In the world of luxury, we have gone from a "nice to have" status to a "must-have" posture

Antoun Sfeir, founder of Epresspack delivers his vision of public relations 2.0 for luxury brands in this year "2020: the crazy year", the theme of the seventh edition of the Paris Luxury Summit, organized by CB News and Publicis Media.

The Covid crisis, which will likely continue to weigh on the luxury industry for the next 18-24 months, is radicalizing the need for change. What are the consequences in terms of press and public relations?

Luxury brands have experienced one of the most serious crises in their history, but they have been able to react very quickly to the virtual shutdown of activity and to new consumer behavior. They imagined new, more omnichannel, more immersive and personalized digital shopping experiences and found new ways to communicate with their customers. However, consumers are still waiting for environmental, societal, and cultural commitments and tangible, transparent and verifiable actions: continue to justify the conditions of manufacture and sourcing of raw materials, ensure respect for workers in factories and subcontractors. , reassure on animal welfare…. The media and influencers, who often participate in the evangelization of society about new trends, are also involved.

Luxury speaks AI, chatbot, and blockchain to perfect the in-store experience and the act of buying. What about PR? 

Epresspack has long supported major luxury brands in their communication with journalists and influencers. Louis Vuitton, Kering, Hermès, Taittinger… use our technology to create, manage, and disseminate their news, actions & points of view, broaden their audiences and build their reputation. There are many who give themselves the means to think of themselves as media outlets using the latest generation tools. But while the bigger ones have changed, many still have not implemented true 2.0 public relations.

What are the features most used by luxury brands? 

Above all, they need an all-in-one tool that offers all the functionality to connect with their communities of journalists and influencers. Create, manage and distribute mobile-first content, but more importantly manage embargoes, protect their images, distribute to globalized and secure audiences and, more recently, organize and broadcast presentations of collections or parades in real-time and in replay because the events will be digital-first for many months to come. They also ask to be supported in improving their visibility on social networks and to optimize publications on all networks, including Asian ones; all from a single platform, which hosts all content intended for ambassadors and offers real brand storytelling thanks to unlimited archiving. Customers tell us, we have gone from being a "nice to have" to a "must-have" posture. 

How do you see your business in this sector in 2021? 

Our portfolio is made up of more than 60 luxury brands in the fields of fashion, automotive, watchmaking & jewelry, and hotels, which adds up to approximately 35% of our turnover. Luxury brands represent 50% of our development and the outlook is encouraging because the context also acts as an accelerator of their digital transformation. In 2021, we plan to double our development in this sector, in particular through our offices in Paris, London, Milan, and Madrid. We have just won Louis Vuitton, Boucheron, Montblanc, De Beers among others. 

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