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Symbolic Frame

In: Business and Management

Submitted By toufik
Words 1484
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Hsiao-Hsuan Sharon Chou 992209962

Symbolic Frame

Slogan and Logo The value of GUCCI is clearly stated in its slogan: “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten” (WolrdofQuotes, 2007). This slogan emphasizes on product differentiation and quality. Since most of the existing or potential customers are already price insensitive, GUCCI uses its slogan to reinforce its brand image by concentrates on product quality. The logo of Gucci is GG, with the second G upside down. The design logo is simple and plain, yet it represents elegance, prestige and power. The representation of the logo also consists with GUCCI’s identity and brand value. The company set a clear, inspiring vision: "Gucci has become a beautiful symbol of maturity with aristocratic lines, and no longer a boring established icon." (Maximizing Your Brand Value (FL51))

Employees The characteristics of employees in GUCCI reflect company’s values. Thus, GUCCI pays special attention in selecting and training its store salespeople and product designers. When entering into GUCCI, customers can spot that all the employees are dressing in black suits. The employees dress up in suits to represent “high class.” Employees dressing code symbolizes GUCCI’s value on formality. With formal attire, customers feel that GUCCI treats them with high respect. Also, the formal attire communicates the brand itself – prestige, power, chic, and elegance. Black color also associated with meaning sophistication, and mystery. Moreover, we also found out that the salespeople share similar physical characteristics, for example, they are tall, beautiful, handsome, and with modern haircuts. Again, this enhances the brand image of GUCCI. It sends out positive message to customers that wearing and using GUCCI products will enhance one’s overall impression. In terms of salespeople’s attitude, they are more nonchalance compared with other salespeople in, for instance, Abercrombie and Fitch. When they are talking to the customers, they are always calm, polite, and professed. They talk in still voice and tone, and always try to keep the voice in a level that only himself and his customers can hear; this represents GUCCI’ respect to the customers and their privacy. Again, these attitudes are consistent with the brand image and brand attitude. Also, GUCCI’s sale force composed of different races and genders. For example, in the Toronto store, there are Asian salesperson, white salesperson, and dark skin salesperson. This signifies GUCCI’s emphasis on diversity and equal employment opportunities. Employees are potentially trained to ‘choose’ right customers. They prejudge customers based on their outfits, for example, the purse they carry, the jacket they wear, and even the haircuts. This leads to two types of behaviors. If the customers are wearing branded clothes and carrying expensive purse, the salesperson will come up and greet. Even before customers ask, they will take out the catalogues and introduce them new released products. They will treat this type of customers nicer and with more respects because they know the chance of purchasing is high. On the other hand, if a customer is in his/her casual dress, the salesperson will not spend much time and efforts on showing or introducing new products. They will wait for the customers to come up and ask for specific items. This implies GUCCI’s high-end culture, identity, and brand value.

GUCCI’s designing team composed of designers with different races, culture backgrounds, and genders. This helps GUCCI to achieve creativity and innovation. Designers with different backgrounds have different worldviews; therefore, GUCCI’s design teams are likely to generate more creative and innovative ideas. Also, GUCCI is consistently looking for creative talents from individuals they hire.

Material Symbol

Store Design GUCCI’s big heavy glass door, silver GUCCI logo, large windows with few products on display, striking black leather furniture, modern glass counters, and bright empty white walls are basic design features for every GUCCI stores. For example, GUCCI in Mexico City, “…the double-height room with a glass ceiling where handbags are displayed. A VIP salon on the second floor has a suite for consumers who want privacy when they shop. Throughout the store, satin lacquer panels, polished stainless steel, rosewood and travertine marble provide elegant finishes and surfaces…” (GUCCI Mexico) These highlight GUCCI’s emphasis on balancing tradition and innovation. Gucci’s Director of Corporate Communication noted that: “As the commercial success of the Gucci brand is strengthened, the stores’ design is incorporating innovative materials. While staying true to the brand’s inherent style, the new stores, designed by Tom Ford and William Sofield, offer a new interpretation of contemporary urban elegance . . . the dark-veined wood contrasts with modern counters and bronze chandeliers. New features are being introduced, such as leather armchairs trimmed with metal hinges, corduroy divans or ivory or chocolate colored crocodile-skin banquettes”. (Rafaeli and Pratt, 2004)

These artifacts are so obvious in GUCCI’s store design; they helps to draw insights to GUCCI’s brand image and value.

Ceremonies GUCCI’s parties are usually held infrequently and in very high-end locations such as Ginza Japan, Manhattan NY, and Milan, Italy. Most of GUCCI’s parties/ceremonies are in fashion show style. They display unreleased new designs of the certain season and concept designs for future seasons. This increases customers’ interests and expectations of the products and brand. In terms of the decoration of the parties/ceremonies, it is usually decorated with simple and plain design. Yet, this shows elegant at the same time. To maintain GUCCI’s brand image, the stage design of the parties corresponds to its store design. For example, space arrangement is big and open; the lighting is dim, yet with spot lights on the products. This will also build up strong brand image to its customers. Also, GUCCI’s parties and ceremonies are not open to public. Only people with invitations can enter; mostly they are famous brand designers around the world, top managers of famous organizations, important customers, and famous celebrities. This represents that GUCCI is a high-end brand, and this makes guests feel they special and superior. Therefore, GUCCI has reflected it contemporary beliefs and expectations with its stores opening parties and brand anniversary ceremonies.

Stories about GUCCI

There is an interesting story about how the fonder of GUCCI, Guccio Gucci, emphasized about GUCCI’s product quality. Gittardi, one of the GUCCI employees, recalled a tales of “"Guccio jumping up and down on a suitcase to show how sturdy it was. He really knew how to sell his merchandise." (Zargani, 2006) This story depicts GUCCI’s highly emphasis on quality of its products and brand- strong and last forever.
Another stories that Gittardi recalled is that “Guccio also personally checked the store windows first thing in the morning and he wanted his sons to stay in the boutiques to be in touch with their customers. ‘Floor, floor, floor.’ That was his motto, to which his sons and all store managers had to abide. It was absolutely unacceptable for any of us to sit in an office.” (Zargani and Luisa, 2006) The founder personally demonstrated the kind of attitudes he want to show his customers. This story illustrates founders’ expectation towards managers, and their behaviors. It also reflects GUCCI’s commitment toward their customers.

Recommendation Symbolic frame is an important part of the organization. It “seeks to interpret and illuminate basic issues of meaning and belief that make symbols so powerful.” (Lee and Deal, p242) It tells us what is important in the organization, and represents the underling culture that holds an organization together. Culture is the pattern of shred beliefs, values, assumptions that defines members who they are and how they are to do thing. In reality, organizational culture is intangible. However, it is manifested through various artifacts and symbols. Overall, it is believed that GUCCI has done a good job of using different kinds of artifacts to portray its internal culture and values to the public- balancing the heritage tradition and creative innovation. All these components such as employees, store layout, slogan, advertisements, and ceremonies consistently send out the same message to the public. These components are in contingent with one another to develop and bring GUCCI’s strong culture, image, and values to customers and the market. It is important that GUCCI has developed a strong culture and constantly revealed and communicated it through all kinds of symbols. The strong culture can help to glue an organization together. Every part of GUCCI organization such as strategy, structure, and human resources are developed based on its underlying organizational culture. All these different parts of the organization must fit well with one another in order for GUCCI to be successful.

Bolman, G. Lee, and Terrence E. Deal. Reframing Organizations. 3rd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

"Cutting Edge Information." Maximizing Your Brand Value (FL51). 11 Apr. 2007 .

"Gucci Family Slogan Quotes." WorldofQuotes.Com. 29 Mar. 2007 .

PPR. 01 Apr. 2007 .

Rafaeli, A. & Pratt, M. (Eds.), Artifacts and Organizations: Lawrence Erlbaum associates
Inc. Mahwah, New Jersey, 2004

Zargani, and Luisa. "Gucci's Wild Ride." EBSCO HOST. 06 May 2006. 04 Apr. 2007 .

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