Italian brand Giovanni Raspini has secured high levels of brand awareness in its home market over the last 50 years, with customer loyalty at an all-time high.
On a trip to Milan with the brand, Professional Jeweller editor, Stacey Hailes, witnessed first-hand the love and admiration locals have for the design, craftsmanship, and innovation Giovanni Raspini has become renowned for.
The last five years have been particularly significant for the brand, with fast double-digit growth in Italy giving the firm confidence to expand internationally.
Today, Giovanni Raspini has a strong network of retailers and 16 flagship stores across the globe, including one on London’s prestigious South Molton Street, which opened in 2017.
Now the brand is looking to take business to the next level in the UK.
General manager, Leonardo Berlingieri, explains: “A significant growth in the Italian market, especially in the last five years, and the evidence of an international audience attending our stand-alone boutiques has convinced us that our product has the strength to face a significant international expansion. We deeply believe that we have the ability to meet the taste of different cultures thanks to a wide selection of products.
“From this perspective we have considered the UK market as an essential and strategic market to start with our project; the English consumer has particularly always shown a significant passion for everything made in Italy and it can be seen from how the other Italian brands are performing in the international markets. We are convinced that through the right customer orientation, a structured marketing mix and an accurate distribution strategy we can expand in the UK market and position the brand successfully as in the Italian market.”
The flagship store in London has been an excellent starting point for Giovanni Raspini, with its position near Oxford Street and Bond Street placing it in a strong place to introduce new consumers to the brand’s ethos and design aesthetic.
In terms of performance, Giovanni Raspini has seen the store sales grow each year with projections showing a potential equal to its stores in Italy, located in the major Italian cities such as Rome, Milan, Venice.
“According to our results and business model, our stores have a very high conversion rate when the consumer enters the store and knows the product,” reveals Berlingieri. “The ability to generate traffic accordingly is a key lever for performances.”
Marketing investment has now been put in place in order to develop brand awareness, and Giovanni Raspini is looking to support this exposure with strategic distribution.
The general manager explains: “We have entered the market opening our Mayfair flagship store and building brand awareness but for us the next step is to increase our distribution in the territory, finding the right commercial partners who truly appreciate and understand our product. In particular, we are aiming at high-end department stores and jewellery stores carefully selected by our sales representatives.”
Partnering with Broad Brand Agencies, Giovanni Raspini has begun its search for retail partners in the UK.
When asked what the brand looks for in a retail partner, Berlingieri responds: “Our ideal partner is a retailer that with the proper training, can understand and translate to the final consumer the brand history, its characteristics, manufacturing process and style. A retailer that of course would be selling the brand but is happy to support and work alongside us in order to be part of a long-term vision. A retailer that is able to identify the potential targets, understanding the market, offering to the client the most suitable product.”
Retail partners will be heavily supported by the brand, which ensures high levels of logistics, on-time shipments, and a continuous replenishing of stock.
Giovanni Raspini also provide marketing tools, such as merchandising displays, at no additional cost, and catalogues, alongside a position on the website as part of its store locator section.
“Moreover,” Berlingieri adds, “we believe in an ad hoc strategy for each market and are currently identifying the best commercial proposal for the UK jewellers by analysing their needs and unique characteristics.”
Creating its jewels in the heart of Tuscany, Giovanni Raspini has a distinctive style — something that really sets the brand apart.
All jewels are formed from a process of modelling, which is entirely made by hand. The brand models wax to create products manufactured with the method of lost wax technique. After that, all pieces are refined and polished entirely by skilled artisans.
Attention to detail and quality in the production process is key to the brand’s success, and this is mirrored in other areas of the business including customer service and logistics.
Best-sellers in the UK tend to be the more subtle and delicate pieces.
A collection called Milky Way, which nods to the night sky, is a favourite among British consumers, alongside Perlage, a range that is inspired by champagne bubbles, and Maui, which explores the reflections of sunlight.
UK customers also enjoy the more figurative jewels, partially from the marine world, with the Southern Sea collection being a best-seller for the brand.
Giovanni Raspini attributes its progress in Italy to a strong understanding of the market, and an ability to create designs that appeal to all generations.
“We have turned a company that was exclusively oriented to silver homeware into a company that, keeping the same manufacturing processes and the same tradition and style, has been able to enter and become an important player in the fashion jewellery market,” Berlingeri tells Professional Jeweller.
Giovanni Raspini will be using this same recipe for success now to take the UK market by storm.