Gucci is an Italian based fashion brand which was founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921. The brand, however, was originally known to only being dedicated to making "luxury leather goods for horseback riding." However, because of this dedication, the "equestrian world" established the fashion house in the 1950s and gave it "prestige" in the "international fashion business." Unfortunately, Guccio Gucci died in 1953, but his sons Aldo, Rodolfo, Ugo, and Vasco took over the company and continued his legacy. The current CEO is Marco Bizzari, who has been in this position since January 2015. The fashion house continued to create "iconic pieces" and even branched out from equestrian accessories, and turned to the fashion, décor, and makeup industry. Today, Gucci is one of the most recognizable brands, and arguably the best luxury Italian fashion brand in the world. (En.vogue.fr)
Gucci possesses a marketing mix which includes the "Four P's": price, promotion, product, and place. (Perreault et al. 35) The brand is known for having a big price tag, so customers are not fazed by this since they expect it. Furthermore, they have this price tag because of the quality of their products. The quality is superior compared to a shirt from Forever 21. In addition, Gucci is also a status symbol. When someone walks by holding a Gucci handbag, one might presume the person is wealthy enough to afford a luxurious bag. Once in a while, Gucci has sales on selected items which keeps their customers happy. Although they have discounts, do not expect to have huge savings. The price still significantly high in order to keep their image of being a high-class brand.
One of the factors that make Gucci so notable is the "promotions" in their marketing mix. The fashion house uses many mediums to make themselves noticeable. It also distinguishes themselves from their competition. These strategies range from advertisements on TV, banners, magazines and print media, and social media. Gucci utilizes their platforms by presenting their clothes, campaigns, and news in the fashion world. This strategy is prominent on their website and Instagram page. Their website gives consumers the opportunity to buy their products. Consumers also have the opportunity to read Gucci's blog that focuses on fashion. The blog talks about "what's in," "what's out," who wore what, and how to style particular clothing items. Fashion bloggers and influencers promote Gucci's clothing and content on social media. Many famous celebrities participate in their campaigns. These celebrities wear Gucci's apparel to events such as award shows, movie premiers, etc. This results in more publicity. As stated earlier, Gucci also uses a traditional outlet for fashion: print media. Their fashion campaigns are typically advertised in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, GQ, and more. These print outlets are all well-known around the world. These outlets also have international branches such as Vogue Italy, Harper's Bazaar UK, and etc. These promotion elements help Gucci stay relevant and desirable to their consumers.
Another part of the marketing mix that makes up Gucci is "product". Gucci has very products range from high quality clothing, to accessories, to makeup, and home décor. These products they offer cater to many targets such as men, women, and even children. For each category, they have a lot of products to satisfy each type of consumer they target. An example would be that they have suits, sneakers, loafers, duffel bags, sweaters, active wear, etc. for their men's department. In addition, they provide similar products for the women's and children's departments. Furthermore, another thing they all have in common is that all of these products are relatively expensive, which in turn means the quality is superb. Even though fashion trends are always changing, Gucci is known to have innovative products that keep up with these trends which help them competitive.
The last of the "Four P's" in Gucci's marketing mix is "place." There are currently "522 [Gucci] stores" (Businessoffashion.com) around the world today. These stores can be found in expensive areas, strategically placed so they can reach their wealthy clientele. Consumers could also find their products inside department stores such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Gucci stores also tend to be very aesthetic. The inside of their stores are very organized which makes it not only pleasing to the eye, but also presents their products effectively. The employees that work there, wear expensive and "smart-looking" attire which adds to the experience. Even just the store's presence gives consumers and people passing by that expensive vibe. In addition, Gucci also has an online store which caters to 32 different countries on five continents. (Gucci.com) Gucci's channel distribution "cuts out the middleman." (Guccieverything.blogspot.com) Their distribution strategy starts with the producer of Gucci. The producers send the products to their directly operated stores, which those stores sell to the consumers. The "place" aspect of Gucci plays an important role in Gucci's influence and image.
Since Gucci has been in the fashion industry for a long time, the public has seen the Italian luxury brand's strengths and weaknesses. One of Gucci's strengths is that it has a strong "brand familiarity" (Perreault et al. 206) around the world. They have multiple stores that serve 32 different countries. The public, even if people who do not follow the fashion world, know of Gucci and that it is a powerhouse. People recognize their iconic "double G" logo and the red and green stripes. Their brand image is a significant strength because it keeps them relevant globally. They also have a strong media presence. They have millions of followers on their platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. They also have a strong "brand equity;" (208) Gucci is part of the "World's Most Valuable Brands"(Forbes.com) ranking at #36 according to the Forbes List. Another strength is that their products are high quality and have strong "diversification." (Perreault et al. 209) It is known that their products are high quality, hence the high prices. However, another strength is that Gucci has various types of products. Gucci's apparel, accessories, makeup, and décor cater to men, women, and children, which makes them a strong lifestyle brand. The fact that the products are diverse, and are constantly changing, keeps them fresh and interesting. They also do this with their store layouts, continuously updating how they look to complement the products they are selling. In addition, Gucci even works with automobile companies to make cars, which make them even more diverse and profitable. Another strength is their "corporate sustainability and responsibility" (Gucci.com) They are working to be a "progressive leader" and address issues such as "respect for human rights and employees, the environment and biodiversity, respect for stakeholders and the involvement of suppliers." Gucci is very aware of their "social and environmental responsibility" and is dedicated to having "effective implementation, monitoring and continual improvement of its performance in terms of CSR [corporate social responsibility] and sustainability, both internally and along its supply chain." Because of their concern, they made an "eco-friendly program" to help satisfy this responsibility.
Though they have many strengths, they also have weak points too. Although it was previously mentioned that Gucci always changing is a strength, it can also play as a weakness. The fashion house has to continually update their products, which can be very difficult. They have to create new innovative products constantly, in order to keep fresh. Another weakness is that they are very expensive. Their market is reduced since many cannot afford it. However, this also makes the brand more exclusive, so it can also be a strength. Another weakness is that there are many counterfeits all over the world. Consumers can just buy these counterfeits instead of paying for the original. These counterfeits can also cheapen the brand name. This problem appears everywhere as people always try to make imitations. Speaking of "imitations," other brands may also try to copy their style. A retail store like ZARA can easily create something similar to their products for cheaper. These are weaknesses that Gucci has to overcome in order to keep up with the big leagues.
Although Gucci has been in business since the 1920s, they still have multiple opportunities. The newer generations today are very "brand conscious" and interested in fashion. People who are "hype-beasts" or "social media influencers" wear Gucci's products and post about them; this creates more buzz and demand, despite the high price points. Another opportunity is that fashion never dies. People will always look at the newest trends and styles. The fashion house can also start integrating more stores in different countries. Some economies are growing very fast, like India. It is "projected to be the world's fastest-growing large economy" (Forbes.com) and some parts of the country is very wealthy. Gucci can open a store in India--and other emerging economies--or at least open their online stores to them. Another opportunity is the more customers they can get if the economy is better, which currently, it is. In addition, more people are becoming successful and getting jobs, so more opportunities for people to buy Gucci's products. These are opportunities Gucci should seize and take advantage of.
There are still some variables that can threaten the influential brand. One of these threats could be the "economic environment." (Perreault et al. 66) When the economy is down, people are less inclined to buy things that are not "necessities" (66) such as clothes. Interest rates can also affect the company. As established earlier, Gucci has very high price points, and because of that, most people will not pay in cash up front. They would rather pay with credit. And if interest rates are up, more people are less inclined to borrow money to buy the product. As the textbook said, "the global economy is connected." (67) Gucci is a global brand and "exchange rates" (67) can affect the brand and international trade in general. Gucci can also be vulnerable to global price fluctuations, inflations, recessions, and more. Competition Gucci faces can also threaten their brand. These other fashion houses are as big as Gucci, if not bigger. Some of their competition is Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Burberry, Christian Dior, Valentino, Givenchy, etc. They are also similar in price point, and all just as luxurious and iconic.
Gucci is one of the world's most notable and influential fashion brand. The company has expensive price points for their luxurious diverse products that go alongside with a lavish lifestyle. They also have different forms of media to promote these luxurious products and to also help keep their name relevant. The fashion house strategically places their stores in wealthy areas to attract their target clientele. In addition, they have also brought their products online to expand and reach their consumers even more. Gucci has many strengths that help keep the up the brand image; such as keeping up with their corporate social responsibility. However, like all brands, they also have their weaknesses. They have to keep up with the always-changing fashion world and the cheap imitations of their products. With the strengths and weaknesses kept in mind, Gucci still has opportunities and threats like other companies. Gucci can expand into emerging markets and target the very "brand-conscious" generations today. However, they have to be aware of their competition and the economic environment. Overall, with everything considered, Gucci is a brand that is here to stay for a long time coming.
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