, than in midscale segments. That said, I wonder if the problem doesn't lay with the imbalance of many an industry in terms of power of stakeholders. In the travel industry, one could argue that there are many different actors, and that travellers themselves hold a lot of power through online reviews: they can influence travel providers such as hotels, restaurants or online travel agents this way. Maybe this is idealistic and a bit of a professional bias given that I work with them on a daily basis, but couldn't we envision a world where social media could help customers gain more influence over their providers? Hopefully, as we are headed towards a more and more transparent world where information is, by and large, easily shared and found, what's important to customers should become more and more preponderant in the eyes of business. First because it's easier for them to know what's important, and second because not acting on this information would mean risking redundancy in face of competitors that would. Wishful thinking or real trend? I'm not absolutely sure, to be honest.
180549
Remi LEFEVRE
Posted over 1 year ago
How can a global business create a fulfilling relationship with a local community?
I really enjoyed reading your point of view Tify, and I believe you outline really important issues. The disconnection between shareholders and local realities for instance is something that could be a whole conversation in itself. However, and although I do share some of your reserve about green policies, isn't it somehow possible, in specific industries at least, to place the preservation of the idea of "local" at the centre of what companies do? I'm thinking about companies such as VEJA shoes or Hard Graft which are, admittedly on a rather small scale at the moment, making the most of local know-hows to make their products. Luxury companies such as Herm├Ęs are keeping alive artisan jobs and savoir-faire that would have in some cases disappeared were it not for their existence. I do feel like there is an opportunity for global businesses to have their parts in preserving local cultures, especially through integrating local techniques & specialities in their products, which is very much the case in the hospitality industry, especially in the higher-end segment which I know best. However, it is more difficult to implement in industries where revenues are driven by cost-cutting rather than by value-adding schemes. I concur with you in saying that there is a case to be made in the sense of protecting small, locally-owned businesses. Your example of the Arab Spring is very revealing, for it can be interpreted as a reaction to the cultural loss you underline very justly. This feels me with optimism though: if citizens, hence consumers, are conscious of their own cultural exception, they will be likely to have a preference for businesses rooted in these values, whether that be for buying, working, or partnering. Maybe that's one way for local to "get back" at companies that do not care enough about their specific needs. What do you think?
180549
Remi LEFEVRE
Posted almost 2 years ago
How will travel change local places in the future?
I really like your first take on the matter at hands Leo, and the distinction you make between those who are interested in living "local" and those who prefer the global side of things. As with most of the polarities, the reality is probably in a savant alchemy of both for most of us: although I would almost always prefer a local and proudly independent coffee shop to a chain-led one, there is no denying that the latter option, in an almost ironical way, can help people to experience another culture, and another taste of "local", almost, without necessarily having to travel. I distinctly remember going to this American mermaid-led coffee shop when its first branch opened in my hometown of Lyon, France, for it was a way to reconnect with my past experiences of New York. As Daniel hints at in the video presenting this conversation, it might be then than one of the solutions to the on-going tension between global and local could solved by seeing the emergence of more global brands allowing locals to travel through their offering of small pieces of foreign experience. At the end of the day though it all comes down to the choice you underline between different lifestyles, and whether one opts for being a local and thus, probably, travelling to explore other ways of being one. One thing I wonder about is if that is something that is influenced by one's education and/or the place we grew up in. David Rogers in his comment above for instance hints at its Welsh heritage and how it has influenced the way he lives and defines himself, and I think that's critically important. I grew up in different regions of France, each with its own interpretation of "local", and they contributed to define who I am as a local, and who I am as a traveller in quest of other sorts of local. I presume that almost makes the notion of local merge with that of culture, but then again, isn't it that quite the case already?
180549
Remi LEFEVRE
Posted almost 2 years ago
How will travel change local places in the future?
Travel is intrinsically about discovering new things, and making new connections. One model that can be of importance to analyse the impact of globalisation on our societies is the small-world network (1) and the small-world experiment (2) that is derived from it. Karinthy, a Hungarian author amongst the first to be inspired by this theory, wrote in 1929 that the world was "shrinking", and in "Chain-Links" he bets that "using no more than five individuals, one of whom is a personal acquaintance, he could contact [a] selected individual using nothing except the network of personal acquaintances." (3) You've probably recognised the famous idea behind John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation, a notion that is central to our contemporary online social networks. But what's really interesting is that although in the 1950s six seemed to be the golden number, recent studies have proclaimed that the real number of degrees is now lower. Facebook data team released a paper in November 2011 announcing that the average distance between its then 700M+ members was 4.74 (4). A shrinking world indeed. Being (and staying) local has never been as easy and as difficult: information about local customs is aplenty, and we justly marvel at their multitude, but the perspective of preserving those customs from external influences is fading away rather fast. Sources: 1. Small-world network: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small-world_network 2. Small-world experiment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small-world_experiment 3. KARINTHY Frigyes, 'Chain-Links', in 'Everythign is Different', 1929: http://djjr-courses.wdfiles.com/local--files/soc180%3Akarinthy-chain-links/Karinthy-Chain-Links_1929.pdf 4. BARNETT Emma, 'Facebook cuts six degrees of separation to four', in The Telegraph, Nov. 22, 2011: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/8906693/Facebook-cuts-six-degrees-of-separation-to-four.html