Gaëlle Vial Paquet
Gaëlle VIAL PAQUET
Marketing Director – Louvre Hotels Group
With a Master’s degree in Management, concentration Marketing, from EDHEC Business School, Gaëlle has almost 15 years of marketing experience, including 8 at Coca-Cola.
Gaëlle joined Louvre Hotels Group in 2015 as Campanile Group Manager. She has actively worked on the repositioning of the Campanile brand, in order to launch the brand on Chinese market and to meet the development ambitions. Since 3 years, Gaëlle has been at the head of the Corporate Marketing department in charge of the brands strategy for the whole group portfolio, from 1 to 5 stars, for the 60 countries in which group is present. She also strongly contributed to strategic discussions on new brands, such as Hosho creating a new hospitality category, or “Chaud Devant!” the food university of Louvre Hotels Group.
WHAT MAKES YOU GET UP IN THE MORNING?
In my job, I work on transversal projects, for all our brands from 1 to 5 stars (Première Classe, Kyriad Direct, Kyriad, Campanile, Tulip Inn, Golden Tulip and Royal Tulip), for France, Europe but also China or APAC. This diversity of subjects and especially of interlocutors (my Brands team but also the Design, F&B, e-commerce, CRM, Operations, Development, Purchasing teams, etc.) means that no day is alike! This richness of discussions drives me on a daily basis.
From a more pragmatic point of view, the call of baby bottle makes me get up! My family is one of my priorities, as well as my job. I am fortunate to be in a company where I manage to balance my professional and personal life, it is also essential for me.
IN A FEW WORDS, WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY/VISION OF THE FUTURE?
Being naturally optimistic, I have a positive outlook on the future. Like everyone, I am delighted to be able to return to the restaurant, plan a vacation and see my colleagues “in real life”! After the period that we’ve been through, I believe in recovery. Each event brings its share of changes which I see more as opportunities.
For example, at Louvre Hotels Group, we took advantage of the lock-down to train more than 700 employees at our corporate food university, Chaud Devant !, which was recently created, in the heart of Rungis. We also took advantage of the period to reinvent ourselves, launching new concepts, in line with new guest expectations. For example, we have created a new category of accommodation, the “room-bed hotel”, with our latest Hosho concept, which opened in March in Paris. This innovative concept revolutionizes the very notion of a hotel room. “Bedroom” means a room, the bed being only one element of this room. By reversing these two words, the bed becomes the bedroom, that is to say a room in its own right, a space in itself, a place of life. The room-bed hotel is therefore our new category of accommodation composed of bed-rooms. At Hosho you can stay for 20 € a night, in Paris, with a guarantee of quality, safety and design. Accommodation for the price of a cultural outing!
Finally, from a more personal point of view, working for Louvre Hotels Group, who signed a long-term partial activity agreement, in order to protect jobs in our hard-hit sector, obviously brings me some reassurance.
WHAT HAS 2020 TAUGHT YOU?
Like many of us, 2020 has taught me to operate differently: of course to work 100% remotely with my colleagues, to continue to motivate and engage teams through new virtual rituals (virtual coffee, to keep informal discussion time during one-to-one meetings, etc).
But above all, to accept the even more blurred border between professional life and personal life. Being a mother of 2 young children (the 2nd one being born at the very beginning of the 1st lock-down in April 2020!), I had to learn to let go: to accept that my 3-year-old boy could land by surprise in the middle of a Teams while I was presenting the 5-year strategy of our brands to an audience of nearly 40 people including members of the Executive Committee, or to end a call at 7:30 p.m. with the youngest in a baby carrier! Here I love the example given by Axel Hefer Trivago’ CEO, who totally took it when his son crashed his interview on CNN: « One big takeaway from the pandemic is the ability to embrace, and sometimes juggle, work-life balance. It’s these little moments in life that matter the most!”. Another example for me is Nathalie Rozborski, CEO of Nelly Rodi agency, who points out that these different roles (in the office, mom, etc.) are “all facets of the same person”. So most of all 2020 really taught me to accept that everything is not completely compartmentalized and that’s ok!
YOUR NEXT BIG CHALLENGE?
One of the group’s priorities is the development of our brands. We have the ambitious goal of doubling our number of bedrooms within 5 years. This development will be driven by China, but also Europe.
Our challenge is both to maintain this pace of development for our historic brands (Campanile, Kyriad, Golden Tulip, Première Classe and of course Kyriad Direct) and to deploy our new concepts. These “lock-down babies” are intended to offer a new type of tourism more suited to guest expectations. I’m talking about Hosho, which allows us to launch a new hospitality category at the end of a pandemic, Smart and Fit Up our new labels developed with the Global Innovation Center, Tulip residences for long-stay tourism and the new Campanile bedroom.
WHAT IDEAS / EXPERIENCES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR PEERS?
Thanks to our Chinese shareholder, Jin Jiang, we are fortunate to be able to work with a Global Innovation Center. In China everything is going very quickly, in just a few months we can develop a new concept, set it up in China, test it and finetune it, then import it to Europe. This is what we have done recently with, for example, our “Smart inside” label, the smart and connected hotel. After launching the 1st Campanile Smart hotel in China, we have just opened our 1st Campanile Smart in France near Lyon, thus offering the 1st delivery robot for example. Another example is the Fit Up label, developed in barely 8 months, in partnership with Décathlon Pro and Trainme. Designed as a label adaptable to all our brands, “Fit Up” offers a unique experience by transforming a classic hotel room into a private gym.
YOU TOLD US ABOUT LOUVRE HOTELS GROUP’S FOOD UNIVERSITY, HOW HAS MARKETING BEEN INVOLVED?
In 2020 despite the crisis, we opened our food university, in the heart of the Rungis International Market. This university, called “Chaud Devant! » is an integral part of Rungis Académie, the training center of the Rungis Market dedicated to catering trades.
Located on the ground floor of the Campanile Rungis-Orly hotel, this hybrid and atypical place is intended to train our talents in food and catering professions, but also to host seminars or events for external companies. On the marketing side, we have been involved through 3 different departments:
– The Food & Beverage department notably worked on the creation of training modules, with the Human Resources team
– The Design team designed this unique and amazing place, in partnership with the London design agency BluePlate, part of the Wilson Associates network
– As for me, I contributed to the branding side by creating the brand name “Chaud Devant!” with the name creator Barbara Castello, and by developing the brand’s visual identity with the New York office of Wilson Associates.