Complex Made Simple

Above & Beyond’s Tine Willumsen on ‘how local brands can reach their full pot

After decades of focusing on Europe, the US and China, luxury brands are seriously eyeing the Middle East as the region’s brands achieve double-digit growth.

“The growth in the is rather impressive,” Tine Willumsen, founder and CEO at brand development company Above & Beyond, tells Aficionado on the sidelines of the arab luxury world conference (Dubai, June 1-2). “I think the region still very humble even though it is not an emerging market anymore, because it is way ahead in terms of retailing and many other things already.”

“It’s excellent to be humble,” she continues, “but I think national pride is extremely important and is an excellent test market because many tourists from many nationalities.”

Willumsen cites Emirates among other UAE-based brands that have gained international visibility, recognition and acclaim.

In the video, the Danish executive further explains how local brands can reach their full potential.


Looking ahead

Above & Beyond is a development company with an elite client base, which includes Aston Martin, BMW and high-end fashion brands, among others. Willumsen, founder of the company, stresses that brands from the GCC region can take centre stage internationally with the right government support.

“I’m a Danish national and I used to be marketing director for Bang & Olufsen. We also had our crown prince helping us promote the speakers in Japan and so on, which gave us that certain edge,” she says, giving an example of the constructive role that a country’s royalty can play in supporting its local brands.

Willumsen adds that her company was now looking at experiential marketing. “I think this is the future. How many products can you own and how many events can you go to? You need to give something extra.”