Gucci is an Italian luxury brand of fashion and leather goods. Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence in 1921. Gucci generated about €4.2 billion in revenue worldwide in 2008 according to BusinessWeek and climbed to 41st position in the magazine’s annual 2009 “Top Global 100 Brands” chart created by Interbrand; it retained that rank in Interbrand’s 2014 index. Gucci is also the highest-selling Italian brand. At the end of the 19th century, the Gucci became one of the world’s most successful manufacturers of high-end leather goods, clothing, and other fashion products.
Gucci operates about 278 directly operated stores worldwide as of September 2009, and it wholesales its products through franchisees and upscale department stores. In the year 2013, the brand was valued at US$12.1 billion, with sales of US$4.7 billion. In the Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands list, Gucci is ranked the 38th most valuable brand, with a brand value of $12.4 billion as of May 2015. As of January 2015, the creative director is Alessandro Michele.
Gucci has focused on the online shopping experience, creating a sense of digital inspiration by including visually rich large images and videos, with information on current fashion collections in the editorial section “The Agenda”. The company has actively frequently uploaded posts of behind the scenes, with information on the patterns and styles, which highlight the craftsmanship of each product design. This has allowed consumers to gain a stronger emotional relationship with the brand. The brand has integrated itself into the modern digital world with campaigns such as the ‘collaborative art project’. This campaign was to market a new line of watches, in which the brand collaborated with artists and popular Instagram meme accounts. Memes can be defined as a joke, fad or memorable piece of content that spreads across the web and is usually accompanied by a witty caption. For Gucci, the brand focused on Instagram ads, where they re imagined popular memes with their watch collection, prompting users to share and tag their friends. Despite the conversation and shares, the campaign was not wildly successful, with many viewers reacting negatively to the content.
Gucci has had a partnership with UNICEF since 2005. Gucci stores worldwide donate a percentage of the sales for special collections made specifically for UNICEF to go toward the United Nations Children’s Fund. The annual Gucci Campaign to Benefit UNICEF supports education, healthcare, protection and clean water programs for orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. For the campaign in 2009, Michael Roberts promoted a children’s book, “Snowman in Africa” with proceeds going to UNICEF. In five years, Gucci donated over $7 million to UNICEF. Gucci is the largest corporate donor to UNICEF’s “Schools for Africa” that was established in 2004 by UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and the Hamburg Society. Its goal is to increase access to basic schooling for all, with a special emphasis on children orphaned by HIV/AIDS and children living in extreme poverty.