The House of Gucci is in trouble. The scandal-hit storied Italian label has been caught up in a whirlwind of controversy and executive departures, leaving parent company Kering, to grapple with the task of restoring the brand’s ritzy status. With it’s history steeped in a long legacy of opulence, the fashion house is at a crossroads, as pressure mounts to reclaim it’s place as one of the world’s leading luxury labels. It won’t be a task easily achieved, however Kering is determined to take the necessary steps in its ambitious attempt at reviving the troubled House of Gucci.
1. Gucci’s Staggering Fall from Grace
For many years, Gucci was regarded as one of the best international luxury fashion houses. Dressing the world’s wealthiest with the highest quality clothing, from scarves to suits, it developed a reputation as a timeless classic.
That all changed recently, as Gucci underwent a staggering fall from grace. Its support of explosive, controversial and, in many cases, deeply offensive campaigns has sparked an uproar of criticism, alienating customers and creating a sense of dissonance among traditional devout followers.
This fall from grace resulted in:
- Huge drops in profits and revenue
- Wide-scale boycotting from thousands of customers
- Highly publicized apologies from upper management
- The appointment of a new designer to reignite the brand’s public image
It appears that Gucci is making huge efforts to rewrite its legacy and regain its once established and esteemed status.
2. The Luxury Market’s Rush to Revival
The luxury market is going through a period of incredible revival. Thanks to the advent of new technologies, the industry is being completely transformed. Here’s how:
- Bespoke shopping experiences: The luxury market is pushing the boundaries of what a personalized shopping experience looks like. Thanks to augmented reality and virtual reality, customers can now almost “try on” items before they buy them. Shopping consultants make a comeback, helping customers get exactly what they’re after. Online or in-store, customers now have access to services tailored to them.
- Secure and convenient payment solutions: Security is paramount in the luxury sector, and customers need to feel safe when spending their hard-earned cash. As a result, there has been a surge in methods such as contactless payments and digital wallets, providing convenience without compromise. Discerning customers can now use their preferred technologies to pay for their purchases with absolute peace of mind.
The luxury sector is undergoing a digital revolution. Thanks to a culture of innovation, the industry is showing that it’s not afraid to embrace change. By forging ahead with technology-driven experiences and solutions, the luxury market is positioning itself for success in today’s digital world.
3. Kering’s Problematic Approach in Restoring Gucci’s Spark
Kering’s strategy to revive the Gucci brand was criticized for several reasons. One of the main point of scrutiny was its focus on glamorisation, which often came across as insincere and hard for customers to relate to. The new, revamped image of Gucci replaced the essence of what made the brand so popular in the first place – a simple yet luxurious allure.
Furthermore, the strategy seemed one-dimensional and deterred customers from exploring the full range of items in the collection. The emphasis on bling was so strong that it overshadowed Gucci’s ability to design innovative and accessible clothes that the brand was renowned for. The strategy also revolved heavily around targeting millennial consumers, and this further alienated Gucci’s existing customers.
- Glamorisation of brand overshadowed true essence of Gucci
- Strategy one-dimensional and focus on bling was too strong
- Heavily focused on millennial market failed to engage other existing customers
4. Stepping Into A Post-Pandemic Future
With the world slowly coming out of the pandemic, our global society faces a delicate balance between preparing for a post-pandemic future and confronting the present situation. We must take collective action to make sure our societies emerge stronger than before, and do not repeat the mistakes of times past.
The challenge for our world is to utilise the lessons learnt during these trying times to spearhead a positive evolution of global culture:
- Innovative cultures: Embracing new methods of collaboration, communication and organisation which drive innovation and creativity.
- Diverse perspectives: Supporting voices and ideas from all under-represented communities to keep the conversation moving. Adapting systemic structures to provide greater sustainability and security.
- Resilience: Investing in infrastructure and preparedness for future global crises, both natural and manmade.
These are the foundations for our journey into a post-pandemic future, which we must address now to ensure a safe and prosperous future.
As years of upheaval have revealed, the hard-won success of the House of Gucci is far from permanent. The challenges Kering face in troubled times are significant—but so too are the opportunities. With changes to management, direction, and production, the family once again has a chance to recreate a legacy that is founded on integrity and luxury alike. It seems we shall soon see whether the sparkle of Gucci truly will return.