They called him the new Jeff Bezos, if only for the starting sector that unites him with the founder of Amazon. Because Andy Hunter, a forty-year-old businessman with a passion for reading, is rewriting the small publishing market starting from digital and new alliances. At the beginning of 2020 he turned on Bookshop.org, an online bookstore created to support independent bookstores. A David at war with Goliath. Today the Hunter network has 1,650 associated realities, 70% of the bookshops active in the American market. There is more. A few days ago he signed an agreement with Book2look to implement the technology of this German startup: users can read the preview of the book and receive reports of associated titles. The international press has called him the savior of small neighborhood bookstores against the dominance of the Seattle giant, but for Hunter there is only one winning key: networking on physical and virtual terrains.
It is the new plural phase of the business, which is reflected in marketing campaigns and communication projects. A model that favors integrated ecosystems – and therefore connected supply chains – far from the silos of the past. An element that embraces the digital and physical world, rethinking relational dynamics. A pervasive multidimensionality – in jargon omnichannel – which becomes a distinctive element of the Best Brands, the ranking which offers consumers’ direct point of view on brands every year, comparing it with data on their economic performance (see the tables on the page). The appointment is promoted by Serviceplan Group and Gfk and is supported by the founding partners Rai Pubblicità, 24Ore System, IGP Decaux, Adc Group with the patronage of UPA. On the other hand, the world is hybridizing in a mix of onlife dynamics and with a strong glocal component. «Onlife is now a reality because in fact there is no longer a gap between online and offline. Digitization has permeated every sphere of our activity and our relationship with brands cannot escape this. For the rest, progress has always proceeded by pushes and counter-thrusts: the euphoria of globalization is being counterbalanced by a re-evaluation of local cultures and the typical characteristics of places. All the more so in an era in which pandemics and wars have shown the less reassuring side of globalization», says Giovanni Ghelardi, CEO of Serviceplan Group. Thus transversal alliances and transmedia projects are multiplying. «Precisely because everything is increasingly interconnected, today the ability to connect different experiences and to act jointly is a winner.
Each brand can expand its offer, reach new targets, offer unexpected experiences and become multidimensional by combining global and local, craftsmanship and standardization», says Ghelardi. This is the case of “Pani d’Italia”, Nutella storytelling built around the local tradition of Italian bread and the mastery of bakers. The work was carried out in collaboration with the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo with an online landing and a social story. A journey that started from the physical stores where Nutella was displayed in association with traditional local bread and continued thanks to a QR Code on the jar in the digital pages with an immersive experience. All this has allowed us to move into the stories, characteristics and methods of preparation of the chosen loaves. «The territories and their communities also become a source of inspiration for the brands for the recovery of ancient traditions, tastes, materials or practices, suitably updated and re-proposed. It is a matter of binding oneself to the emotional roots and values of the communities», concludes Ghelardi.
I brand multilocali
«The Best Brands in permacrisis stand out for their ability to provide strong, radical answers, precise in their uniqueness. In this perspective they become friendly figures and therefore Best Friends. At the base is the ability to intercept constantly changing desires and needs. No one stands still: try to catch us, people say, try to understand us and anticipate what we want and need most of all. All ages say so», says Enzo Frasio, President of Gfk.
The territory of the Best Brands thus becomes global and local. «The best brands are close even when they are far away and when they are able to share, coexist, include, support. A word like multinational is an understatement. Today we are talking about multi-local brands capable of defending and updating the uniqueness of the brand and at the same time playing an indispensable role as a glue for the genius loci in the world», explains Frasio. New forms of alliances are born, unthinkable in the past. Ethnographer Simon Sinek is convinced of this. He has long maintained that in business we talk about competitors, but the competitor is not represented by others, but by oneself. “Others become the benchmark to look to in order to improve,” he wrote in Forbes, suggesting a rethinking of the way of doing business. It is the dawn of a new economy. For Alex Pentland, author of the best-seller “Building the new economy”, every crisis forces us to reinvent the relationships between individuals and businesses. Whoever understands this first can win the battle for attention.