Gucci Brand Analysis And Overview Of The Possible Rooms For Innovation

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Executive Summary

Gucci is an Italian luxury brand offering fashion and leather goods founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921. The founder of Gucci began the company in Florence, Italy as a small store. He was involved in manufacturing leather accessories for men and women alike. The family opened stores in Milan and Rome. This marked the start of a great company that opened shops worldwide. Gucci has ceased to be just another household name, but a significant fashion business that has been thriving to date (Silver, 2019)

Nowadays Gucci is the leading manufacturer of women’s and men’s clothing, shoes, wallets, belts, bags, and others. It is also apart from the Kering group, which is regarded as a world-leading supplier of accessories and apparel consisting of sports, lifestyle and luxury brands. Gucci is well known for its modern outlook and the quality products it offers, as well as being very attentive to details. Gucci has one of the best social media marketing strategies among all luxury brands in the world. However, the competition is growing with such luxury brand as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Dolce & Gabbana starting to adopt influential digital marketing strategies.

In February 2019 Gucci faced a backlash regarding their polo neck jumper after social media users said that it resembled blackface (Ferrier, 2019). The company immediately removed the product from its stores and social media. Gucci posted a public apology on their social media, however, the backlash on Gucci continued. Many Instagram influencers boycotted Gucci and blamed the company in ignorance and racism. This case could have been avoided if the company had a diverse team that would advise the company on whether the product would be offensive to some of their customers.

With current growing competition as well as the latest Gucci ethical issues there are various marketing strategies that can be implemented by the company to stay ahead of its completion and attract new markets. This brand innovation proposal will discuss areas where Gucci may improve in order to stay ahead of its competition and build stronger brand image.

Co-Branding

Gucci can decide to partner with another organization that has the same interest as it has since it is essential. This will enable them to come together, combine their efforts to market their products, thereby enabling them to reach more customers at lower costs and thus increase their competitive advantage. Gucci has become one of the most popular and desired brands among millennials. Therefore, collaboration with luxury brands such as Balenciaga, Yeezy, and Puma will attract consumers and help companies to stay ahead from the competition. The popularity of streetwear is growing among millennials, therefore, creating new exclusive products with partnerships with other famous streetwear brands can give a competitive advantage to the company.

Since Africa is the luxury brand consumer of the future, Gucci should focus on collaborations with famous African designers such as Laduma MaXhosa, Imane Ayissi, and Lisa Folawiyo (Odimayo, 2018). These collaborations will demonstrate that the company cares about their consumer and embraces African culture. This line would showcase unique and vibrant African patterns that will suit the African market. These collaborations will bring to Gucci a competitive advantage and awareness in the African market. Moreover, creating exclusive luxury products specifically to African market can help the company to come back from the scandal regarding blackface turtleneck sweater.

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The Asian market is another opportunity that Gucci should look forward to. Luxury brands consumption has been increasing over the years as well as the demand for luxury products in the Asian market. Such countries as Singapore, Japan, China are the largest consumers of luxury in Asia. In order to succeed in the Asian market, Gucci should learn about each countries’ customs, tradition, and taboos. This would be beneficial to understand the Asian market and its consumers in order to fulfill their needs and gain loyal customers.

For example, Gucci could collaborate with famous Asian designers and host fashion shows all over Asia. China is one of the biggest opportunities for Gucci in entering and succeeding in the market. Therefore, Gucci could host a fashion show in Shanghai with collaboration with famous Chinese fashion designers such as Guo Pei, Ma Ke, and Jenny Ji (Wang, 2015). New Gucci designs would include Chinese traditional patterns, with red and gold elements. Such a line would be popular for special occasions among Chinese consumers such as Chinese New Year.

Japan is well known for its high-quality watches that are crafted with centuries-old techniques; therefore, it is another opportunity for Gucci to look forward into. Gucci offers different luxury accessories as well as watches. Collaboration with Japanese watchmakers such as Masahiro Kikuno would bring new designs for Gucci with quality craftsmanship (WatchesBySJX.com, 2017). These watches would be especially successful in the Asian market since Japanese watches are known for sophisticated, luxury, and unique designs, therefore, these watches are in high demand.

Innovative PR

With the growth of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies, more companies adopt it in their marketing strategies. For example, Moschino ran its show in Los Angeles through VR and later ran its collaboration with H&M through AR experience. Such campaigns were successful and brought a lot of engagement in social media. Gucci can adopt such technologies in its marketing campaigns. For example, using smartphone cameras customers will be able to see how Gucci outfit will look like on them. Gucci can possibly use the AR experience to showcase their newest collections or collaborations. These strategies would be especially beneficial in order to attract millennials.

AR and VR technologies can be implemented in Gucci’s fashion shows. Streaming the fashion show and giving their VR headset to potential customers can increase awareness among millennials and drive sales in the future for the company. For special customers who would like to order a custom luxury product, such technology would be beneficial in making a purchase decision. Millennials are obsessed with technology and innovation; therefore, the company will have a competitive advantage. Moreover, investing in VR and AR headsets could be potentially useful for education and use for designers. Gucci designers will be able to visualize the product before creating it which can save time and cut down costs in the creation process.

Gucci has been known for collaborating with UNICEF and helping with education of children in remote African villages. Implementing VR and AR technologies in education of children would be essential in their learning process. Moreover, investing in building schools and providing such technologies will improve their knowledge, awareness of modern technologies and interest in continuing their education. Such educational campaigns are beneficial for a good cause and improving the future of children in developing countries.

Ethics and Sustainability

Gucci is one of the first adopters of the fur-free policy in the luxury market. In 2018 the company claimed to be going fully fur-free, which was then supported by other luxury brands such as Versace. Gucci has worked hard over the years on improving its social responsibility, as well as, helping non-profit organizations by establishing CHIME FOR CHANGE to globally support and empower girls and women. In January 2019 Gucci was recognized as the world’s most sustainable fashion corporation. Through years of hard work and investments in CSR campaigns, Gucci has proved that luxury brands have a responsibility in making the world a better place. However, it does not mean that Gucci should not continue to actively improve and make its operations more sustainable.

With the application of new technologies, the company can make its manufacturing process more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The company is known for using leather on its products; therefore, it is another point of improvement to look forward into. With new technologies, it is possible to grow artificial leather with the use of animal cells. Accessories made of faux leather are becoming more popular, especially among environment cautious millennials. Therefore, Gucci should implement more use of faux leather alternatively to animal leather in its designs.

Another point of improvement for Gucci would be hiring more diverse employees in its company and involving them in the design creation process. A diverse team with people from different backgrounds and countries can help the company to avoid scandals regarding racism in the future. First, Gucci should appoint global and local directors of diversity and inclusion that will implement policies to promote a more inclusive business strategy. Second, the company should create a scholarship program to hire more employees from underprivileged and underrepresented groups. Last, Gucci has to host training programs for its employees about cultural awareness and sensitivity. These actions would eliminate any further scandals for the company and improve the brand image.

Conclusion

Overall, there are many areas where Gucci may improve and innovate in the future. Since the luxury market is moving forward into implementing new innovative methods in creating designs, Gucci should consider suggestions proposed above. Co-branding will help the company to invent new designs, diversify its product range, and capture new markets. Innovative PR with the use of AR and VR technologies will be essential for the company’s design creation process and modern way of showcasing new designs. Using more sustainable approach in its manufacturing process the company and use of faux leather would benefit the environment. Diversifying workplace culture would improve the company’s brand image.

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