In this series, we are interviewing members of our club, so that you can get to know each other a bit better. Today we talk with Maxime Nadeau about his life and work in the region.
What brought you to the French Riviera?
After working in London for 5 years, I decided I wanted to go back to France, but did not feel like going back to Paris, or Ile de France, which is where I was brought up.
A week-end in Nice and visiting St Paul de Vence & Eze made opened my eyes about the Dolce Vita, that some people live this life everyday, not just on a week-end escape or holiday.
So I decided this was the place for me to settle – The region truly has loads to offer even if you sometimes hear people say it lacks cultural appeal or – I would say this could not be further from the truth!
Could you tell us about your professional career? What do or did you do for work?
I have worked in marketing, loyalty & customer experience for the last 10 years, mainly in the tourism industry.
I started out working for airlines such as Air France and British Airways in London, where I was in charge of the relationship marketing & the loyalty programme, The Executive Club.
After a few years I switched to hospitality, still in London, joining Accorhotels where I was responsible for the brand/customer experience across the 11 brands (from Ibis Style to Sofitel& the Savoy) & 250 hotels in the UK & Ireland.
That’s when I decided I wanted to move to the French Riviera and I found a job in product marketing at Amadeus, but due to a recruitment freeze I had a stint in Marseille, working for luxury cruises Ponant, where I managed their customer experience.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
In 2021 I started my own Marketing/Brand experience agency, as I wanted to help businesses get more from their marketing spend, making it efficient and profitable. When done properly, marketing isn’t a cost, but you need to start from the beginning which most businesses skip: understanding the customer.
Since then we have helps 5 star hotels in Cannes in their employer branding strategy & communication, events agencies reposition their brands and win several RFPs, French retailer Celio transform their loyalty programme, launch a new Bakery in Vence and premium logistics companies radically transform their customer experience.
Our aim is really to help brands of all sizes go from “good enough” or “that will do” to offering a proper experience to customers. We believe that a brand is much more than a logo or a brand identity. It is much more about what and how you deliver what you promised to customers.
What would be your best advice to others thinking about living or working on the French Riviera?
I think the French Riviera definitely has its own ecosystem which takes time to fully grasp. I guess I was helped by the fact my partner is a born & bread Niçoise!
Before meeting her I must confess I was considering leaving the region after just 2 years.
But the bottom line is come here if you like it here. There will be testing moments, as always when you move or go abroad for some time. But you will get so much out of it.
And the quality of life here really is fantastic. Especially if you are more of an outdoorsy person!
If I had one piece of advice, it is not to listen to people who say there is a distinct lack of culture here.
In fact, there is loads. If you are curious & interested enough you will find it!
Great local food like Socca or Pan Bagnat, beautiful wines and exciting music festivals. Also Italy isn’t far which is a lovely day trip. And of course you have the stunning mountains, amazing national parks and the distinct Azure Blue sea!
Nice is second to Paris in terms of museums and you can visit the medieval villages. Such as Grasse with its perfume/fragrance industry, the painters & potters in Antibes and Biot & Vallauris where Picasso actually lived.
There is more to the region than just the glamour & glitter of the Cannes Film Festival.
I think the club is a great initiative to meet like-minded people here – whether for personal or business reasons. I went to the free event and decided to properly enroll. It’s nice to be in a group of people who actually want to connect with others as it can be difficult to meet people sometimes. Knowing this takes the pressure off when starting a conversation.
Fun facts about Maxime Nadeau!
Since when do you live on the French Riviera?
I moved here in june 2018
Where are you originally from?
I was brought up in the Brie region (Seine et Marne) and Sussex, near Brighton.
What languages do you speak?
I speak English & French. Also a little Spanish but it is very rusty now.
What is your favourite wine?
I am a huge fan of Pomerol & Graves wines from the Bordeaux region.
What is your favourite spot on the French Riviera?
The area around the Esterel is fantastic. As is the “Corniche d’Or”, the seaside road that you may have seen in many movies.
Am always happy to connect and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I may or not be able to help but at least can give it a try!