According to Brand Finance data, symbol brands of Italian Style continue to increase their value despite the complexities of the economic trend. Italian companies of household appliances are appreciated abroad not only for the refined design of their products but also for the high quality of their technology
By Elena Corti
What is the value of “Made-in-Italy” brands today? According to the Nation Brands 2016 report, realized by Brand Finance consulting society, in partnership with FDI Intelligence (Financial Times magazine), it is more than 200 billion dollars and is growing by 21% compared to 2015. This is an important signal for made-in-Italy manufacturers of home appliances, which focus on processes excellence, quality and design. Made-in-Italy expression, in fact, not simply indicates the geographical origin of products, but all the developed know-how during decades of industrial history: a mix of craft skills, creativity, attention to detail and technological innovation. All this represents the Italian Style and is a significant plus for national firms that have a strong propensity to export. Among the appreciated made-in-Italy home appliances in foreign markets those dedicated to the kitchen stand out (hobs, hoods, kitchens, ovens, sous-vide appliances, etc.). In particular, in the first half of 2016 products for cooking, according to data released by Ceced Italia, confirmed their ability to establish themselves as ambassadors of the “Italian style”: in fact, hobs sales to foreign countries were double compared to the national ones (+8.6%).
Given the role played by products for the kitchen environment, we asked some brands that operate in this area which are, in their opinion, the main factors of competitiveness of made-in-Italy and in what the concepts of quality and design materialize.
|Questions we made to the companies
1 What are the characteristics distinguishing made-in-Italy in your products?
2 Do you think that made-in-Italy is a competitiveness factor for Italian companies?
3 Among your most recent products, can you mention one that "embodies" the ideals of the made-in-Italy?
4 Do you think that made-in-Italy products continue to be ambassadors of Italian Style abroad?
5 Are design and quality important for a product that is defined ‘made-in-Italy’? What are your strengths in terms of design, processing and finishes?
1 Surely design is one of the strengths that characterize the entire line of our hoods. We have tried in recent years to give a style image to many new models because the identity of Italian product could be more and more recognizable. Overall quality of the product and a continuous technical innovation always accompany the development of models that we want to be perceived as 100% made-in-Italy since they are designed, engineered and manufactured in Italy.
2 Also in our industry made-in-Italy is often recognized as an added value, but only by some markets that understand its merits. In other situations a “similar made-in-Italy” or a “copy of made-in-Italy” is enough to better orient purchasing decisions to the price factor.
3 This year we have presented a wall-mounted hood called Surf, in which a clean, elegant design is combined with the extraction efficiency through a slot designed to accelerate the air flow. We believe that shape, joint to function, is one of the best ideals to be followed in proposing new products.
4 Partly, beauty that we propose with some products transmits, in some way, the desire for a quality lifestyle that is often recognized to us. Interest in made-in-Italy is maintained by medium-high end markets, where style and desire to stand out are felt more.
5 The constant search for updated design and the proposal of many news every year are our goals that we consider very important. The attention to detail and the desire to ensure a high level of quality are then the characteristics that we try to keep as stronghold of our production style.
1 Our products are entirely manufactured in Italy, with an immediately perceptible design and quality: these are the main features that distinguish our way of conceiving made-in-Italy.
2 Absolutely yes: we are convinced that made-in-Italy is certainly a factor of competitiveness for Italian companies.
3 Among our latest models, surely that we believe embodies the ideals of made-in-Italy is Nevada vacuum sealer, an ideal product both for a family and for chefs and small businesses. This machine is equipped with a patented locking system and is able to offer professional performance.
4 In our opinion, made-in-Italy products give a concrete contribution to raise awareness of the Italian style in the world, continuing to attract the interest of foreign markets.
5 At various trade fairs in which we take part, we receive increasing confirmations that design and quality are key elements of the made-in-Italy. In all our products these aspects are immediately visible.
1 Design, creativity, attention to detail and materials are certainly key elements in the Italian manufacturing culture that we find in our products. Today, the technological aspect is increasingly important in differentiation from competitors and is therefore essential to add this value to household appliances. This should be made-in-Italy today, and is what we try to do every day: to create products that combine productive industrial logic, experience and craftsmanship know-how , innovation and design.
2 We have always believed in this value: for us made-in-Italy is not just a brand to valorize but a real strength. All our production is located at Vittorio Veneto, in the province of Treviso. In this area there is an incredible craft and industrial district, made of little known but absolutely excellent enterprises. Moreover, in this area there are unique skills and abilities in steel processing, which enable us to produce higher quality items.
3 Our Marilyn hood represents for us the ideals of made-in-Italy because it combines design, advanced technology and craftsmanship processing. Designed by a famous studio in Milan (Pareschi), Marilyn incorporates the E.ion System technology, a system that, through a process of ionization, can neutralize odors of cooking and simultaneously sanitize environments by removing viruses, bacteria and molds in the air. This technology is enclosed between two ceramic shells, handmade by a local craftsman.
4 Surely made-in-Italy continues to be a very important competitive element, certainly to be valued. It is important that the Italian origin of the product is genuine and certifies a real and effective production entirely localized in Italy. Otherwise there is a risk of trivializing and debasing the “made-in-Italy” trademark itself and reduce its future appeal on international markets.
1 For us made-in-Italy is represented by having a unique style, combined with the best technology to make easy and efficient the use of our appliances.
2 I believe that made-in-Italy is a competitive factor only for those who are able to present themselves with an appropriate “personality” and are able to interpret the concept of made-in-Italy in the best way.
3 I think that, among our most recent products, the new range of Creactive ovens (available in all types, sizes and for all markets, North America included) well represents our way of seeing the made-in-Italy. These are products with an operating system interface easy to understand and with a wide range of features to meet, in the kitchen of everybody’s home, both the budding cooks needs and those of the most passionate ones.
4 Despite several mistakes made in the past by companies that have pursued only the “hunger” of volumes and prices, made-in-Italy has survived and enjoys wide recognition by consumers almost all over the world. It is up to us producers to be able to give content to this will and this interest expressed every day by the markets.
5 In our opinion, design that brings benefits to the user and ergonomics must be key issues when we are speaking of design. Nobody needs beautiful products just to be looked: appliances must offer valuable content and combinations with materials that are drivers for the kitchen furniture sales. During these years we have developed a strong attention to any single detail, to the color tones, up to the offer of colors created by us as the materic gray (in glass ceramic induction hobs) and the metal gray in products with glass aesthetics (ovens, hobs, wine cellars, coffee machines).
1 Our company focuses mainly on the building quality of its products, on their practicality and usefulness. We want to offer well-built, reliable products that can help consumers rediscover the value of “do it yourself” in the kitchen.
2 Made-in-Italy is certainly an added value, although too often we see products that have only a made-in-Italy design (and sometimes neither that), while today the demand is for devices that have real contents . Who has arguments “of substance” (quality, ease of use and cleaning, durability and reliability of a product – all themes of which the Italian producers have always been well aware) has certainly a benefit in terms of market appreciation and competitiveness.
3 Reber has been working in the field of appliances for vacuum for over 20 years and recently has also launched a line of products for sous-vide cooking at low temperature. In this area, issues related to food respect, genuine preparations without the addition of “artificial” flavors, respect of raw materials in the kitchen, food storage and waste reduction are subjects to which all the world has shown sensitivity and made-in-Italy ensures that these qualities are combined with a culinary tradition of excellence. To all this we added the issue of energy saving, realizing all our devices with low-consumption systems, also patented by Reber.
4 Interest in made-in-Italy is always very high, because the Italian production is still identified as a high quality production. My opinion is that this image should be preserved without running after price cuts that lead to lower quality, because ultimately we know we cannot be competitive only on the lowest price field. Customers, especially foreign ones (but we can see this trend even in Italy), are willing – regarding certain products – to recognize that quality has a cost, especially if we are speaking of food preparation, and it is important to keep up this trust.
5 Ours is a company that males of its being “craft” a strength, and that is largely characterized by “essential” but effective products. The theme of design has always been overshadowed by construction quality, but today we must also deal with this issue and with the demand for “beautiful” as well as well-built products. So we have started treating the aesthetics too, since the engineering stage of the product. Regarding processing, the best guarantee we can provide is producing the most we can inside our facilities, in order to control the entire process and to quickly intervene in case of need.
1 When generating new products we create our own design in-house and make sure that throughout the process there is an unusually strong link between the firm, the employees and customers. Another key feature that distinguishes our company from others is the fact that this link stimulates a bottom-up industrialization process and this is vital to fuel innovation. Our company adheres to a very peculiar quality guarantee process: crucial for us is that all of our products are based on company’s own project and design. All components guarantee quality, first choice materials and full traceability of raw materials origin. On top of this, we use the company’s specific workmanship and time-proven skills. All is made in observance of employees, health and safety standards, in accordance with labor laws and according to the hygiene, healthcare and safety.
2 Successful companies are built on solid foundations, they stand out and are able to develop a unique identity while offering products or services perceived by customers to be superior to those offered by others. Arguably, the “made-in-Italy” brand is one of the most trusted and recognizable around the world but it is also a very peculiar brand as is not directly linked to a product or service, businessperson, company, group or specific industry sector. Hence, it is fair to assume that there is more to the key characteristics which makes the “made-in-Italy” brand so unique and successful. We guarantee knowledge, uniqueness, passion, consistency, competitiveness, exposure.
3 Mixing tradition and innovation: we have created the best match between these two concepts in the new Jewel Line. By looking at this range, a new mood and a modern elegance is successfully achieved. Sleek design, tight edges and minimalist concepts are carefully balanced. Part of this line is an impressive 90 cm with six burners where two of them are Wok burners. These burners meet the latest and most strict requirements in terms of energy saving standards.
4 When we think to new products, we focus on food, technology and Italian lifestyle. This is what our engineers keep in mind while creating strong and durable appliances. Zepa’s success comes from our people who are our resources and our region values, which are our roots. Labeling the products with “made-in-Italy” brand actually means more than what it signifies: status and luxury. It brings a symbol of craftsmanship and prestige to the table. Today Zepa is undergoing a shining period. With the new owner Teka Group, owning full stake in Zepa, gaining full ownership with 100 percent of the company, a new course has been undertaken. New creative visions, a new leadership and new projects launched around the world: thanks to this, Zepa is reaching new partnerships across the globe.
5 Zepa solidifies its international reputation as one of the most esteemed Italian manufacturers of kitchen appliances, not only for the quality of products, but for elegance and style. Zepa relies on a set of skills like very few can. Every product we commercialize has been created from scratch in Zepa and when we say this, we really mean it. Zepa not only defines the project traits but develops the dies for metal-stamping necessary to manufacture it. When this phase is done, we move forward, pinpointing each individual target-country requirement. Along these lines, the product is carefully tested and certified in our internal laboratory included in the world CB scheme. Very few can compare in this. When even this is complete, the products are finally assembled from knowleadgeable and experienced people in our 5 production lines, 100% checked and only after, shipped to the clients.