As I was writing up the wondrous (possible) future of Tiffany, I realised that a prelude on where LVMH could go as a group would set useful context for ideas across individual brands and touch-points. The world, already expecting my post on high-end jewellery at the seat’s edge, will have to wait some more – as we set the scene.
LVMH’s recently published annual results (presentation, CNBC summary, BoF deep dive) paint a hopeful, though wildly diverse picture. In view of the regularly changing outlooks on the global and regional economies, consumer attitudes, and COVID – the future of luxury looks equally full of promise and peril. “What better time to invest in bold ideas?” you ask. Exactly.
The idea: LVMH+, a subscription that allows members access to group-wide exclusive products, lifestyle experiences and a digital ecosystem of streamlined third-party services.
Benefits in short
- Recurring revenue through membership fees
- Unique moat around the group’s top customers
- Consumer loyalty through (better) engagement & unique value
- Cross-group brand promotion to top customers
- Organic promotion though members’ own social media
- Revenue growth & diversification through local partnerships
To LVMH+ members
- Exclusive access to limited edition products
- Localised digital ecosystem of lifestyle services
- Curated list of experience packages, at home & abroad
LVMH+ could leverage unique access to LVMH’s 75 houses to offer exclusive limited edition product variants across the group.
- Available exclusively to members, regular drops would feature one product per house – to make the whole menu easy to browse, optimising for brand discovery.
- Exclusivity to members (pushed further if product reselling was prohibited) would create genuine scarcity, reward fans with access to rare items and introduce brands to a wider, relevant, audience through exciting special editions.
LVMH+ could provide access to a digital ecosystem, seamlessly merging a range of existing third-party services to offer solutions to bigger lifestyle problems.
- The ecosystem could tackle lifestyle issues large and small – from finding a reliable dog walker to organising an evening out: a theatre ticket, restaurant booking, babysitter, and a driver (as required).
- It would help members in their daily routines, but especially when travelling to participating cities abroad (either for business or pleasure) where the details of a tried-and-tested dry cleaner or a good fitness instructor and the ability to seamlessly book them – are ever more pressing.
- LVMH would allow local partners, qualified independent specialists of various fields, plug into the ecosystem and through that – access premium clientele – in exchange for preferential treatment and a fee.
LVMH+ could expand the group’s influence to a wider lifestyle, encompassing art, education, entertainment and hospitality – to name the obvious vectors.
- Members could have temporary early bird access to a highly curated list of film and music products across genres.
- Platforms like Disney+, HBOMax and Apple Music may allow LVMH+ temporary access to premieres to promote their environments to a premium audience.
- The focus would be on quality rather than quality, with a handful of items available at a given time and set in an articulated context: “you should watch (listen to) this film (album) of the week because…”
- Remember those? Well, when they come back, LVMH+ could act as a trusted curator, recommending local events and leveraging the digital ecosystem above to organise streamlined experience packages – from privileged access and dress (tux) hire to transportation etc.
- Sought-after exhibitions, theatre performances and movie premiers would be especially helpful to travelling members, supporting their social (business) lives, while bringing them to places recommended to other LVMH+ subscribers, essentially facilitating light-touch networking.
Whatever 2021 may bring – what safe shopping and living will look like post COVID (and whether there’ll be such a thing) – proactive bold experiments are the prerequisite of high return on investment (McKinsey says so).
Considering the history of Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Celine and Rimowa alone – LVMH clearly know a thing or two about bold experiments. Dare I hope, there’ll be a day, I won’t need to spend hours planning and coordinating an evening in Athens, followed by a desperate search for a dry cleaning magician in the morning?
Something to look forward to.