Updated: Mar 9, 2021
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.