Tecnica Group and the Covid-19 emergency: how did you deal with and manage the lockdown period? What is the scenario like that you are facing in phase 2? What are the main topics you are working on in terms of marketing? What strategic activities are you going to implement in the short term?
The winter season was, fortunately, almost over, though the sales campaign was not actually over, and is continuing in an unusual way in view of the circumstances. Any forecast must necessarily be uncertain at this time, as the situation is constantly changing. Among our own assets, the Rollerblade brand has seen unexpected global appreciation, with record-breaking sales, unmatched media attention and real interest on the part of new consumers. The Lowa and Tecnica Outdoor brands are also seeing a positive trend post-lockdown, as the mountains have become the preferred leisure destination for consumers. There was of course a slowdown caused by Covid-19, especially in the months of March and April, and it will be difficult to come through the crisis intact. But it is impossible to make any accurate estimates at the moment. The winter season has yet to begin, and we have no idea what the impact will be on consumers’ behaviour. Now more than ever, of course, brands need to communicate directly with their users, to find out what they need, to customise their messages and anticipate their desires. With this in mind, the Group is investing in implementation of a CRM for direct dialogue with customers, profiling them so that we will subsequently be capable of offering them exactly what they need.
How has consumer buying behaviour changed (if you think it has changed at all)? What trends do you foresee for the future and what strategies is Tecnica Group adopting to reformulate its offer from a commercial and communication point of view?
It’s not easy to predict consumers’ behaviour: at the current time it is to a large extent dictated by spending power, and the crisis has reduced most people’s income, either partially or significantly, a factor we need necessarily take into consideration. We have, however, noted that consumers consider practising sports one of key pillars of their daily lives. Following careful consideration, consumers often decide to invest in sporting equipment at the moment, as we have seen with in-line skates and bicycles. Shopkeepers report a drop in the number of people who come to their stores without making any purchases: people come in with clearer ideas than in the past, having already decided to make a purchase. It is undeniable that the lockdown has led to increased use of digital sales channels, and what this means for enterprises is providing clear information for consumers so that they can inform themselves about products on their own and make the decision to purchase one product rather than another. Our ability to clearly illustrate the properties and benefits of our products will allow us to be chosen over our competitors.
Facing these new dynamics, what could change for the collections in the future? And in the relationship with retailers?
…Now more than ever, of course, brands need to communicate directly with their users, to find out what they need, to customise their messages and anticipate their desires.
We are all realising that end consumers normally perceive and require less technical properties, and the same applies to renewal of our collections. I believe that in the future, we will not need to introduce so many new models and technologies every year, but will see collections that remain the same for longer (at least two seasons), consisting of products offering impeccable performance, fit and quality. Our relations with shopkeepers will also change. What do they want from us at the current time? Products with a longer life cycle, more flexible delivery, and various forms of elasticity (in timing, payments, and orders), allowing us to establish a true partnership with companies. Human relations will also play a very important role in our relationship with B2B.
Our ability to clearly illustrate the properties and benefits of our products will allow us to be chosen over our competitors