United Colors of Benetton – new ways with former leadership
LED lighting and interactive content on touch screen tables – the Italian fashion company “United Colors of Benetton” relies on digital signage (use of interactive media content in advertising systems) in the new London Oxford Street store and thus visualizes a significant change in the appearance of the world-famous fashion brand. Just a few months ago, former owner Luciano Benetton announced his return to the brand.
Luciano Benetton back at the top of the business
Despite ten years of retirement, Luciano Benetton returned to the company last year and has since taken over the management of United Colors of Benetton again. “In 2008 I left the company with 155 million euros in assets, and now I take it back with 81 million euros in debt,” Benetton told the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”. United Colors of Benetton was particularly well known in the 1980s. Especially star photographer Oliviero Toscani contributed significantly to the success with often provocative advertising shots.
Oliviero Toscani as artistic director again
In order to prevent a further decline of the brand, Toscani was again commissioned with the artistic direction of Benetton. For the Spring/Summer 2018 season, the photographer photographed a school class with different skin colors – just like the old Benetton style. In an interview with “Luna Magazine” Toscani explained: “We don’t want to go back anywhere. We want to go into the future, we want to go forward. (…) Others had the chance to develop the brand and failed. All the marketing people with their surveys – they have failed (…)”.
Significant change in brand experience
Vertical chains such as H&M, Zara and Mango have overtaken the Italian brand in recent years with ingenious campaigns and low prices – especially in children’s fashion, the success of the once popular kidswear label has waned. Now a new direction is to be taken. “Much will change. We also want to completely redesign the shops,” says Toscani. The holistic brand experience in the stores as the first sign of a new direction. Ten years ago, the Italians were already among the pioneers of digitalization in fashion retail. In addition to the campaigns, video walls were regarded as a trademark of the flagship stores. This was followed by an analogous phase based on the change “Back to Nature”. Now back to digitalization. The store is to be regarded as a pioneer for future stores of the brand which are already represented in the UK with 55 stores.
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Image: Luna Journal – Andrej Dallmann