The Italian brand Benetton is known all over the world for its beautiful and practical clothes of bright colors, affordable for a wide range of people. The Benetton family has 8,000 stores in 120 countries and an annual turnover of $ 1.9 billion. This brand did not seek to get into the world of high fashion and did not claim to be exclusive to its products, but in a short period of time it achieved high results in business. Today Benetton has 4 brands: 1) United Colors of Benetton – casual style products; 2) Sisley – a line of fashionable clothes; 3) Playlife – a line of clothing for recreation; 4) Killer Loop – City-formatted clothing.
History of brand creation and development
The Benetton family, in which there were four children, was left without a livelihood when his father died during the Second World War. In order to somehow survive, the widow sold part of the property and acquired a knitting machine, for which Luciano’s eldest son went to Milan to knit socks and scarves for sale. But everything turned out differently.
Once, Juliana Benetton knitted a bright yellow sweater for her brother Luciano, who looked very impressive against the background of the dark clothes of the post-war era. The neighbor, learning the origin of the bright little thing, ordered a sky-blue sweater. So the Benetton family found its niche: making sweaters for sale! This allowed in 1956, six years later, to organize a small enterprise: first, several knitting machines were bought and five workers were hired, then a factory was built, designed by the Scorp brothers. In 1965, Benetton was registered, with Luciano as its head, and his sister Juliana as the designer.
Fashion clothes Benetton
Photos – Fashion Benetton 2010
Photos – spring 2010 collection and summer collection
From the very beginning, the Benetton brand relied on color: the products were bright, catchy. For the first time in Italy, self-service was introduced in the brand’s branded stores – customers had free access to products, which contributed to sales growth. The interior design of the shops, the uniform of sellers and employees – everything was done in bright colors.
Three elements ensured Benetton’s success: product style, color, and price targeting middle-class customers. In 1969, there were already 500 branded stores, and in the late 70s, Benetton brand products began to be sold in America. For American consumers, the color scheme of products was adjusted: preference was given to light, natural tones.
In 1974, Benetton acquired the Sisley brand, then expanded by acquiring the American companies Nordica, Rollerblade and Prince and launching sportswear lines. In December 1985, the company became known as the Benetton Group, but in the mid-90s, the sports division was separated, known as Benetton Sportsistem.
Benetton Advertising Revolution
In the early 80s of the XX century, the number of Benetton stores exceeded 1000, but the brand was not very famous. A breakthrough was needed in brand advertising so that the products were recognizable, and it was made by the fashion photographer Oliviero Toscani, whom Luciano invited for this purpose in 1982.
The concept of the new advertisement was that the product itself did not appear in it, but Benetton’s views on world-wide problems were loudly announced.
The first advertisement of this kind appeared in 1984 on the streets of cities of 14 countries: it was fun and colorful. It presented six children’s and six adult images and the slogan “All the world’s colors!” (“All the colors of the world!”). Only the icon with the name of the company was on the side – “United Colors of Benetton”: this was enough to indicate Benetton’s involvement in the promotion of interracial harmony.
Pictured (right) – Benetton jackets
Mikhail Gorbachev, who arrived in Paris in 1985, saw several Benetton posters on the way from the airport with the image of two kissing black children: a boy with an American flag braided in his hair and a girl with a Soviet one. “After all, who is this Benetton?” Gorbachev asked his colleagues in surprise. In the USA, they wanted to ban this advertisement, but in Europe they accepted it enthusiastically.
The 1991 ad portrayed children of different races with their tongues hanging out: vivid proof that all languages have the same color. This advertisement in the East was recognized as “pornographic,” because internal organs were shown, and in the UK and Germany, posters received awards for creativity.
However, over time, the advertising performed by Tuscany became shocking: smiles and bright colors disappeared, black-and-white images of defiant content appeared – a priest in black kissing a nun in a white robe; copulating horses; black woman breastfeeding a white-skinned child, etc. Only a small green logo reminded of the Benetton brand.