Consumers have already been buying sports merchandise at PUMA stores online and offline to flaunt their Ferrari badges on various merchandise. The signature perfume of the brand is another hot selling item across department stores worldwide and makes for one of the obvious and easiest choices to pick up from Duty Free shops at Airports, for self or for gifting. These and many such indulges have been a part of Ferrari and parent company Exor’s brand merchandising efforts. Last week, the company launched a new line of fashion apparel and related accessories and hosted dinner at a Ferrari restaurant.
Over 100 journalists from all over the world assembled at an assemble plant of Ferrari’s HQ in Maranello, Italy. The production floor was converted to a ramp walk where models showcased clothing lines and accessories – not the usual brand’s licensed merchandise, rather ones designed by the company’s internal design team led by Rocco Iannone who joined the world’s top automotive and racing cum passenger automotive brand. John Elkann, interim CEO of Ferrari and the CEO of parent company Exor which also owns stakes in other fashion brands such as Shang Xia (founded by Hermes) and Christian Louboutin said “This is not a side project” for the company.
“We have many interests, and one is definitely brands, and within brands, the high-end category is an interesting one,” he said. But Mr. Elkann said there were no plans to turn Exor into a luxury group, despite a minor financing project with a range of small and midsize Italian companies doing business in food, cosmetics, design and fashion. This, after multiple reports in local media that the Automotive giant may join hands with Italian fashion and luxury brand Armani to counter other international behemoths such as Louis Vuitton and Kering.
Harley Davidson, the cult, American motorcycle brand already has a dedicated line of merchandise including apparel and riding gear which are available across 100s of dedicated stores and counters worldwide. Though there are limited takers, the line is popular among the riding class which includes the youth and millennials all the way up to those in their 60s and 70s who were active riders in their prime. Even in India, Royal Enfield has a similar line of products which are available at their own dealerships as well as at Department store chains such as Central & Shoppers Stop.
While it is obvious that most Ferrari owners wouldn’t want to wear Ferrari merchandise while driving as it may not only look awkward but they may even appear as staff of the brand, the range is aimed at brand enthusiasts with a pricing range upwards of USD 1,800. “It’s about changing a licensing model into a controlled model,” Mr. Elkann said. “The quality has to be on par with what we do in cars.”
The guests were also treated for a grand dinner at The Cavallino Restaurant right opp the factory’s gates where company founder Mr. Enzo Ferrari would walk across the road to have his lunch. That meant, the time was exactly 12.30 in the afternoon. The place has a huge history with its humble beginnings in 1950 where Enzo had a private room for himself to hold business meetings as well as to entertain his personal guests. The company has revived the place with ace chef Massimo Bottura who has retained the legacy of the place yet giving it a touch and feel that resonates with the present.
Clearly, Ferrari and many other luxury companies are trying out newer ways to keep their flock of customers and brand enthusiasts engaged. Be it specially tailored merchandise or a quite meal with loved ones, Ferrari for one is going the extra mile.