Marketing in the Making

Marketing; Thoughts and Questions

Archive for the category “Italy”

Bargaining

Before I came to Italy, I was warned about a few things.  First, Italians don’t believe in standing in line.  Second, make sure to bargain for EVERYTHING.  Somebody even said that it was an insult not to bargain.

My second weekend I went to Florence and to the leather market (like all tourists).  I found this leather bag I wanted and attempted to bargain like I had been taught but sadly, the man I was bargaining with did not seem interested in the bargaining.  All my friends wanted to get leather jackets and didn’t bargain.  Was this bargaining advice a lie?  Was I not bargaining correctly?  Or, was the bargaining just not fitting in the circumstances?

This got me thinking about bargaining and flea markets and everything in between.  The way flea markets and such are set up is the perfect environment for bargaining.  Everyone is energized from having to hold their own and get to the booth/table they are looking for, so bargaining fits in perfectly.  That bottle of soap that you probably wouldn’t bargain for at the pharmacy is now bargain-able.  The environment of the flea market makes bargaining for every day items OK.

The only time I see bargaining in a department store for example is when somebody comes up to the service desk to ask for a discount because of the tiny hole in the item.  Other than that, no one seems to bargain in these stores.  The environment for bargaining seems to make all the difference.

I believe I was in the right environment for bargaining in Florence but, because I was a tourist, the merchants were not interested.  I shall return one day and try again.

 

Siesta

I have been in Italy for about three weeks now and have seen both Rome and Florence…both beautiful cities!

As I have been getting used to Italian culture, I have noticed one key aspect…Siesta.  This is when pretty much everything except some coffee shops and pizza places shuts down from about 2:00PM to 5:00PM.  This includes the entire community as well, not just the shops and it occurs every day of the week.  The actual times may differ from place to place but it is always in the mid-afternoon sometime.

I understand this idea and definitely like it but I have one question.  Doesn’t this cause a loss in profits?  Couldn’t the economy and everything be doing so much better if everyone was up and awake for those additional few hours?

A Children’s Toy Stand…Hmm

Ciao!

I have been in Roma for about four days now and it is absolutely gorgeous.  Great weather and it feels as if there is something historical on every corner so I try and keep my eyes open.

As I walk around, I have noticed a few things that I would like to share with you.

There are these stands randomly placed throughout the city (I have mostly seen them close to Trestevere) which sell children’s toys and that’s about it.  They are just the type of toys placed near the register that are impulse buys.  I have yet to see anybody look at them though.  How do these stands make money?  During orientation, one of the speakers said that it was harder to raise children here so there weren’t as many children in Italy as in other countries.  The presenter also said that there was a majority of elderly persons.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to have another news stand instead of a children’s toy stand?

Another thing I have noticed is that Rome is made up of a lot more small businesses.  I am sure that I will learn more about this as time goes on, but how do these small businesses get the word out?

That is all for now, but please comment.  Feel free to recommend places for me to go!

Fashion From Region to Region

One of the things I am excited to see when I go to Italy in about two months is all the fashion.  Italy, especially Milan is known as being a center of fashion.  Large scale fashion designers like Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, Fendi and Armani sell their products throughout the world.  My question is, how is it different from region to region and even city to city?

Each location has a different mix of people.  A city may have different attitudes than a suburb.  People in a suburb dress differently than those in an urban environment.  Therefore, these designers have to come up with multiple collections to fit these markets, right?  Or, since these designers are considered high class, can they afford to only make a limited number of lines?

How do other designers differ?  Do more affordable designers have different collections based on region?  How does that work?

Attached to these product lines is the subject of how they market them.  Here, it definitely differs from region to region.  Take a more affordable brand, Victoria’s Secret, for example.  They have various university themed PINK lines.  Not only do they have a different line from campus to campus, but different marketing collateral to go along with it.  I mean they all use the same tools, yet each sign, for example says a different school.

Likewise, other brands have different advertisements from environment to environment, trying to target each market.

Does specializing ones brand automatically put you in the high class category, especially for clothing?  The brands who can not afford to expand, stay local but if they have the money, why is it that the high-class brands tend to be more limited.  You have to go to them, they will not come to you.  What if the roles changed?

Social Media: Italy

Wow, first things first, I apologize for not writing anything in a while.

So, this semester, I am working to get prepared for studying abroad in Rome, Italy during the spring semester.  Part of the application for the program included my writing an essay.  I wrote about Social Media in Italy in the the Fashion industry.  Below is the essay.  Take a look and let me know what you think!

When people think of Italy, they think fashion because it has been one of the centers for fashion for decades producing many designers including Armani, Versace, Gucci and Fendi.  Names like these are known throughout the world as high fashion.  Not only have these designers found ways to share their designs through traditional methods, but new methods like social media, as well.  As companies are learning about all the ways to utilize the internet, the question of how much focus should be placed on this new media and how much should be taken away from the traditional methods.  Consumers are looking more to their peers for advice on what to buy than the latest print advertisement as found by Nielsen, a top marketing research company in their Global Online Consumer Survey from 2009.  Because of this, countries around the world are finding themselves still searching for a balance and Italy is no exception.

In Italy, where the economy could use some work, finding new ways to encourage spending are a necessity.  Italian professional who focus on the marketing for industries like fashion are still holding onto the past while looking toward the future.  As mentioned in an article, Marketing in Italy Today by David Carson in The Journal of Marketing from January 1966, Italy is interested in catching up with those in the western world while still holding on to the strings of the past.  Although this article is from long ago, it still holds true.  History is still so much of what Italy is.  Marketing professionals have been catching up quickly in this sense.

Take a look at Gucci and Armani for example.  They have introduced some truly innovative campaigns when it comes to social media and consumer interaction on the Internet.  Gucci is not only working on a new digital campaign called Gucci Connect, but has also found ways of utilizing Facebook and Twitter.  Fendi and Armani have also found ways to utilize these resources that countless western companies haven’t even thought of.  Fendi has developed not one, but three iPhone applications (a thriving market).  Even before all of these extra resources, their websites are innovative and even more forward looking.  These companies seem to not only have understood many of the powerful companies from the western world but also have even surpassed some.

It seems that Italian’s top fashion designers have switched the vast majority of their focus to utilizing the new media methods.  Personally, I think this is a bit of a drastic and risky choice, especially for Italy where according to a 2009 Nielsen report on Social Media in Italy, only forty-three percent of the population are internet users.  Italy, a country looking to stabilize its economy, should be looking for a way to reach as many people as possible and to me that does not mean directing all of their attention on the internet, when the majority of the population doesn’t even use it.

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