On our group’s first full day in Verona, we went to visit the Consorzio Della Moda (Mozzecane Fashion Consortium). Upon arriving at the information session, our group was informed of a variety of statistics that gave us a much better understanding of the fashion industry of Veneto and Italy as a whole. Specifically, 25% of all manufacturing in Veneto (the region that encompasses the Consortium) comes from the fashion industry and 20% of the fashion industry of Italy as whole comes from Veneto. Hence, the fashion industry is extremely prevalent not just in Veneto, but in Italy as a whole and Veneto is a key player in the industry. Furthermore, there are 9,000 fashion oriented companies in Veneto and they employ roughly 100,000 workers (over 80% has less than 50 employees so most of these companies are the big players in the game. The average revenue of the companies ranges from 5-20 million euros annually and they are generally family run companies. The Consortium does not have more than one or two actual employees but rather a collection of members who can offer experience with logistics and marketing.
The Consortium was established in 2000 and has been growing in the Veneto region ever since. There are currently 46 companies in the organization and the organization continually looks to expand depending on if a prospective company is the right fit. The Consortium’s operations reminds me of a chamber of commerce in the United States. Both of these organizations look to help generally small to midsize businesses expand their business and market their product to the community around them. I actually worked for my local chamber of commerce while I was in highschool and did digital marketing projects with local brands in the area over twitter. As I heard about what the Consortium did for local companies, this sounded somewhat similar to what I did. The main difference seemed to be that the Consortium emphasized manufacturing brands changing many of their characteristics in order to appeal to consumers who are not interested in wholesale purchase. Furthermore, the Consortium appeared to have a much more in depth approach to helpings firms rebrand or grow in size with full marketing plans and expanding customer bases to the United States. In comparison, the Chamber worked with local promotion. Furthermore, the Consortium seemed to be much more expensive for firms to join (initiation fee, annual member fee, and project fees which vary depending on the firm and the size of the project). Essentially, it seems that both organizations look to promote the growth of the companies within their local communities but the Consortium seems to have a much more pronounced focus and much more intensive resources.
There are many benefits with regards to companies considering joining the Consortium. One benefit is that the Consortium can help companies get grant money for different projects from the government that they would otherwise not be able to access. Furthermore, the organization offers a platform to similar minded companies who are working through similar problems, this allows them to exchange ideas and work through problems together. Essentially this organization allows different companies to network and openly exchange resources in a positive environment that benefits everyone involved. Another benefit is that the Consortium can help companies expand to otherwise unreachable customer bases. The task is manageable in a variety of ways. With regards to having companies expand their business into America, the organization offers company leaders that have successfully completed task and can help companies who are attempting this by offering them guidance and wisdom by sharing some of the difficulties they experienced first hand. A different benefit that stems from joining the organization is that the Consortium can help brands digitalize their global business presence. Meaning, that a team of members from the organization can help a company set up a website or create a social media presence (most likely on Facebook) that they can then interact with customers on and be able to sell their product to customers who cannot come into the store. The Consortium also helps provides different independent designers and artists with an incubator. This means that they will help smaller firms (maybe just one or two people), collect the resources (workspace, tools, machines) that they need to create their product in a professional manner.