We are often asking ourselves: Can tradition embrace digital innovation? Is it possible for craftsmanship to live side by side with technology? The only answer is yes: more and more luxury brands decide to marry innovation.
We’re going to tell you a story about an Italian brand with a long-standing tradition of craftsmanship that still perfectly manages to fit in the digital era. This is the story of Brunello Cucinelli.
Established in 1978 in the heart of Umbria, a little region in the heart of Italy, Brunello Cucinelli gained immediate success thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit and mostly for his values which remain key to the brand. A pioneer in the use of cashmere, Cucinelli was able to turn a small laboratory into a worldwide luxury brand, based on human craftsmanship.
Cucinelli carries on a philosophy that he defines as Humanist Capitalism; the Italian entrepreneur believes in the value of human craftsmanship, which is why he develops strategies that fully embrace his vision: from benefits for his employees to the valorization of Solomeo, his native village. In fact, the founder of the brand has launched “Project for Beauty”, which aims to replace industrialization with green landscapes.
How is it possible for such a human-centric profile to flourish alongside digitalization you may ask? Brunello Cucinelli has found his own particular way to harness technology to reinforce his brand, and has done so by launching the project “Humanist Artisans of the Web”. The idea was born from the willingness of using the digital element in an unconventional way that would reflect the brand’s soul. In November 2016, a website with two sides was launched: on one side an online boutique and on the other a part named ‘Philosophy’.
The new website was designed with the same accuracy and craftsmanship that distinguishes the brand’s collections, creating a sophisticated browsing experience that combined with the services offered to the client, has the aim of providing a unique and personal encounter. The “Boutique”section is the answer to needing to bring e-commerce in-house – Cucinelli had already created a presence online through the Yoox Net-a-porter-group, but the website was built as a digital storytelling tool that allows the brand to express it’s heritage on an online platform.
While browsing through the ‘Philosophy’ section, one can fully understand the mission of the brand. “Beauty will save the world” is the famous quote from Dostojeski that welcomes the user to the website, as a digital narration underlines the different sections of the website: his life, the story behind the brand and the actions made by the brand in its territory. It is in fact essential for Brunello Cuccinelli to deliver the message of tradition, craftsmanship and the value of man in a true human-centered vision of capitalism.
Brunello Cuccinelli’s Instagram feed is another key piece of this narrative puzzle, that perfectly fits around the story told by Cucinelli: pictures from the latest campaigns are accompanied by inspirational images proving the concrete commitment the brand has made to digital humanization for its region of origin, among other things.
But how does this ‘unconventional’ way of communication, that differs from most brands, increase the brand’s profits? The strategy carried out by Brunello Cucinelli has indeed brought great benefits to the brand, clearly visible in its sales, which have increased by 10% just in the first quarter of 2017, after double-digit growth in 2016.
Brunello Cucinelli by the Numbers [Infographic]
As we’ve been mentioned throughout this post, this Italian luxury brand has managed to, in a very particular way, blend human values within the digital space. To observe the online presence of Brunello Cucinelli, we’ve collected a range of data that underlines the impact of the brand on different platforms:
The numbers obtained while monitoring the brand in the last 6 months only proves what we’ve been saying about Brunello Cucinelli: the brand has gained a strong online presence that is visible amongst different channels. It’s not only interesting to see which platforms are mostly contributing to the brand, but also the different territories the brand engages with the most. Amongst these is Russia, which shows the high level of activity for the brand in this region, not only in its own presence, but also through influencers who obtained a high level of engagement for the brand by mentioning it.
The story told by Brunello Cucinelli is a clear example of how luxury brands can gain success and fame when they are able to keep their true essence, both online and offline. Quality and authenticity are positive values that the consumer appreciates and the data collected only confirms this – it shows how “Made in Italy” is still perceived as synonymous with quality all over the world.