Meet the woman leading one of the biggest European markets.
Meet Audrey de Saint Priest, recently promoted to General Manager DACH. Having been with FOREO since 2013, Audrey has risen the ranks from Key Account Manager for Switzerland, to Managing Director of her native France, through to her new role as the General Manager for Germany, Austria, Switzerland. From FOREO’s office in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg, Audrey talks about differing purchasing habits between the three countries she oversees; proud FOREO achievements to date; and an unlikely childhood dream…
Could you talk us through your career at FOREO so far?
I started at FOREO in 2013 as Key Account Manager for Switzerland. One year later, I got the chance to develop Austria and after that the French market. At that time, France was getting so big that I left the Swiss and Austrian markets to focus exclusively on France. In 2016 I was promoted to Managing Director France, creating a daughter company locally and opening the first ever FOREO store in Paris. Now, the FOREO family has trusted me to take over the DACH [Germany, Austria + Switzerland] region. Hopefully they won’t regret this…!
We’re sure they won’t! For those unfamiliar with the region, can you summarize your new responsibilities.
To drive the DACH team to succeed in developing the countries. Make sure all markets are developing equally in terms of sales, marketing and communication. I had to hire new team member as the markets are big and each one has its specific conditions we have to adapt to. It’s interesting to have so many differences to deal with within the same region.
What are some of the specific challenges you’re excited about in terms of overseeing three distinct countries?
This is definitely a new challenge for me, as the DACH markets are very different from the French one. For example, although Switzerland is closer to France in terms of purchase habits, Austria and Germany are much more online purchasers. So, we need to develop and create new strategies. Thanks to our E-Commerce team, we’ll make sure to tailor towards German and Austrian habits. But E-tailers cannot be our only channels. It may not be enough to build up our brand awareness and reputation. So, we must create content that fits all 3 countries online and offline. I am working on conservative markets, where something so innovative is too new to be purchased in the first place. The biggest challenge here is to provide a modern and safe image of FOREO for our DACH customers.
How will you achieve that?
We must be close to our retailers, analyze their customers’ profiles and provide them with adapted Marketing and Communication plans.
I also want to strengthen the team locally, make them confident and show that teamwork is the key to success. We have strong markets in our hands: we want to set an example for other markets!
You’re now General Manager DACH – but is that what you always imagined yourself doing?!
According to my Mom, when I was a kid I really wanted to be a dentist. Now that I am dealing with them and attending dental fairs, I really DO NOT understand why I wanted to become one! I only remember that I wanted to be a professional figure skater – although I couldn’t manage any classic moves on the ice! Let the life surprise you and try new challenges – for me, this is the best way to manage changes.