Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921and become one of the most famous luxury brands of fashion in the world. However, the road to success is not always smooth. Gucci suffered in the 1980s because of the companys aggressive branding, license strategy, and disputes between family members. After the change of ownership, Ford and De Sole were appointed as creative director and CEO to restructure the Gucci Group. Ford and De Sole revitalized the brand and created a diversified group, but the conflict of management philosophy between Ford and De Sole and PPR, the largest investor, causing De Sole and Ford left the company.
Robert Polet was appointed as the Gucci Group CEO after De Sole and Ford left the company. Under Polets management, the Group increased both revenues and profitability. The secret of the growth could be attributed to Polets decentralized and empowering management style. Although some key functions were controlled by the central, each brand had its own CEO, management structure, and retail work. Gucci Groups structure appears reasonable because centralized management would curb creativity, which is an important factor in the fashion industry. However, too much decentralization might be led astray, and Polets role was to ensure that each brand was on the right track. He wanted people to work in freedom but did not lack accountability.
Another key to Guccis success was the triangle, the process of the new product development. By doing the market research and analyzing information, the Group can provide the new collections accord with the demands of the market and govern the creation of collections. However, the triangle was not perfect and could be improved.
Polets management style has proved to be successful, but something probably needs to be changed because of the slowdown/ transformation of the industry. For example, the customer experience management was one of the issues that the Gucci Group faced. Developing the CRM system helped to improve the customers experience in the stores and to direct the marketing activities, but also involved issues such as information accessibility or whether to provide loyalty card. Because many issues were faced by all brands, should the Group implement more centralized policies to deal with the problems, or still maintain the decentralized management style that ran successfully in the past?