Havas unveils global brand and design network

Havas has launched Conran Design Group network, a new global offering dedicated to brand and design.

It is based on the expertise and talent at Conran Design Group, and W, Havas’ leading creative branding agency in France, which will be renamed W Conran Design.  

Having studios in major global hubs like London, Paris, Mumbai, and New York positions the Conran Design Group network strategically to serve clients across diverse markets.

The network’s team of 250 strategists and creatives will use their expertise in brand strategy, brand design, experience design and communications and engagement to help clients and brands to make a meaningful impact.  

The network has also launched Conran Design Group’s new study, ‘Citizen Brands’, a brand and design framework that identifies which brands are achieving balanced growth.

It aims to identify brands that are not only growing but also achieving balanced growth, likely by prioritising factors such as social responsibility, sustainability, and meaningful engagement with their communities or citizens. It also offers brand leaders a structured approach to navigating the complex landscape of modern branding and better position themselves to resonate with their target audiences. 

The study reveals a significant correlation between corporate responsibility and financial performance, particularly among the top 20 ‘citizen brands.’

Those able to meet the needs of both individual and society – earned £8bn more in revenues on average yearly than their lowest-performing counterparts. They also achieved equity price increases that are on average five times higher than those of the lowest performers.

Yannick Bolloré, Chairman and CEO, Havas, said:“Conran Design Group is uniquely equipped to lead this new network with more than 60 years of experience in strategic brand and design, a holistic approach, and the benefit of global scale with a local touch. W is the natural partner to support the success of this initiative in France with its 25-year track record of helping companies transform to remain at the heart of the conversation and make a positive contribution to society,” 

Thom Newton, Global CEO, Conran Design Group, said: “We’ve entered the era of expectation inflation – and brands are under huge pressure to deliver growth and good. This will only intensify amid ongoing uncertainty and heighted economic and environmental pressures. Brand leaders will be expected to take an even more active role in how their brands meet and balance these pressures.

“Our study shows that all companies across all sectors need to find a way to achieve balanced growth, critical in an increasingly unbalanced world. But rather than prioritising growth alone – growth at any cost – the focus should be on progress, progress that’s both balanced and sustainable. Our new global network, supported and informed by the Citizen Brands framework, will help brands achieve that.”  

Denis Gancel, President and Co-Founder, W Conran Design and Gilles Deleris, Creative Director and Co-founder, W Conran Design, added: “We are delighted and proud that W, which has just celebrated its 25th anniversary, will be leading Havas’ new brand and design network in France and rebranding as W Conran Design. The international reach this network provides will amplify the agency’s strategic and creative influence for our clients and expand opportunities for our teams. It is a testament to the central place of design in brand strategies at a time when progress depends on balancing meaning and business,” 

The next phase for Citizen Brands involves deepening their commitment to their stated missions and integrating purpose into their business strategies, operations, and culture, ultimately driving both societal impact and financial performance.

Several key aspects that may characterise this next phase include authenticity and transparency, holistic integration, employee engagement and empowerment, to name a few.