Playing the digital card to win the global competitive game. A marketing must for consumer products since the dawn of e-commerce, this has become a strategic choice for the luxury industry as well. The value of the customer experience and the brand identity itself are now entrusted to a close integration of physical and virtual channels. Loro Piana, maison of LVHM and historical brand of high-end textiles and clothing, is well aware of this. In order to explore the great potential of digital in this sector, last October it launched the Loro Piana Cross Business School Challenge involving SDA Bocconi, with MAFED - Master in Fashion, Experience & Design Management, together with three other international schools - London Business School, ESADE and IESE.
“How can e-tailers enhance Loro Piana’s luxury business”? Among the various groups of students from the four business schools who voluntarily chose to participate in the challenge, the winning answer to the question posed by the company came from four MAFED students. The company had asked the students to find an effective business model which would increase market share and brand visibility through marketplace development or digital concessions. MAFED participated in the competition with two groups of four students. The winning group’s proposal stood out – as stated by the company - for its original and clear business idea, and for the ability to link each choice to specific KPIs. The four students won the prize provided by the challenge, the possibility of an internship at Loro Piana at the end of the Master.
It was not an easy decision for Loro Piana, considering the high level of all the proposals they received, MAFED director Emanuela Prandelli pointed out. “It has been really exciting to work with such talented students, who developed great analysis and gave very interesting presentations,” the company’s Europe Wholesale & Franchising Director Sibilia Colonna commented. “Each group made a valuable contribution, developing the challenge with fresh points of views. I learned a lot from this experience and… I can’t wait to launch a new challenge!”
Her enthusiasm is echoed by the award-winning students: “It was an amazing experience; I was able to use the knowledge gained through my studies at SDA Bocconi and learn new things at the same time!” said Alice von Varnbueler, who, after her MAFED, is now working at Christian Dior Couture. “It was especially interesting since the project was about a crucial topic today, targeting young Millennials and Gen Z consumers through an e-commerce strategy.”
According to Hailey Druker, CRM Analyst (EMEA) at Loro Piana, another member of the winning team, “it was amazing to see, first-hand, how relevant the topics we covered in class are to the day-to-day workings of luxury brands. I’m very grateful to Emanuela Prandelli, SDA Bocconi and Loro Piana for giving me the opportunity to work on such a challenging and rewarding project.”
Federica Cuccorese, another partner in this adventure who now works at Céline in Paris, shares this thank you: “It was an amazing chance not only to put what MAFED had taught me into practice but also to try and think out of the box and come up with a new approach.”
Sveva D’Antonio, who is also part of the winning team, echoed: “The Challenge gave us the opportunity to deep dive into the brand’s world and especially to look to alternative ways of enhancing their e-tailer strategy. Whenever I look back at my choices, I would choose MAFED again and again because it teaches you how business and creativity go hand in hand, now more than ever.” And when a traditional brand and a young and innovative outlook meet, this can prove true in the field.
SDA Bocconi School of Management