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In conversation with MARZIA VIEL

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Marzia Viel

The vast and diversified region including South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia stands out for its great economic growth and ever-increasing influence on the global markets. Let’s talk about it with Marzia Viel, Head of Marketing APAC at Marcolin Group.

di Newsroom

Marcolin has been present in this part of the world for many years now: what are the winning marketing strategies in such an ever-evolving and varied area from a linguistic and cultural standpoint?

«The variety of our brand portfolio requires specific marketing investments: in addition to this very diversified context, and specifically in the case of APAC, the region’s heterogeneous nature plays a key role and is the reason behind its great linguistic and cultural variety. Nonetheless, communication trends are pretty similar and are influenced by three key trends in luxury buying. China, South Korea, and Japan are the countries with the highest luxury spending in Asia: although their growth rates differ, they set the key trends in terms of culture and style. China, in particular, since 2017 has been the country with the highest online spending as percentage of total GDP globally. Especially regarding our luxury brands, such as TOM FORD, ZEGNA, and Max Mara, thanks to our close collaboration with our HQ, and, therefore, to the great synergy that we have built with Fashion Houses, we can integrate our online and offline communication to drive and enhance our customer experience. We increased our above-the-line investments in the digital sector with magazines but also product seeding. If we shine the spotlight on Marcolin APAC, market performances over the past two years in China show how competitive this part of the world is. We are investing and gaining market share here. In 2024, the premium sector is still considered a potential safe harbor by customers in the Far East. Specifically in Southeast Asia, with Singapore and Malaysia in the forefront. The sport category is undoubtedly the most heterogeneous one in a scenario where global players collaborate with famous athletes and sponsor local events».

Who are your target customers and what channels do you use?

Ours is a B2B business, so Marcolin’s marketing strategy mostly focuses on supporting trade customers in order to implement a kind of distribution that enhances the brand equity of all the brands in our portfolio. When we build brand presence across each brand category in the different regions, we look for partners who can represent it in the most effective or unique way, so as to unlock new opportunities. We visit APAC countries on a regular basis to verify existing trends, develop communication and visibility synergy plans, and create training moments, which at Marcolin basically means sharing skills: new brand and product insights on the one hand, and market perception on the other hand. Trade magazines and conventions are certainly key moments to enrich our customer portfolio in markets where our presence needs to grow organically and constantly through branching. To further strengthen the collaboration with our customers, we are also implementing the Marcolin CX system in APAC, which will help us locally to become the “best and preferred partner”.

Lastly, let me ask you to sum up the first six months of the year and share some insights with us: what are the challenges ahead for the next few months?

2024 started on a positive note in APAC, even though there are a few markets in the region that appear to be slowing down or seeing consumers delaying purchases. On the opportunities side, Japan is an absolute certainty in APAC for Marcolin thanks to a growing trend experienced in 2023 due to tourists flocking in the market to take advantage of the weak yen and, of course, to enjoy the legendary Japanese hospitality. The biggest challenge is China, because Chinese consumers are travelling more and more outside China, thus affecting purchasing power in the domestic market.

We are closely monitoring all the potential opportunities in the market, thanks to collaborations that will kick off soon, such as the first MCM Eyewear collection by Marcolin that will be presented in June in Singapore for SEA and in Hainan, China, for North APAC and China.

Of course, talking about relevant opportunities, the development plan for ic! berlin in APAC is also worth mentioning: an ongoing plan that is already giving its first results in 2024.

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