Microsoft’s “Digital Difference in Retail & Branded Goods” event in Paris, united brands from the fashion world to discuss their pivot to digital platforms, and their new strategies and innovations in this field. Ermenegildo Zegna’s Head of Omnichannel, Content and Innovation, Edoardo Zegna, presented a keynote speech on “Why do we still speak about digital?”
Edoardo said: “In today’s market, companies need to accept that the consumer will dictate the way forward, with their digital behaviours. The question ‘Why do we still speak about digital’ is a provocation; an examination of the evolutions that luxury needs to meet the consumers’ expectations. This question proves that digital shouldn’t be just a marketing topic, but a focus across every department in a company. Brands need to evolve their messages in line with the changing consumer. Companies will more and more be marketing-led rather than product-led; a company must be able to explain to the consumer why they should buy a product, otherwise they shouldn’t be making it in the first place. In its understanding of user behaviour, Zegna has put service at the core of its DNA, with the goal of remaining, as it has since 1910, the luxury leader in menswear.”
As Microsoft continues to innovate its platforms that enhance both the customer experience and internal process, it becomes easier for brands such as Zegna to engrain digital ways of thinking in every department. Office 365 is the first touchpoint, and Zegna has incorporated content management platform Microsoft Sharepoint, and internal communications site EaZy into its everyday functions.
Going forward, Zegna will merge its data into a hub on the Azure cloud platform, benefiting from maximum security and privacy guarantees in line with the GDPR and from Analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to offer useful hints to stylists, and to personalize marketing and communication campaigns more and more. A useful tool, already in the adoption phase, is the business intelligence dashboard Power BI, which is already enabling the interactive display of production and sales data, making the analysis to support the Group’s growth path simpler and more intuitive.
Ermenegildo Zegna puts the customer at the centre of its business to guarantee a personalized service based on individual preferences and attitudes. The Zegna Group dedicates the utmost attention to the experience of its customers both online and in-store, integrating data from different channels, as well as marketing, and then processing them in a secure way, arriving at useful data that anticipates industry trends. The omnichannel strategy is enabled by the Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement platform, which allows an effective customer relationship management. Today, the Microsoft Conference showcased how the fashion and tech industries continue to develop side-by-side, improving customer engagement and enhancing marketing strategy in 2019 and beyond:
“The Fashion industry is strategic for the competitiveness of our country and we are proud to collaborate with a reality like Ermenegildo Zegna, which, with its more than 500 boutiques and more than 90% of the turnover deriving from export, is an ambassador of Made-in-Italy all over the world. A historic family-run company that thanks to the endless challange between tradition and innovation has managed to overcome the aggressive competition of the fashion industry and the ongoing slowing down of the world’s economy, continuing to grow on the International markets winning over a complex market like China. And precisely in the footprint of this fusion between tradition and innovation is the project of digital transformation of Zegna, which sees in new technologies the binding element of a winning triad made of craftsmanship, identity and love for people and quality. With new cloud productivity tools, it will be possible to improve efficiency, stimulate creativity and better serve the customer. Moreover, the enhancement of data spread in the company processes, will allow to further improve the customer experience and to defend the competitive advantage at an international level”, commented Vincenzo Esposito, director of the Division Enterprise Commercial at Microsoft Italy.
About Ermenegildo Zegna Group
The Ermenegildo Zegna Group is a leading luxury menswear brand and one of the most renowned businesses in Italy. Founded in 1910 in Trivero, in the Biella Alps, by the young entrepreneur Ermenegildo, whose vision was to ethically create the world’s finest textiles through innovation and the sourcing of the best fibers directly from their markets of origin, the company is managed today by the third generation of the Zegna family with Gildo Zegna as CEO. Since the late 1980s, the company has implemented a comprehensive strategy of verticalization, including its acquisition of Achill Wool Farm in New South Wales, Australia, producing the highest quality merino wool. This longstanding support of the wool industry and completely verticalized process creates a global luxury brand which now ranges from fabric to clothing to accessories, and is focused on retailing, pioneering early entry in emerging luxury markets, in addition to being the first luxury brand to open a monobrand store in China in 1991.
Ermenegildo Zegna celebrated 100 years of excellence in 2010. Today there are 505 Zegna stores (272 company-owned) in over 100 countries around the world. The total Group revenues in 2017 reached € 1.183 bn. In 2000 The Group established Fondazione Zegna, of which Anna Zegna is President, to manage the philanthropic activities of the Zegna family in support of organizations that work to improve society and the environment. In February 2014, under the auspices of this organization, they announced the Ermenegildo Zegna Founder’s Scholarship, a 25-year project named for its founder with an annual investment in education of €1 million.
In August 2018, Ermenegildo Zegna Group finalized a landmark agreement for 85% of Thom Browne, Inc., a new diversified market for the Group. This acquisition, among others, demonstrates the pioneering strategic focus that has characterized the Group since the very beginning.
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