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The WSJ Reported that TowerBrook Capital Partners LLP is close to an agreement to acquire fashion-shoe designer Jimmy Choo Ltd. for about £180 million, or $354 million. The question is, can a beloved brand retain its passion as the ownership torch is passed...?


Reports are that creative director Sandra Choi is set to stay with the firm after the change in ownership. However Choi has had an up and down relationship with the Jimmy Choo brand. Creativity and design are what feeds her passion. It's not yet known if this new sale can continue to feed it.
So as this company's value accelerates so much as to attract outside investors who see Jimmy Choo as dollars and sense, what will assure that the loyal customer base will continue to get what it loves about this brand?
Latch-key Customers?
As businesses change hands, the one thing that I see repeatedly is that the brand itself is bought as an asset. The product, materials, bricks and mortar and advertising value, name recognition, and sales are what is valued. But not the customers. In these sales or mergers and acquisitions, customers are like latch-key kids. They are provided for, but not nurtured. Customers of the beloved brands want to keep what they love in tact.
And with such a loyal and passionate following as Jimmy Choo, there is a real opportunity to hold the masses of women close and simply 'talk to them' about the future of their beloved brand.
If you go to Jimmy Choo's Website, there's not yet any word on the impending sale. That makes sense.
But what doesn't make sense is that Jimmy Choo hasn't taken the time to dialogue with its customers! With one of the most passionate brands for women -- where is the conversation -- the blog -- the place where they will undoubtedly hear miles and miles of gushing from the women who love how their shoes make their feet (and the rest of their bodies) look? And then there's the way the shoes make them feel...well don't get me started!
Maybe Jimmy Choo hasn't felt the need to connect with their customers at this level. Maybe sales are enough. But I'd suggest that talking to their customers and keeping them close ...could be one fantastic way to make sure they keep their "sole" as the brand keeps getting richer from the women whose feet they shoe!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Jeanne Bliss
Jeanne Bliss began her career at Lands’ End where she reported to founder Gary Comer and the company’s executive committee, ensuring that in the formative years of the organization, the company stayed focused on its core principles of customer and employee focus. She was the first leader of the Lands’ End Customer Experience. In addition to Lands’ End, she has served Allstate, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker Corporation and Mazda Corporations as its executive leading customer focus and customer experience. Jeanne has helped achieve 95% retention rates across 50,000 person organizations, harnessing businesses to work across their silos to deliver a united and deliberate experience customers (and employees) want to repeat. Jeanne now runs CustomerBliss (http://www.customerbliss.com), an international consulting business where she coaches executive leadership teams and customer leadership executives on how to put customer profitability at the center of their business, by getting past lip service; to operationally relevant, operationally executable plans and processes. Her clients include Johnson & Johnson, TD Ameritrade, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals, Bombardier Aircraft and many others. Her two best-selling books are Chief Customer Officer: Getting Past Lip Service to Passionate Action and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad. Her blog is http://www.ccocoach.com She is Co-founder of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. www.cxpa.org