Gucci is an Italian luxury fashion brand established in 1921. It was named after its founder, Gucci Guccio, who worked as a bellhop in the grand Savoy hotel in London. Prominent for its unique fashion styles and demographic target, it has served many people, beginning from fashion lovers to apathetic fashion individuals. Guccio’s fashion experience began based on attractive fashion products. So, the luxury brand started by making quality leather products that provided distinct satisfaction to its customers. With time, it grew and tried out producing other fashion products like clothes and jewelry. Due to its high level of expertise, it excelled and delivered a value that competed with startups and already existing brands in the same line.
Rome was not built in a day, they say. Meaning that for Gucci to have gained global prominence and been a must-get for many users globally, they must have applied some strategies to market themselves. If you have noticed, the “GG” logo known to be owned by Gucci does not appear only on outfits. You will also see it on products that are not even within their line of production. Now, let us look into the marketing strategies which we can call “Gucci Marketing” that Gucci employed over the years.
- Gucci Marketing Strategies
- How These Strategies Have Been Beneficial
- The Weaknesses in Its Strategies
Gucci Marketing Strategies
Marketing is essential for every business because, without human involvement, businesses cannot thrive.
Gucci’s Categorization Marketing Strategy
The essence of categorization is to aid the brand in segmenting its customers into groups correctly. With this strategy, Gucci can conveniently make products that fit its customers without leaving out any category. The categorization strategy has been in practice by the brand for many years. This includes Demographic, Geographic, Behavioral, and Psychographic Categorization strategies.
Demographic Categorization Strategy: The demographic categorization focuses on gender, religion, age, nationality, and income. Gucci employs this categorization system because it mainly targets high-end customers aged 20 years to 50 years.
Geographic Categorization Strategy: Demands for Gucci products are higher in Europe, North America, and Asia. To this effect, almost all its productions are made in Europe, and 92% of its products are targeted at these regions, while the remaining 8% is spread out to other places.
Behavioural Categorization Strategy: The behavioural categorization strategy deals with studying customers’ behaviour towards products and services. Gucci is aware of the behavioural tendencies of its customers and has been able to influence their behaviour through its trendy styles, making them impatient for new designs.
Psychographic Categorization Strategy: This categorization strategy is similar to the behavioural approach, but in contrast, it deals with understanding the activities, opinions, and interests of customers. The Gucci brand targets people with flashy lifestyles and keeps them in patronage with its charming designs. Examples of people in this category are the noble class, actors and actresses, musical artists, and many more. Their social circles influence their interests. As a result, Gucci is well-known as the best and most satisfactory brand.
Gucci’s Selective Targeting Strategy
Gucci marketing is natured to focus on selected demography. The selective nature of Gucci’s target customers is intentional. The brand has practised this system for many years and has stuck to it. From inception, Gucci’s target markets were only high-class individuals, high earners, fashionistas, big celebrities, and many more. But with time, it widened its customer target to accommodate middle class and higher-middle class individuals so that its customer base could expand and beat its competitors.
Guccio began using this strategy from the late 1930s when he incorporated his sons into the brand and commissioned them to widen its reach to other regions like Rome and Milan. Since then, Gucci has continually spread out its tentacles to a lot of locations. Today, Gucci has successfully opened more than 500 stores to distribute its products efficiently. Also, it uses commerce websites, wholesalers, stores, retailers, and distributors to ensure that its customers receive their products within the best time frame. This distribution strategy has aided Gucci’s marketing revenue generation by over 40% in Asia and more than 21% in Europe.
Gucci has always used adverts that keep up with market trends and help it stay above the competition. It makes sure that its adverts are enticing and attractive beyond what its competitors have to offer. Usually, fashion brands like Gucci express their ideas and styles using graphics and illustrations that are expressive and aesthetic.
In 2010, Gucci made a spring-summer campaign that depicted modernism and sensuality. In the same year, the brand hiked on a “Forever Now” campaign, and it portrayed the essence of linking old crafts and designs with modern ones. There are a lot of people who love and admire ancient aesthetics. And connecting it with the present is one beauty you cannot ignore
They were able to achieve this by using photos from the 50s that illustrated genealogical legacy and artistry. In recent years, the Italian brand has taken up memes to advertise its products. Now, it is a well-known fact that Gucci marketing is associated with trends.
Affiliation With Celebrities
Gucci opened its first store in New York in 1953. Gucci continued to grow immensely and became accepted by its customers in the US. About ten years later, it began having affiliations with celebrities as they sported its products. These affiliations were a high leap for Gucci.
They began having a fan base that included notable individuals like Peter Sellers and Elizabeth Taylor. Because of the love and satisfaction from Gucci, the ex-first lady of the U.S, J.Kennedy, went around in a slouchy Gucci bag. And to this effect, the purse was named “The Jackie.” Guccio’s son, Rodolfo Gucci, made a philanthropic move on Grace Kelly that improved their branding and publicity.
In 1996, film star and princess Grace Kelly visited a Gucci store to purchase a Bamboo bag. Rodolfo was intrigued by her visit, and he requested her to choose something that he would give her as a special gift. But she opted for a scarf. Rodolfo would not settle for any scarf and asked Vittorio, a very skilled artist, to make her a floral scarf. The scarf spots over 42 kinds of insects, flowers, and plants in more than 36 different colours. It was at this period that the Gucci logo was born.
Gucci saw it as an opportunity to increase its awareness again when it alliances with songstress Beyonce. The video known as “Formation” had her with a group of female dancers all dressed in customized Gucci outfits. Also, in her release in 2016, she was dressed in a Gold Gucci suit for the “Lemonade” album. Another notable celebrity collaboration is the picture of an Instagram personality known as @f_fleur (An Nguyen). In her picture, she shows a model who depicts honour and respect for a Gucci handbag.
Partnership With Non-Fashion Brands
Gucci began a partnership with non-fashion brands in 1972 when it worked with American Motors Corporation (AMC) to produce cars. AMC was the first automobile brand to involve fashion companies in its car business. Eventually, they made a station wagon known as the Hornet Gucci Edition and customized its interior with the Gucci designs. This new project was the beginning of the era for partnerships between automotive and fashion brands. Lincoln also wanted to try this collaboration out but refused to work with Gucci because of its association with AMC. With this refusal, Aldo Gucci faced the competition squarely and made a partnership offer to General Motors who owned Cardillac. Their intentions were met halfway, and they struck a deal. In the late 70s, Gucci received Sevilles from Cardillac and customized rebranded them.
The Advantages of Gucci Marketing Strategies
The strategies employed in Gucci marketing have played significant roles in its enormous success. Here are the effective ways it has benefitted from its approach.
Increased Global Presence
Global presence has been an old intention of the brand, and it was able to achieve this through a series of market practices and events. Today, Gucci is one of the top-listed fashion brands in the world and gets worldwide patronage.
Gucci’s unique form of advertising and affiliation with fashion brands and other non-fashion brands has given it an edge over its peers.
Loyal High-End Customers
Due to the way Gucci has always portrayed itself, its product prices are not a problem. Over time, it has always proved to be the best in quality and design. It has laid this as a trademark to all who patronize it. And market structure has it that high quality attracts high prices. So in exchange for good quality, customers pay value cash.
The Weaknesses in Gucci Strategies
People do say that everything that has an advantage has a disadvantage. Strategies implemented in Gucci marketing have proved to be helpful in the past. Much of its approach has given it an undeniable global presence. Below are some harmful effects of its strategy.
Poor Geographical Focus
In recent years, studies have shown that the geographic strategy in Gucci Marketing is a massive weakness to the brand because it focuses on foreign customers. In a Kering annual meeting, François-Henri noted that Gucci relentlessly focuses on its popularity in its target markets.
Wrong Gender Portrayal
We highlighted how Gucci has leveraged trends to relay their values and showcase their artistic designs. However, many of its adverts contain sexual characteristics and display the feminine gender with a bad reputation. To many, Gucci promotes the idea that sexuality is a pitch for sale.
Gucci has a history of constantly changing its designers and directors. In some sense, it is a good thing because it brings diversity, dynamicity, and an open platform for new ideas. But on the other side, it is a spoiler for the brand because it constantly changes its focus on projects and new ideas.
Gucci marketing is unique and advantageous. Nevertheless, it is very costly for the brand. The brand constantly makes adverts that are aimed to beat that of its competitors. Undeniably, it is expensive to keep a high head above the great waters.
Strategies used in Gucci marketing have been efficient for years. It leveraged quality, pricing, and pitching. The brand carefully studied the nature of its customers and has always successfully influenced them towards continuous patronage, using its attractive unique designs. Even though it mainly targets the young generation and trend-driven individuals, it still has global relevance. The affiliation has been a critical factor in its prominence and will remain as its stronghold.