The right way to enter the French market


Planning a trip to France? Here are my top tips to help you navigate your way into the French market:


  • When you greet someone in a business environment, offer a handshake and a friendly, ‘bonjour’. No need to worry about ‘la bise’. The ‘air kiss’ is a very common, yet informal greeting that will not be expected in a business environment, unless a friendship has already been established.
  • If speaking French, mind your ‘tu’ and ‘vous’ (the informal and formal variations of the word, ‘you’), you might end up insulting someone if you don’t choose the correct ‘you’. French organizations are also quite hierarchical, where professional ranks are observed and respected. Stick to ‘vous’ unless the person says otherwise.
  • Arrogant or very formal? The French have a highly formal approach to most things within a business environment, from emails, dress code and even when it comes to addressing people. If you are unsure, use ‘madame’ (never mademoiselle) for women and ‘monsieur’ for men. Otherwise, address the person using their last name and title until invited to use their first name.
  • When it comes to smalltalk, your culture’s openers might be offensive to the french; ‘are you married? Do you have kids? What does your husband do?’ The french hold a respect for privacy and personal space in high regard.
  • Expect your business lunch to last a couple of hours (and yes, it’s pretty normal to have a glass of wine)! Good food and company is fundamental in french culture and lunches are not to be eaten at one’s desk.


Don’t miss the video of our former British and French researcher, Chloe, below for some more tips when it comes to the French business environment:

A note on social media in France:

Generally, France’s social media usage follows a similar trend to that of the UK for example, with Facebook at the forefront in terms of popularity, followed by Youtube, Instagram and Twitter. However, it is worth noting that in France, Youtube has an exceptional amount of active users, with magazines, newspapers and brands starting to share via this platform, therefore having a significant influence on french online users. Instagram is increasingly popular, so would be a great platform to prioritise.


British/American and self-proclaimed, francophile, Phoebe Brewster is the British and French fashion and design curator. From San Francisco, to Frankfurt, London and Paris, Phoebe decided to find a new home in the beautiful Copenhagen, where she is exploring her passion for modern communication in fashion & design, sustainable living and being outdoors.


Sustainability: Trend or the New Normal?

In 2019, sustainability on multiple levels is predicted to go mainstream with the shifting of priorities of modern times, consumers seeking more reliable alternatives, and the ever-developing social responsibility of business. We had the pleasure of speaking to five...

5 Marketing Trends to keep an eye out for in 2019

Our first blogpost of the new year will help break down those marketing trends foreseen to skyrocket in 2019. After weeks of getting lost in the web and scaling down on business sites and marketing gurus, grasping all the marketing trends being proclaimed did show a...

Our Top Picks: the Micro-Influencers you should know about

Micro-Influencers have slowly established themselves into traditional marketing strategies: a trend we anticipate to rise in 2019. With so many influencers out there, it can be a challenge to find the perfect fit for your brand. We have hand-picked those who'll make...