Benetton

Luciano Benetton born 13 May 1925 in Treviso, Italy. From 1992-1994 he was a senator. A father of 4 kids. Along with his brother Gilberto and his sister Giuliana is the founder of the Benetton fashion company (1965). At first they have been manufacturing clothes at affordable prices. Multicolor jackets, sweaters and blouses are swiftly turning into best sellers. Other pieces they are selling like T-shirts, jeans, sportswear, perfumes are also turning to be quite popular and preferred for the casual outlook. Today Benetton is a leader in the worldwide clothes manufacturing. The company is operating within nmore than 120 countries around the World and the trademarks like “United Colors of Benetton”, “Undercolors of Benetton”, “Benetton 012” and “Sisley”. Luciano Benetton is the owner of the “Benetton Group” presented on the fond markets in New York, Milan, Frankfurt and “SEAO of London”. He is a member of the board of the “Edizione” holding – a financial holding company owned by the family. The main activity if Benetton in producing clothes for women, men and kids is linked to the already well known and common trademarks such as “United Colors of Benetton” and “Sisley”. The group is also operating within the area of the sportswear for brands like Killer Loop” and “Playlife”. In 1998 the trading network of the company includes more than 8 000 shops around the World and the annual threshold hits 8 billion US Dollars. It is constantly increasing and focusing on creating vast mega shops offering high quality services to their customers. Annually the company is manufacturing more than 110 million set of clothes and in 2009 the Forbes magazine rated Luciano Benetton amongst the 468 richest people in the World with a fortune of 1,5 billion USD.


It would rather simple to qualify the amazing advertisements of Benetton as just shocking or scandalous. The photographer Oliviero Toscani is one of the main reasons for one of the most successful campaigns. Upon his recommendation Benetton agrees to work in cooperation with the small advertising agency Eldorado is based in Paris. The process is separated into three different phases: the cycle of differences, the cycle of reality and the cycle of the open speech. The groups of happy children from various races are substituted with couples – together are Palestinians and Israeli, a priest is kissing a nun, etc. The company is taking the responsibility to urge the cohabitation of different people. The advertisements are tolerating and aiming to achieve equality. It is good to know that the pictures of the men sick of AIDS, of the soldier and of the Albanian emigrants are not taken especially for the advertising campaigns and purposes of Benetton but are taken from the media and the information they disseminate. Those photographs are illustrating the reality and posing questions like ‘Is it possible for a commercial to communicate with the customers by focusing their attention on something completely different than the products offered?’, “Who is saying that the commercials are illustrating only the lack of conflicts and problems?”
Initially not everyone manages to accept the innovations of Benetton that changes the traditional acknowledgment of the commercials. Until that moment it has been considered as a luxurious coverage of the desired face of the product or service. Instead, Benetton breaks all the taboos by offering contradicting ideas, visualizing the pain, the conflict. This has led to a large number of protests and muttering. The cooperation between Benetton and a number of authoritative international associations has helped in coping with this public reaction. The massive campaign ‘Empty out your wardrobes’ urges people to get all their unnecessary clothes and take them to the Benetton shops. Then they will be taken to the local Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations that will deliver them to the poor people and those who are in need. The main person in this advertising campaign is Luciano Benetton himself, completely naked. The only text attached to the picture is ‘Give me back my clothes!’. The final result is amazing – 83 countries manage to collect 460 tons of old clothes used to help a lot of people that live in poverty. There is also another result of course – empty wardrobes are getting filled up with clothes purchased from the shops of Benetton. Senator Benetton answers the critics of his major political opponents saying ‘I am not taking off my clothes for pleasure, but to help other people’. Still this campaign’s purpose is not only ideal, non commercial such. In Jonathan Maytal’a book ‘the family, the business the brand’ Benetton explains: The campaign has three purposes – to help poor people, to help rich people that have too many things and to help me’.

Benetton has several main features as personality. His way of thinking, style and behavior are mainly built in a firm family environment where even though living in poverty he was getting his first lessons of will and hard work. He manages to achieve a global vision, a good sense for the different, flexibility about the changes and new technological implementations. The communication philosophy and commercial created by Benetton illustrate that the communication between the people is the source of everything regardless of their religion, race, sex, culture.
The trading markets of Benetton offer not only men, women, children collections but also various additions to the style and vision – a wide variety of accessories, perfumes. The first fragrance is launched in 1987 bearing the name Colors of Benetton. Other well known fragrances are Tribu (1993), Hot & Cold (1997), Paradiso Inferno (2001), B.United (2004), Cumbia Colors (2005), United Colors of Benetton Woman, Man, Unisex (2006), Puresport (2007), B.United Jeans (2007), White Night (2008), Energy (2008), Essence of United Colors of Benetton (2008), Verdе, Blu, Rosso, Giallo (2009).
Almost 40 years now Benetton is a leading company with sales of above 2,7 billion USD. The family owns chain restaurants Autogrill and along with that has a significant part of Atlantia – one of the largest companies collecting highway taxes. The development of the trading organization of Benetton is helped by a large scale program that urges investments into building mega shops some of them directly managed by the Benetton Group. The Benetton Group’s ability to attract the public attention is really visible with the Factory project – the communication and research center of Benetton. This is a way of linking with the culture and industry using communications that are no longer counting on the standard ways of advertising. Other means that are used are the design, music, cinema, photography, press, Internet. Every three seasons Benetton are changing the regular commercial campaigns with such that are having a universal impact. This way what they achieve is some sort of correspondence with the real World. In 2001 the ‘Volunteers in colors’ appears as an initiative held together with UN dedicated on the celebration of the International year of working voluntarily. Other large scale campaign is ‘Food for life’ accomplished together with the ‘World nutrition program’ aiming to fight the hunger that exists on our planet. The Benetton Group also affects the care for the animals as a part of the studying and keeping the environment. The campaign is entitled ‘James and other monkeys’.
In Benetton’s philosophy one can distinguish the rights to choose, the opportunity to self-identity creating your own style, the freedom to ignore the common one and the strive to distinguish yourself from the rest. One of the most attractive features of a successful businessman are namely – his everlasting energy, his exacerbated social attitude, the unlimited responsibility to the name of his own family (brand and family company). He has a really easy approach to all of the challenges of the time and the new technologies. Thus mainly due to people like him we can see the most shining face of the modern business that always takes into consideration not only the commercial purposes but also the needs of the society and rest of the people.

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