Havas Media Group is launching LuxHub, a global consulting business specialising in luxury brands. Luxhub will be based in Milan with outposts in London, Paris, New York and Dubai. It plans to open in Shanghai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Moscow in 2015.
Global CEO of Luxhub is Isabelle Harvie-Watt, CEO of Havas Media Group Italy since 2011. Harvie-Watt spent 14 years in marketing and communications at Giorgio Armani and five years at Versace before joining Tods Group as marketing boss.
Harvie-Watt (left) says: “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 per cent 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 of consumers (54 per cent) stating that luxury brands should engage more with their consumers in the online experience.”
Havas Media Group global managing director Dominique Delport says: “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.”
Luxhub’s London team will be led by global executive director (lot of globals here) Tammy Smulders. Luxhub will release its study into luxury brands later this month. The project uses data from 1000 people representing the top ten per cent 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, autos, jewellery and art.