Marketing Insight: Brand Audit of Gucci

Updated on November 15, 2018

Influential, innovative and progressive, Gucci is reinventing a wholly modern approach to fashion.

— GUCCI.COM

BRAND INVENTORY

About the Brand: History

Founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, Gucci is an Italian luxury brand. It is one of the most influential luxury brands in the world. Initially, it started with fine leather crafted accessories – handbags, shoes (famous for loafers), and knitwear and silks with an iconic unique pattern that can still be seen today. In 1999, 42% stake of the Gucci group was purchased for $3 billion by the French Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR), now known as Kering Group. Gucci is a company that is known to preserve its heritage while incorporating modern styles in its range. It has become one of the world’s most successful manufacturers of high-end leather goods, clothing, and other fashion products.

Gucci today offers various product categories – leather goods, shoes, ready-to-wear, watches and jewelry, and beauty products. The unique selling proposition (USP) of Gucci is its exquisite Italian craftsmanship, providing customers with high-quality products and great attention to the design of its products.

Product-Related Attributes

According to Interbrand’s Best Top 100 Global Brands 2018, Gucci stands on the 39th position. The key attributes that define the brand are as follows:

  1. High Quality
  2. Ground-breaking creativity
  3. Customization
  4. Innovation

Communication, Pricing, and Distribution

Gucci has always reinvented and challenged the status quo, and that is exactly what it also tries to portray in its communication strategy. It identifies that for its long-term success, it is critical for the brand to engage with its clients across all of the brand’s touchpoints. It has traditionally used print media, mainly for its communication, advertising mainly in fashion magazines, each campaign showcasing a story for that season. With the development in the digital space, Gucci is leveraging the digital media for its communication strategy, using social media extensively to engage with their audience.

Gucci follows a premium pricing policy for its products. It provides high quality to its customers while maintaining the right balance between exclusivity and availability of their products. The company distributes its offerings through its own retail stores, e-commerce channel, wholesalers and other retailers.

BRAND EXPLORATORY

Customer Knowledge

Gucci has leveraged its heritage and traditions to translate high quality in every aspect of its business. Gucci continues to stay relevant by having a modern touch to it while maintaining its heritage. The brand associations for Gucci might be “luxurious”, “contemporary”, “timeless”, “eclectic”, “romantic”, “influential”. Below is a hypothetical Gucci Mental map.

The Brand Mantra of Gucci is to be the voice of self-expression.

Gucci Mental Map
Gucci Mental Map

Sources of Brand Equity

The brand’s name, Gucci, and the brand’s logo are the most essential sources of brand equity. Its brand logo consisting of two capital Gs is not only aesthetically appealing but is a representation of its history. The world-renowned logo represents the initials of the man who started it all. Equity is contributed by the benefits that Gucci provides to its consumers, namely, high quality, craftsmanship, exclusive design, and customization. The brand also provides emotional benefits to the consumer, giving them a sense of social approval and self-respect that is transferred through its exclusivity and limited distribution. This adds to the brand equity of Gucci. It provides a symbolic sense of pride to the consumer. Other key sources of Gucci brand equity are Communication, Collaborations, Online Experience, and Social Initiatives.

Communication. Gucci has adapted itself to the digital space, and has a strong digital presence online, especially on social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

Collaboration. Gucci also collaborates with renowned celebrities and influencers to reach out to their target audience, to better connect with them. Some examples include singer Rihanna and actress Blake Lively. This has enhanced their brand visibility and this also allows Gucci to become a part of popular culture.

Online Experience. Gucci has transformed the way luxury brands develop experience for their consumers online. Just like the one-of-its-kind in-store experience, Gucci’s online store experience is also very unique. The brand’s collections are featured on their website and are curated to look like as they would appear on the runway. The brand has been able to bring life to its online store experience.

Social Initiatives. Gucci launched a “Chime for Change” campaign to work towards women empowerment. It was co-founded by Salma Hayek-Pinault, Frida Giannini (both members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors) and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. It works towards access to education and health for women and justice for girls and women around the world.

The Gucci Logo
The Gucci Logo

The Customer-Based Brand Equity Pyramid (CBBE)

Gucci has focused on each element of the customer-based brand equity pyramid. The figure below highlights the key aspects of the Gucci CBBE pyramid.

Gucci CBBE Pyramid
Gucci CBBE Pyramid

RECOMMENDATIONS

Gucci has been able to create significant brand equity for itself. Below are some recommendations for the brand.

Tackling Counterfeiting: A very prominent issue, many luxury brands face the problem of counterfeit and fake products. These products are illegally sold online and in street markets. The company can collaborate with websites and other luxury brands to curb counterfeiting by taking suitable countermeasures against it. One of the ways to curb counterfeiting is to educate consumers about it and how these goods can be identified and authenticated should be communicated to them.

Stay Core to Its Strengths: Gucci may have diversified into other product categories over the years, but it must stay true to its core strengths, providing luxury leather goods such as handbags and footwear. Often brands can dilute their own identity and fall into the line extension trap by venturing into too many categories.

Maintaining Exclusivity: Making products too accessible to customers reduces the feeling of “exclusivity”, which is often endured by consumers consuming luxury products. Thus, Gucci should be very selective of where it distributes its offerings and must ensure that the feeling of exclusivity is maintained.

Points of Parity
Points of Difference
High quality
Innovation
Premium Prices
Heritage
Italian Fashion House
Social Media Usage
Durability
Community like engagement

Gucci’s journey till date has been a roller coaster ride. Yet, its management has been able to keep the brand alive and relevant in the luxury market by staying true to their roots, while improvising and innovating along the way. Truly, Gucci is an Influential, innovative and progressive brand.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Gucci. (n.d.). About Gucci. Retrieved from Gucci: https://www.gucci.com/int/en/st/about-gucci
  2. Interbrand. (2018). Best Global Brands 2018. Retrieved from Interbrand: https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2018/
  3. Kering Foundation. (n.d.). CHIME FOR CHANGE. Retrieved from Kering Foundation: http://www.keringfoundation.org/chime-change
  4. Briggs, F. (2017, May 12). Product and pricing strategies of luxury brands, revealed in new report from Contactlab and Exane BNP Paribas . Retrieved from Retail Times: https://www.retailtimes.co.uk/product-pricing-strategies-luxury-brands-revealed-new-report-contactlab-exane-bnp-paribas/
  5. Hammett, E. (2018, May 29). Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci: The world’s most valuable luxury brands. Retrieved from Marketing Week: https://www.marketingweek.com/2018/05/29/most-valuable-luxury-brands/
  6. Bastien, V. (2015, September 20). Marketing To A High-End Consumer, Using The Luxury Strategy. Retrieved from Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250745

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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