And it’s a good thing too. Patriotism is something that very few countries do well, and the Italians are certainly one of them. If any of you have Italian friends, family or colleagues, you’ll know that they would never back down from defending the beautiful way of Italian life.
After all Italians have a lot to be proud of, from food to fashion and beauty to heritage – Italians definitely bring a sense of elegance to everything that they do. But up until now the one thing that they haven’t been able to be proud of is their airline – Alitalia.
Tre, due, uno…
As of yesterday, Alitalia can now boast about having an airline that exudes everything that is ‘Made of Italy’.
Many of us find it very difficult to differentiate between airlines and their offer as in most parts there is very little that really separates them. But Alitalia have taken their privileged position of being the flag carrier and used it to reignite the world’s love for everything Italian (including themselves).
In the world of brand we reference the difference between talking about being the brand and living the brand. Alitalia seem to have considered everything it takes to live their new brand.
Here is how they’ve shown us what it means to be Italian in every sense:
Taste / Gusto
Having worked with airlines for many years, I’ve come to learn that the way that they present food is often predictable and in most instances pretentious. Alitalia have shown us the food is not meant to be a contemporary master piece of art, that in fact food is the simplest form of satisfaction in life.
Italians have always kept food simple, the way nature intended and this is Alitalia doing the same – sourcing Italy’s best produce and presenting it in it’s most natural way. It’s their way of telling us that their food is so good that you’ll want to scoop up every last drop and you’ll need nothing more than your hands to enjoy it.
Sight / Vista
Design has been a form of expression for Italians for many years, that has conveyed their interpretation of beauty. But for years Alitalia has drifted further and further into the realms of functional form, rather than aligning itself with the very best of Italy’s aesthetic beauty.
Alitalia’s new design language, which has been meticulously applied across every passenger touch point does justice to many of the famous design houses that we have all associated with Italy’s expertise in creativity.
Perhaps the most visible application is the uniforms, which go against traditional airline uniform principles of function and really concentrate on the fuss. Everything down to the detailed ridging in the hat, inspired by the Cinque Terre, the uniform most definitely deserves a place on any Italy’s most prized cat walks.
Whilst the design language carries passengers throughout an exquisite journey, investments in things like the uniform are fundamental to attracting a new generation of employees who will want to wear their colours with pride.
Touch / Toccare
There is no arguing that Italians are full emotion and passion and that they’re not afraid of sharing their world with the rest. But as the world has evolved with the social and digital revolution, the act of travel has become one of the deepest forms of personal expression to the wider world.
Alitalia beautifully captures emotion across every part of their new film, from the delight on the young child to the coming together of the on-board selfie. They’re able to touch their audience in a way that no other airline has managed to effectively before. The final closing shot of the air hostess filled with emotion, infectiously captures the audience and builds real empathy in the brand.
Sound / Suono
Music has traditionally been one of the cultural markers of Italian national and ethnic identity and holds an important position in society. But for many brands around the world, the experience of sound remains unchartered territory when it comes to using it to woo its customers.
Alitalia’s use of the ever familiar ‘Volare’ as their new musical signature, accentuates their aspirational take on the adventures of flying. Maliki Ayane’s rendition of this classic really does transport you into that ‘holiday mood’.
Smell / Odore
Smell is one of the most powerful mediums to trigger our minds. Its association with experiences, emotion and understanding make it a crucial part of building an experience. Italy too has a very distinctive smell profile, one that is filled with fresh scents that are sharp and floral.
Alitalia have neatly finished their identity with the fragrance that really resembles what it feels like to be Italian, encapsulating beauty, style, class and elegance. It’s probably the most understated tool that Alitalia have brought to the table to emotionally capture its customers, every time they interact with Alitalia across the world.
Vivi, Ama, Vola
Alitalia’s development has really shown the importance for brands to consider both the relevance and power of their national heritage and the extent to which they need to curate their brand across every touch and sense.
Brands really connect on a human level and in order to succeed at this brands needs to operate in the way that we as people do – driven by emotion, experience and associations. So being passionate about who you are and what you stand for may be considered arrogant by some, but for me it’s what makes a strong brand.
I look forward to flying with Alitalia in the near future!