In 1957, iconic fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy commissioned a fragrance for his beloved friend and muse Audrey Hepburn. Legend has it that when he asked her if he could release the perfume as the fashion house’s first commercial fragrance, she quipped, “Je vous l’interdis!”—“I forbid you!” The name “L’Interdit” stuck, and the product became a global success with Hepburn as the face of its advertisements—a celebrity partnership that was innovative for its time.
Today, Givenchy remains a prominent global luxury brand, and is a subsidiary of LVMH, a French multinational headquartered in Paris. It continues to release cosmetics and perfumes around the world, and among the teams that coordinate the launches are the Product team, which develops packs and formulas, and the Consumer Experience team, which develops the marketing, branding, and shopping experience.
These two core teams need to work in sync and interface with other LVMH departments, like Finance, to meet deadlines. They must also follow the same overarching vision to give the shopper a consistent experience of the Givenchy brand and products, whether in a store, on a website, or at a makeup counter in Paris, New York, or Singapore. They needed a way to coordinate it all, so Givenchy created a new role and adopted Asana to keep everything in harmony.
The company brought in Givenchy’s Planning & Development Lead in March 2018 to manage global launches. They coordinate as many as 80 projects at a time for the Product and Consumer Experience teams, from inception to the moment a product hits the stores.
This is a new role that connects the dots across functions—the nexus of all efforts to bring products to market. The Planning & Development Lead assembles a complete vision of the brand, its products, and its services. They manage development schedules, oversees ongoing work, and anticipates future needs, solving problems with the overall vision in mind.
But to do this, they need to pull together stakeholders from across Givenchy. Their small team interacts with 200 people across 19 functions. “I work with all services at LVMH,” says the Planning & Development Lead, “especially with marketing. I collaborate with the Consumer Experience team on merchandising, digital, press, and education; with the Product team on packaging development, R&D, and formulas; and with Finance on forecasts and pricing.”
The Planning & Development Lead’s new role marks a significant change in the way the company operates. One of their core challenges has been learning to communicate effectively with all the different functions across the organization, including a wide variety of roles and managers with more tenure. They have also moved project management of the entire operation onto Asana.
Before Givenchy implemented Asana, the Product team used a schedule in Microsoft Project to try and stay organized. Meanwhile, the Consumer Experience team had no work management solution at all.
This made it difficult to keep deadlines straight and to see continuous progress. “We didn’t have any way to update, share, and view a consolidated schedule for each launch that spanned all functions,” says the Planning & Development Lead. This lack of central coordination also made it more difficult to design a consistent consumer brand experience through unified merchandising, digital, press, and education materials.
With the Planning & Development Lead’s central role in place, the company adopted Asana as the platform to gather and align the work of anyone involved in a launch. In Asana, they can frame all 80+ ongoing projects at a macro level.
In addition to providing high-level oversight, Asana stores end-to-end information for specific product launches, such as the 2018 reboot of its flagship scent, L’Interdit.
In planning L’Interdit’s consumer experience and go-to-market materials, the teams wanted to retain the legacy and grace of the original fragrance, but give it a contemporary feel for a new generation. The new face of the fragrance? Hepburn-lookalike Rooney Mara.
During the planning process, the teams organized a weekly task force meeting that included merchandising, digital, press, education, and marketing representatives to share progress, brainstorm ideas, and discuss the vision. The Planning & Development Lead and their team used Asana to collect and track any deadlines they discussed for the launch.
They also used Asana to store and share presentations, reports, and information about the product’s vision, so that cross-functional teams could reference them at any time. “It’s important that at the end, all different contributors have collaborated on the same vision of the product,” says the Planning & Development Lead.
Having information in one open, accessible place like Asana lets the team cut out extra emails and phone calls. “We use Asana to avoid discussions about timing, presentations, and reports,” the Planning & Development Lead notes. Everyone on the core task force and beyond—all 200 collaborators—can now go into Asana and see the same project updates, requirements, and deadlines.
The Asana project for launches like L’Interdit (2018) shows dates and tasks related to development, formula, merchandising, digital assets, press, animations, training tools, and more.
It took 18 months to coordinate and execute the launch of the new L’Interdit. It was released—on time—in 2018, to about 120 countries worldwide. “We consider the launch particularly successful,” the Planning & Development Lead says, “because of the quality of the product and the differentiating fragrance. And we’re especially proud of the consumer experience we designed.”
“Asana is a great solution for collaborative project management,” they go on. “And the flying animations, as rewards for completing tasks, make it fun. Everyone in marketing has an Asana unicorn sticker on their laptop.”
“Asana is a great solution for collaborative project management.”
Using Asana wall-to-wall has been crucial in helping Hack Reactor scale. As Hack Reactor CEO Tony Phillips puts it, ”We’ve cut our operations costs in half because we’re able to execute more efficiently with the processes we’ve set up in Asana.“ And as costs go down, the quality class experience—and the post graduation experience— goes up. Graduates from Hack Reactor are hired at a 98% rate.