In 2015, when the Apple Watch was making its dΓ©but in the market, I questioned Apple's capability to cross over from a premium tech business to a luxury service company. This article never was one of the most read of the hundreds of articles we wrote with StΓ©phanie. Still, it's the one that created the most customers and generated quite a significant part of our business in the very tight and close luxury market (from high-end hospitality to watchmaking and beauty products). Not that I could forecast this. This is only a sporadic perk of consistent writing about a long tail of innovation topics.

Since the article was in French, I took some time to translate its key ideas and main takeaways. Most of them are still standing, I believe.

Here goes:

Premium and luxury are in a boat

Let's first talk about the difference between luxury and premium.

A premium business embodies the state of the art in a given market or category. There is no difference between product or service, hardware or software, in that regard. It's all about building a leading platform of excellence.

The split-off of DS Automotive in 2009 from the PSA Group (Peugeot and CitroΓ«n, now Stellantis) as a cutting-edge brand exactly fits this strategy. The "Spirit of Avant-Guarde" tagline they kept for quite a few years was quite telling.

"We are curious; we take the risks... we lead the way, but never, ever follow the way." - 2009, DS brand launch campaign.