From a small crafts workshop to an international industrial reality. In 60 years you have become Italy’s most popular brand. What is the key to this success?
The secret lies in a combination of things: maximum focus on product, extreme attention to detail, and a constant tendency to pursue increasingly ambitious goals. It is certainly important to be able to offer the quality of Made in Italy – a distinctive factor, coveted all over the world – as a competitive advantage to meet the challenges of the global market. The work on product, however, has to be accompanied by forceful strategies of expansion of our retail channels, in Italy and elsewhere, with operations on five continents.
What have been the decisive steps, starting in 1961, the year of the company’s founding?
My father Valter and my uncle Elvino transformed a small crafts workshop for the production of kitchens into one of our country’s most important industrial players, in just a few years. Today Scavolini is no longer only about kitchens: the introduction of offerings for the bathroom began in 2012, followed by the living area in 2015, and we have recently diversified into wardrobes. These are the steps of our evolution.
MIA by Scavolini, Design Vuesse in collaboration with Carlo Cracco
Delinea by Scavolini, Design Vuesse
Furthermore, for over 30 years we have been one of the leading Italian producers in this sector, and one of the main exporters of kitchen components: an extremely important achievement, thanks to a strategy of internationalization that led to the creation of Scavolini USA in 2007, the opening of an office in Shanghai in 2014, a UK branch in 2015, and the company Scavolini France in 2018.
The big breakthrough came with some of the best known ad campaigns in Italy, with the slogan “the one Italians love best,” accompanied by a very popular celebrity.
We were the first in our sector to approach television advertising, in 1975, but it was in 1984 that we reached the apex of success, thanks to the campaign with Raffaella Carrà, entering the collective imagination with that slogan. We wanted a high-impact ad campaign. My father saw the three most popular personalities in Italy, at the time, on the cover of a famous magazine. One of them was Raffaella Carrà, so we chose her as our testimonial. The message was simple and evocative at the same time: an immediate hit. Then we did the same thing with Lorella Cuccarini, the face of Scavolini since 1987, in a relationship that lasted until 2004. The returns in terms of visibility and brand loyalty were rapid and constant, but we have always approached the market by listening to people’s needs.
What is the most iconic product? Is there one favorite that continues to be in demand today?
It’s hard to pick just one, but we can definitely mention the famous Dandy collection: launched in 1986, it became a big success and a Scavolini bestseller. In 2020 we decided to reinvent it with the Dandy Plus series, designed by Fabio Novembre.
Dandy by Scavolini, Design Vuesse (1986)
When did you start working with well-known international designers, and why?
We began in 1975 with Agostino Bertani, who created one of our iconic models of that period, L’Isola della Melarosa. In the 2000s we began to work with international architects, including Giugiaro Design, Nendo, Ora-ïto, Diesel Creative Team, King&Miranda Design, Karim Rashid, Michael Young, Rainlight Studio and Fabio Novembre, who have contributed with their exclusive creations to an ongoing activity of mediation between the liveliest expressions of creativity and the present and future dreams of individuals, while building a legacy of trust, excellence and design expertise.
What are the innovations that have developed over the years, and the new paths of production?
One decisive choice, from the outset, was that of outsourcing a large portion of the production processes. During the economic boom years we had the chance to grow rapidly, but if we had been producing everything inside the company we would not have been able to keep pace with demand. So we decided to focus on research and development of new collections, assembly and shipping. This strategy was a winner, and it has allowed us to devote major resources to marketing and communication, which was an innovative approach in our sector. The focus on the role of technology in kitchen design, the space par excellence for innovation, has always been a central factor for us. This was the starting point for our collaboration with Fabio Novembre. We were able to formulate an intelligent solution, also using the Amazon voice assistant Alexa in the Dandy Plus series.
Dandy Plus by Scavolini, Design Fabio Novembre
Diesel Social Kitchen by Scavolini, Design Diesel Creative Team
Over time, how have foreign and retail markets grown?
Our main markets of reference are the United States, Russia, the Far East, China, as well as Europe and France. Recent new openings in Australia and Japan have further expanded our network, consolidating a project of international growth launched some time ago. Today Scavolini is one of the leading exporters of component kitchens, relying on a distribution network of over 1200 points of sale in Italy and abroad. This success strategy is based on constant boosting of retail channels, and the development of products in tune with the needs of different countries.
How have you been able to diversify production?
The choice of expanding the range of our collections to include items for the bathroom, the living area and the wardrobe, more recently, has been the natural evolution of the desire to respond to market demand, coming to terms with a total living project. Until 2012 we made almost only kitchens, but then – also stimulated by the contract market which called for combinations of furnishings for the kitchen and the bath – we decided to diversify. The passage to the living area in 2015, with a structured collection, was the next step towards the creation of a coordinated style for various rooms. Today this is an established trend, which after the pandemic implies that the entire home has to perform new functions, as in the case of people who transform spaces for work or schooling.
Diesel Misfits Bathroom by Scavolini
Campagna pubblicitaria “60 anni insieme”
This diversification has become the focus of the new television ad campaign to celebrate 60 years of history. Will there be other initiatives?
Besides the ad campaign “60 Years Together,” this year all the new products will be supported, besides the current touchpoints and available strategies, by special offline and online communication, as well as the company’s social network accounts. To improve engagement with clients and partners, we have organized a series of virtual activities and events, along the lines of what was already being done in 2020. These initiatives are part of a wider-ranging project to get increasingly close to people, not just as a brand but also as a reference point on a territorial level. A strategic approach in which the protagonists are the retail channel and our points of sale, which represent counterparts of great importance for us.