Havas Media Group has officially launched LuxHub, a global consulting specialist label that will deliver media communications and marketing support for both luxury brands and luxury audiences. Headquartered in Milan, the network also launches with established centres of excellence in London, Paris, New York and Dubai, with further expansion plans in key markets such as Shanghai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Moscow in 2015.
The global lead for the project, fashion and luxury expert Isabelle Harvie-Watt, will oversee the strategic expansion and consulting offer for LuxHub using knowledge gained from her 14 years at Giorgio Armani, five years at Versace and lastly at Tods Group, running global marketing and communications. Working with the senior management team at Havas Group, Isabelle has led plans for investment in a specialist luxury division since her arrival as CEO Havas Media Group Italy in 2011.
Dominique Delport, global managing director of Havas Media Group says in a press statement: “Offering our clients the ability to connect to the luxury sector in a meaningful way has always been part of our strategy and I am delighted that we are now able to deliver this specialist consulting service to our clients on a global basis. The credibility we already have in this area, coupled with strong leadership from Isabelle to drive specialist teams in all the key markets, means we can provide new insights and innovative strategies both for luxury brands and brands who want to interact with the luxury audience”.
Isabelle Harvie-Watt, global CEO LuxHub adds: “Luxury brands realise that they need to change the way they communicate and start building stronger relationships with their consumers. Digital transformation is no longer an option. Growing online distribution and strong content strategies are the new norm. LuxHub is a great step forward to further closing the gap in language between agencies and luxury clients and the way luxury audiences are evolving. In our recent global survey, in-store shopping is still the favoured purchasing method for half of luxury shoppers, while 24 percent shop mainly online. However, statistics show that this move by a quarter of the respondents to shop online is not being matched by the brands with over half (54 percent) stating that luxury brands should engage more with their consumers in the online experience”.
Harvie-Watt and the LuxHub UK team, headed by Tammy Smulders, who will also join the team as global executive director, will deliver their first study on luxury and brands later this month. The project uses data from 1,000 people representing the top 10 percent of income earners in China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, US, UAE and UK. The findings look at luxury trends across retail, travel, home furnishings, auto, jewellery and art.
During 2015 the LuxHub consulting unit will also work alongside luxury expert teams from the Havas Creative division to incorporate creative and experiential talents with projects in association with BETC Luxe (Paris) and Havas Luxe (New York).
What is LuxHub?
LuxHub is Havas Media Group’s specialist luxury consulting brand. It’s about the creation of teams of luxury experts gathered in hubs in the key markets for luxury brands and audiences across the world that work to support the agencies and divisions within the group. LuxHub is currently headquartered in Milan and has already established centres of excellence in London and Dubai. In 2015, Havas plans to roll out hubs in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Moscow, Miami, LA and Tokyo as well as in Germany, Spain, India and Brazil. Further hubs will be rolled out based on demand.
How will it work?
The new global CEO of LuxHub is Isabelle Harvie-Watt who, brings with her over 20 years specialist experience in the fashion luxury sector. Isabelle will take on the role of heading LuxHub alongside her role as CEO Havas Media Group Italy. She will be building up a strong central management team as well as specialist teams in all the cities mentioned above. The qualified teams will be on hand to expand the scope of services currently provided within the network and in particular build up a strong and credible consulting division as well as help with the management of client work and pitches for clients who are either in the luxury sector or targeting luxury audiences. Also, Tammy Smulders who takes the roll of Global Executive Director LuxHub as well as her role as CEO LuxHub for the UK will support Isabelle’s team in Milan.
The LuxHub team will contact all country managers in due course as the plans for the global and local rollouts are confirmed.
What are the plans for LuxHub?
LuxHub will launch its first piece of global research before the end of this month.
How will LuxHub work across Havas Worldwide and Havas Media Group?
Havas Media Groups’ LuxHubs’ teams will work to support the whole group where and when needed. LuxHub will work alongside all Havas luxury experts and brands whenever possible.
When does it start?
The central LuxHub team is currently being assembled and will be fully operational from mid January. We have established hubs in Milan, London, NYC, and Dubai. Isabelle and her team are currently finalizing their plans to increase both the size of the central resource and also the roll out of hubs within the network.
How does LuxHub fit into the existing option of Havas Luxe?
LuxHub and HavasLuxe will work together while retaining their individual branding,. LuxHub specializes in all areas of luxury consultancy and HavasLuxe specializes in events for the luxury sector and audience.
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