Previous Next

Italian food giant creates a brand cause and cultural hub

June 30, 2005

A few weeks ago, Influx suggested that some brands should build “cultural hubs”; places that act as beacons to connect the community to the brand. Cultural hubs are just one example of brands going beyond the expected to make a connection.

Barilla, the Italian food manufacturer, is doing something similar with Academia Barilla; an institution dedicated to the preservation and education of real Italian cuisine. The company has taken on a cause and committed a considerable investment to it.

The Academia is a complete brand experience. Located in Parma, the birthplace of Italian food, the center features a huge kitchen, a 90-seat demonstration theater and a 6,500 volume gastronomic library. It runs courses and has its own special line of foods.

Barilla has made a serious commitment with the Academia, one that works on so many different levels:

1. It gives the brand a cause to get behind- Barilla clearly states it doesn’t regard spaghetti and meatballs as Italian food and they want to protect the integrity of real Italian cuisine
2. It provides a cultural hub- a physical location for the cause
3. It allows the brand to introduce premium line extensions
4. It presents the brand as a thought leader
5. Barilla’s important customers can be entertained and educated at the Academia- and
return home as brand evangelists

If brands develop a cause and a cultural hub they can create something really powerful and differentiating.

Do you know your brand’s cause?

Does it even have one?

Can you visualize your brand’s cultural hub?

Related Articles

Ifc builds a cultural hub
On June 17th, IFC will open its new "brand...
A cultural hub for journalists
Cultural hubs are physical environments that...
Beer brand creates ironic pop-up store
The pop-up store craze has now got out of...
Dyson looks to build a cultural hub
Influx has written a great deal about the concept...
Food week at influx insights
To kick-off "Food Week" at Influx, we have...