29 October 2015

The key to the success of Italian companies: the strategic importance of branding and the growth opportunity of the Italian system.

Branding: we often pronounce this word. Just as much as we think about it as a mere graphic re-design of a corporate identity. Truth is, branding is marketing’s most strategic expression, because it lets you see the bigger picture, define medium and long-term strategies and the brand’s growth path. Many values merge in its greatest meaning: the key is their connection, the ability of coordinating them. It is the identification of a product or service starting from its uniquenesses, as well as the alignment of the corporate culture and the definition of the core principles on which the brand has to ground on, both on an emotional and a concrete way.

“Italian entrepreneurs need branding, they have an opportunity with a bearable marketing cost able to revitalize a company, contributing at the same time to revitalize Italy”

Branding is wide and it consists of many elements, from the research of a potential market to the
awareness of the nature of a good, after identifying the brand’s innate contents. And also, it is the
creation of an identity, it is a packaging and it is the identification of a target audience, it is the dialogue with the internal personnel of a company, with the opinion leaders and with the stakeholders. Branding not only defines the guidelines of brand communication, but also identifies and concretizes the exact moment in which we get in touch with the brand, through the emotion delivered by a message, the communication and the design.

“Nowadays there’s no need to feel like a xenophilous entrepreneur that gets a late access to the long wave of an Anglo-Saxon or Made in USA success. Also in Italy we have all what it takes to make branding, and to make it well.”

We are talking about a strategic discipline that companies have been increasingly endorsing, because it is the engine of their businesses and because it is easy to see its potential once you start a brand development path. But, tactically speaking, working only on some of the elements of branding is not enough. And nowadays, much more than twenty years ago, managers and business owners have the chance to not follow the way of “entrepreneurial approximation”. This is particularly true for small and medium businesses, that can benefit of the consultancy of professionals with a specific education, of brand managers with an advanced cultural background and not a generic business one, just as was happening in the past. Today we have the chance to grow starting from our mistakes. The modern Italian background is, in part, the consequence of poor choices: being aware is the first step. However, an objective analysis of the fundamental assets of the brand is necessary to identify and highlight its uniquenesses. It is an activity that needs to be personified in an official role to embrace the excellence of the Italian entrepreneurs. We could quote Paolo Vitelli from Azimut Yachts, Renzo Rosso from Diesel and Nerio Alessandri from Technogym, but the list is very long, especially the small and medium entrepreneurs one. They are the real leverage of our market, the Italian pride. This generation of entrepreneurs needs branding, they have an opportunity that, with a bearable marketing cost, is able to revitalize a company and, consequently, to contribute to revitalize Italy.

Trust me, it is a successful marriage. The recipe is simple: create an extended working table, temporarily including some consultants to work closely with the company staff. This means opening the business doors to a knowledge and to a personnel training that will let you autonomously develop your brand. Which are the results? First: a raise of the cultural value, with the internal staff performance growth. Second: an economic value, with a rising brand profitability, which becomes more and more competitive and desirable on the market. We can do it. And nowadays there’s no need to feel like a xenophilous entrepreneur that gets a late access to the long wave of an Anglo-Saxon or Made in USA success. Also in Italy we have all what it takes to make branding, and to make it well.

BIOGRAPHY – Elena Sacco

Elena Sacco has been working for more than 14 years in Milan, Paris, London and Geneva for important branding and communication international agencies (Publicis group, Young&Rubicam brands, Landor, Wunderman) putting her signature on international branding projects for companies such as P&G, Marazzi Group, Azimut Yachts, Jacuzzi, Barilla, Giorgio Armani, Natuzzi, Atkinsons, Wella, amongst others; for this reason she was called the Queen of Branding. In 2009 she chose to become a consultant, founding the marcomm consultancy department of Studio Sacco in Milan. The most exciting side of her work life is surely coordinating MASTERBRAND, the international Master in Brand Management and communication, at its 12th edition, which to this days has formed more than 250 professionals which operate in Branding and Strategic Marketing dislocated in the 5 continents.

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