In an exclusive interview, Clinique La Prairie chief executive Simone Gibertoni talks through his long-term vision and expansion plans for the award-winning medical spa and on why luxury experiences in the health and wellness industry are booming.

Nestled in the heart of Switzerland, Clinique La Prairie is undoubtedly one of the world’s most exclusive medical spas best known for its revitalisation and detox treatments that serve the rich and famous, but it is also a leader in terms of understanding the customer experience and how to provide the highest level of client service – which in today’s hyper competitive luxury market speaks volumes.

As more and more customers are shifting their priorities away from the consumption of personal luxury goods towards health and wellness experiences, Clinique La Prairie sits in unique position where its customers who were previously focused on preserving their wealth, are now focused on preserving their health.

Two years ago, the company recently underwent a transformation of its own, outlining its vision and mission to help its clients to “live longer, healthier and better lives,” and setting up what it calls a unique ecosystem whereby clients are served by its four pillars: medical, wellbeing, movement and nutrition.

Hyper-customisation

“Today the spa experience is moving towards a direction that is much more related to customisation and wellness, offering a different experience (than before),” Simone Gibertoni, chief executive of Clinique La Prairie told Luxury Society in an interview.

“We are this idea of hyper customisation,” said Gibertoni describing how each programme is tailored to the individual client based on their personal needs. “I think it’s important and luxury brands are coming back now to this kind of concept.”

The spa building at Clinique La Prairie. Photo: Courtesy.

A typical week-long stay for a Revitalisation programme starts from 25,000 Swiss francs (22,429 euro), which includes seeing two doctors daily, three hours of spa treatments daily, a coaching session with a personal trainer each day, meals from its restaurant and accommodation for a week.

The clinic has a maximum of 35 to 40 patients a week, the vast majority of whom are international clients that hail from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and North and South America, that travel to Switzerland to typically take part in its programmes that focus on different areas they want to address like Revitalisation, Master Detox and Weight Management.

One of the biggest challenges that Clinique La Prairie faces is communicating the complexities and breadth of its treatments, said Gibertoni. “The challenge is always to communicate with your client what the difference is. And overall, in our business, which I think is an answer that you get from a lot of people in the luxury business,  is how can we differentiate and how can you make them receive the difference of what you are proposing to them.”

With the global health and wellness is expected to grow to 714 million euro ($801 million) in the next two years according to Euromonitor International, a market research provider, Clinique La Prairie is poised to further benefit from the boom in the market, something it plans to take advantage of by gradually expanding its global footprint.

“We want to continue to follow our clients to help them back home,” said Gibertoni. “The idea is really to help them throughout their life journey from wellness and medical point of view. It’s about making a transformative experience while the client is here …and continuing to follow the client to where they are back home and really become part of their life journey.”

Global Expansion

With this in mind, the company is gearing up for its next phase of expansion, mapping out several projects for consideration that include plans to open up additional clinics in locations like Madrid and Singapore, as well as smaller city hubs to best serve their clients on a more regional level.

It is also developing a number of different business models that include a year-long plan where customers can visit the clinic’s centres to continue their treatments that include regular check-ups with its doctors, personal trainers, nutritionists and other experts to ensure the benefits of their programmes are long-lasting.

Looking forward, Gibertoni sees technology and artificial intelligence helping to shape the health and wellness market, which is why Clinique La Prairie has strategically partnered with  a genetic company in Switzerland called Gene Predictis, to ensure it is able to maintain its unique offering of hyper-customisation for its clients. He is also exploring artificial intelligence, particularly for the clinic’s medical facilities, where the technology will be able to perform tests to a higher standard.

“All these new technological trends and research, for sure, are going to lead to some modifications on our businesses,” said Gibertoni. But he stressed: For us, the human touch is always going to be important. This idea of never forgetting that at the end, in our business, it’s people that make the difference.”


About the author

Limei Hoang

Editor, Luxury Society

Limei Hoang is an editor at Luxury Society, based in Geneva. Limei was formerly an associate editor at the Business of Fashion in London. Previously, she spent six years working at Reuters, and has also worked for BBC, The Independent and New Statesman.