Exploring a dialogue between SDA Bocconi and the CEO of Brunello Cucinelli, a model of Italian entrepreneurship exported worldwide and founded on the concept of human sustainability.
In a quiet neighborhood on a sunny day in Milan, the wonderful Brunello Cucinelli showroom opens its doors. It's not every day you get to listen to the firsthand experience of someone who knows how to be a successful entrepreneur without sacrificing a sense of responsibility towards people. This was the experience of participants in the MISA, Master in Imprenditorialità e Strategia Aziendale. As part of the cycle of company visits in the MISA program, a Master directed by Mikkel Draebye, the participants met with Luca Lisandroni, CEO of Brunello Cucinelli, who presented the brand's strategy and values.
From the start, Lisandroni emphasized how the concept of the company – fully expressed through the idea of pure execution – can be amplified through the development of a brand concept that inspires and multiplies all the business capabilities implemented through execution.
This is one of the reasons why the company has decided to maintain its positioning in the Absolute Luxury sector, without following those who have opened up a line to the Accessible Luxury market. Coupled with this is the desire to offer a product that does not have to compromise quality. Extreme value is placed on manual labor, eschewing concepts such as same-day delivery in favor of protecting craftsmanship that is free to take the time it deserves. Investment in Italian excellence is in fact one of the central points of Cucinelli's entrepreneurial strategy. A total of 2,400 employees, about half of whom work in production activities, which have always been entirely Made in Italy, around 80% of which is still located in Umbria. Emblematic of this signature philosophy, the fine cashmere fiber speaks of the highest quality and exemplifies the clear and essential relationship Brunello Cucinelli wants to establish with its customers.
Like the corporate strategy and the resulting brand positioning, the communication strategy focuses on telling the story of a style rather than a product, in order to complement the presentation of a distinctive and immediately recognizable taste.
A core element of Cucinelli's entrepreneurship is Solomeo, the town where Brunello Cucinelli lives with his family, which over time has become a concrete manifestation of everything the brand stands for. The beauty of the place, the attachment to the land and contact with the simple life (the founder comes from a family of farmers), are central to the philosophy of the Italian brand.
Brunello Cucinelli has been pursuing for 45 years an idea of humanistic capitalism, in which work becomes a tool that improves the human condition of a worker. A model that piques the interest of MISA participants, who are looking for concrete answers to the issue of sustainability.
The Master aims to help participants manage and preserve the acquired value of a company, therefore, meetings like the one focused on the excellence of Brunello Cucinelli must be a fundamental part of this personal and professional course of education.
Consistent with MISA's idea of proposing a concrete and practical approach to education, the company visit to the Cucinelli showroom allowed participants to ground theoretical notions about entrepreneurship and the importance – also strategic – of the concept of sustainability.
SDA Bocconi School of Management