brand strategy consulting

Funky brands from around the world: Italy

Time has come for yet another country-specific list of funky brands. This time around, let's look at what's going on in terms of innovative, desirable and funky brands in Italy. Italians are famous for their sense of style, and innovating through design. ((Roberto Verganti, Innovating Through Design, Harvard Business Review, Dec 01, 2006)) This is why almost all of the brands you'll see here have incorporated superior design as core of their brand strategies.

As in the case of two previous blog posts related to country-specific brands, Spain and Germany, the Italian list is far from being exhaustive.  It's just a beginning, and if you have some more funky brands to add to the Italian list, feel free to do so.

To get a better idea for what criteria to look for, check out what makes a brand funky, and based on that, continue adding more brands in your comments on this blog or SCHMOOZY FOX's Facebook page. Have fun discovering funky brands from Italy!

1) ALESSI

Alessi

I've already written a post about this funky brand, Keeping brands alive through product innovation: Alessi. Alessi specializes in design objects for home interiors.

2) KARTELL

kartell

This brand makes and sells contemporary furniture made of plastic.

3) GAGGIA

gaggiared

Also featured previously on this blog, Gaggia is a brand of espresso coffee machines. Read more about it on Funky brand pick of the week: Gaggia coffee machines.

4) SMEG

smeg

Here comes the brand of kitchen appliances, especially funky retro-looking iconic fridges.

Vespa

5) Vespa a totally funky brand of scooters  manufactured by Piaggio.

Some lessons on schmoozing

This morning, a friend sent me a link to a blog post by Guy Kawasaki, The Art of Schmoozing, written in February 2006. That was the year when truly yours was involved in a schmoozing project on a large scale, as I was doing my MBA, putting an infinite amount of case studies and business principles in my head, and, importantly, making contacts with intelligent and fun people. MBA programs are famous for their schmoozing opportunities. And here you go, even though I didn't read The Art of Schmoozing back in 2006, somehow its main points managed to reach me magically, to the extent that the name of this blog, and respectively, my brand strategy consulting, is called SCHMOOZY FOX.

It's not a pure coincidence. When I came up with the name SCHMOOZY FOX, I of course fully realized the fact that I was good at schmoozing, and that I could share some of my talents by helping companies build businesses and brands in a schmoozy (=co-operating, building relationships, looking for win-win deals) way.

"Schmoozing" is a word you'd hear most if you live in the US, so perhaps that article by Guy Kawasaki will help my non-American readers understand this term if they are not familiar with it, and importantly, use the following principles listed in the original article to enhance their business (and personal) lives:

  • understand the goal
  • get out
  • ask good questions, then shut up
  • unveil your passions
  • read voraciously
  • follow up
  • make it easy to get in touch
  • give favors
  • ask for the return of favors

Also, this short video will give you a good perspective on schmoozing:

If you think that these principles are good only for individuals, you're mistaken. They are equally applicable to brands and businesses, especially those of the funky kind. It's only by being open to opportunities (“get out”), reaching out to your customers in an intelligent way (“ask good questions, then shut up”), loving the business you are building (“unveil your passions”) and respecting your suppliers and other business partners (“give favors” and “ask for the return of favors”) that you maximize your chances to build a funky brand!

Happy schmoozing!