August 7, 2012
Italian fashion house Gucci is pushing its international appeal and seven-year partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund by marketing a line of country-specific handbags, accessories and T-shirts for which a portion of the proceeds to go the organization.
Items in the GG Flag Collection feature an enlarged double-G logo in a flag pattern and 25 percent of proceeds go to UNICEF’s "Schools for Asia" initiative that gives disadvantaged children in Asia- Pacific access to quality education. Gucci is raising awareness for this collection with a dedicated email campaign and other digital efforts, likely to reach a global audience and encourage ecommerce interactions.
“Corporate philanthropy is a tried-and-true way to build goodwill with customers and is practically a mandated cost of business these days,” said Elizabeth DeMaso, managing partner at Brenes Co., New York. “It is especially effective with luxury brands that can sometimes feel indulgent by providing an easy way to give back.
“As Gucci enters its seventh year of philanthropic support for UNICEF, its new GG Flag Collection is sure to garner interest from loyalists and those with Gucci aspirations,” she said. “Purchasing a bag gives the customer the opportunity to acquire a limited-edition bag while contributing to a wonderful cause.
“And, for those without the funding for a Gucci bag, the T-shirt allows a lower point of entry while still capturing an exclusive Gucci product.”
Wave the flag
The GG Flag Collection consists of country-specific Boston bags, zip-up wallets and T-shirts. Additional items are available in a few markets such as a duffel bag and tote bag in the United States.
Each flag design is exclusive to the country. However, the Italian flag collection is available worldwide.
Items are imprinted with a country’s flag in the shape of Gucci’s interlocking G logo. Countries represented in the collection include Italy, Germany, France, Britain, Japan, South Korea and the United States.
Products can be purchased on Gucci’s commerce-enabled Web sites and likely in select boutiques.
The GG Flag Collection duffle bag is $1,090, the Boston bag and tote bag are $895, the wallet is $495 and the T-shirt is $250.
GG Flag Collection Italy Boston bag
Spreading the wealth
Gucci is raising awareness for the collection in select markets via digital efforts.
For instance, the label sent an email Aug. 2 to consumers in the U.S. with the subject line “Fly your flag and do good.” The label likely sent similar emails to its consumer lists in the countries where the collection is available.
The email told consumers that 25 percent of the proceeds of the items will go to UNICEF’s Schools for Asia program, which is the next phase in Gucci’s seven-year partnership with the organization.
GG Flag Collection email
The label is also raising awareness for the collection via social media and its Web site.
Gucci did not release additional marketing plans before press deadline, but the label could push its charity affiliation in stores where the items are available.
Gucci’s previous efforts with UNICEF include participation in its Gifts That Give Back program with a $250,000 donation and a specially-designed bag (see story).
The label seems to have created this philanthropy strategy so that its consumers can continually align it with the charity’s values.
“Gucci has had a partnership with UNICEF for many years and I think the marketplace has not only come to expect but look forward to what the new products and design and will be each year,” said Courtney Albert, brand strategist at Parker Avery, Atlanta. “There is no doubt that the line provides support to an outstanding cause, but it also serves as another connection point to the Gucci consumer.
"Using digital channels is a good strategic move when marketing these types of campaigns and products, mainly because it has a much stronger reach to consumers and others who may become advocates for the charity or brand,” she said.
“In other words, instead of solely waiting for someone to pass a Gucci store or print advertisement, digital media offers an immediate connection to this group of people that can be tracked and passed to other contacts.”
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York