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European Business and Brand Building

Edited By Luciano Segreto, Hubert Bonin, Andrzej K. Kozminski and Carles Manera

A strong brand is a key factor in business success, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Brands help to provide a better understanding of the corporate and commercial culture of different firms. A brand reveals the knowledge capital held by a company, but also often reflects the perception of the firm held by consumers and stake-holders.
The book explores the historical process of building some of the most famous brands among European businesses and examines the extent to which the brands have contributed to the image of the firms and their differentiation against competitors in the industry.


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CHAPTER 6 - The Ascendance of the Italian Fashion Brands (1970-2000) 137 - Elisabetta Merlo


137 CHAPTER 6 The Ascendance of the Italian Fashion Brands (1970-2000) Elisabetta MERLO Department of Institutional Analysis and Public Management – Center for Research on Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurs, Università Bocconi, Milano Having emerged as world-wide trend setters of luxury consumption in the 1980s, Italian fashion brands today still evoke a world of style, luxury and frivolity. However, fashion is not only a matter of glamour. As is well demonstrated by the 2005 figures provided by the Italian Textile and Fashion Industry Association relating to the fashion sector, which includes the entire textile-fashion pipeline, from yarn to clothing to fabrics (cotton, linen, silk, wool, etc.), fashion is primarily a matter of business.1 According to these figures, one can well say that as far as production, added value, and employment are concerned – respectively equal to 7.5 per cent, 7.1 per cent, and 11.9 per cent of the total – the fashion sector is one of the main actors in the Italian manufacturing sector. Figures regarding orientation towards foreign markets give us a better idea of the role of fashion-related industries to the overall performance of the country’s economy. More than 50 per cent of the total turnover of the textile and clothing sectors is achieved thanks to foreign markets. The total figure of 26 million Euros in foreign sales of textile and clothing products in 2005 represents 9.1 per cent of the entire export value of the Italian manufacturing industry, while trade balance accounts for 26.1 per cent. In addition to such impressive figures,...

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