By Anna Managò
For years, big business has got the market used to ‘flat’ flavours and aromas, but now, thanks to a renaissance of interest in food and everything surrounding it, consumers are demanding a taste experience even from the world of beer. The buzz created in the market by craft beer has given rise to an unprecedented assortment of Italian draft and bottled beers. Yet too much choice, unclear information, confused communication, “experts only” market positioning and prices that can sometimes be out of reach risk alienating even greatly interested consumers.
So what does the future have in store for this exciting sector of the market? To get a better understanding, let’s take a step back and look at how the movement was formed.
There is always a lot of expectation when you cross the threshold into a star-rated restaurant and a lot of "magic" when you taste its dishes. Every detail of your experience is carefully planned, from the welcome to the exit, and from the decor to the service, which conveys exclusivity, attention and extreme quality. But this often unforgettable opportunity is not always within everyone's reach.
In our business, old prejudices often lead us to give less importance to the practical execution of ideas than to their conception, almost as if manual work were less important than thought. It is true that in the absence of a solid Brand strategy, visual design projects would be a merely decorative exercise, but how many projects have we seen fail miserably due to executions which are incapable of expressing a concept?
Every time I meet an entrepreneur or a manager to discuss a branding project, one of the first statements I make is the following: “design means dialogue”. In general we get involved to solve a problem – a problem of communication, of representation, or sometimes to define the identity of a company.
In these cases, we don’t have pre-packaged answers, nor do we have a secret formula to solve every issues. What we do is work closely with the clients to help them find the most effective strategy and then express it through the brand identity.
Italy is the country that, more than any other, has contributed to the creation of the cult of coffee.
Cafés in Turin, Milan, Verona, Venice and Naples are, in our minds, microcosms of delights, utmost professionalism and a sparkling and polite welcome.
While in Italy the scenario has barely evolved, on a global level we are witnessing rapid growth in a new café culture, which is based on curiosity, competence and consumer habits. This trend is demonstrated by the success of retailers who offer a special experience.
Blue Bottle and Intelligentsia are pioneers of a new way to drink coffee, where the ritual of preparation is played out in various stages of filtering and the discovery of flavour takes on the form of a veritable tasting.
Let’s begin by trying to understand who makers actually are, because many still wonder what they do and where these modern digital artisans want to go.
Whether it’s a hobby or a true profession, makers are curious and creative people, full of resources, able to develop innovative projects basing their work on a sharing of culture, knowledge, technology and design spaces: a strange cross between hackers and traditional artisans. Perhaps they are still a niche group of free-thinkers, yet important enough to have their own trade fairs and sector publications.
What we want to understand is if an independent universe such as that of digital fabrication and Fab Labs can interact with that of more well-known brands, and which synergies can be set in motion by their coming together.