William Soulier is an expert in the wine, spirits and luxury goods trade, with good knowledge of the hospitality, entertainment and media industry. He has experience in operational, digital and trade-marketing with strong commercial and creative skills. Add to this an MSc in Strategic Marketing (2014) from Imperial and it is no wonder he is founder and CEO of a major global brand influencer.
“I decided to study at Imperial while working at LVMH because I was looking to fine-tune my marketing skills and move up the corporate ladder with a higher degree in my pocket. With a Bachelor in Business Administration from ESSEC, Imperial’s MSc Strategic Marketing seemed like the ideal fit in terms of prestige and curriculum.”
In February 2017 William launched Talent Village. This clever online platform allows brands to manage their social media campaigns quickly and easily, with the help of ‘hyper-engaged models, athletes, authors and other key talent’. Simply put, the platform matches online influencers to brands who promote their products through social media posts. The concept behind ‘beautiful people selling beautiful things’ is not a new one, the difference with Talent Village is the intelligent algorithms, the online platform and monitoring/tracking functionality behind this brand influencer.
“At our core, we are a blend of creatives, geeks and marketing innovators. Our aim is to innovate the way influencer campaigns are conducted, by automating all steps through our tech solution, whilst providing the flexibility and responsiveness of a boutique creative agency.
I knew that when launching a business, it was key to immerse myself fully into the industry – to understand the competitive landscape, specifics of the trade and who the main players are.
“We have quickly established Talent Village as a pioneer of high-end influence, specialising in the luxury sector. With the vast majority of luxury brands struggling to enter the era of influence, anxious to protect the image of their identity, they do not let anyone represent them on social networks. This is why we help target both the intended audience and the talent’s personal profile, allowing the advertiser to ensure that the influencer’s appearance, character and values are in sync with the brand’s DNA. We have managed successful campaigns for Estée Lauder, LVMH and Chanel, providing brands with access to the most influential talents of the moment.
“We are committed to providing our clients with authentic content and ensure our talent is credible and have expertise in their profession. Marketeers now have a tool to access brand influencer budgets and build lasting partnerships with their talent.”
Advice to budding entrepreneurs
“I knew that when launching a business, it was key to immerse myself fully into the industry – to understand the competitive landscape, specifics of the trade and who the main players are. It is important to keep your eyes peeled and interact with your opponents, you have to become one of them! A lot of entrepreneurs are so focused on what they are building that they close up and forget that building strong relationships is critical for success.”
Looking back on your time at Imperial
“The course was extremely hands-on with multiple marketing projects and even a marketing consulting job which had to be executed for a partner company. We were also lucky enough to have some of the best professionals of the marketing industry give conferences regularly which helped bridge the gap between academics and the expectations of the corporate world. This enabled me to develop pitching skills and benchmark my work to professional standards. Finally, Imperial gave me the opportunity to build great relationships with like-minded students eager to give the entrepreneurial adventure a try.”