American Marketer


Gucci Research Lab to focus on company culture as performance catalyst

November 28, 2017

Gucci cruise 2018 illustration by Ignasi Monreal. Image credit: Gucci, Ignasi Monreal


Kering-owned fashion house Gucci has announced a three-year applied research partnership with Milan’s Bocconi University.

The fashion house and one of Italy’s best universities will collaborate on the Gucci Research Lab project to explore how luxury businesses can effectively evolve in the 21st century’s rapidly changing environment. Gucci Research Lab will be managed by a lab director and a supporting research team of four Bocconi University professors.

"I am delighted to announce the establishment of the Gucci Research Lab, with the aim to identify and study the core trends that are defining the way in which organizations are evolving in the 21st century, with a special focus on the luxury industry," said Gianmario Verona, rector of Bocconi University, in a statement.

Milan's Bocconi University announced Gucci Research Lab during the Academic Year Opening ceremony Nov. 28.

In the lab
The primary focus of the Gucci Research Lab will be on company culture and how “a startup mentality, employee empowerment, risk-taking, fast decision making and agile processes” can create ideal working conditions for employees.

The execution of these “soft skills” has been linked to overall company performance. Unlike other programs that focus on culling new creative talent, Gucci Research Lab will put business practices and staff treatment, regardless of division or position, under the microscope.

“I am delighted that Gucci and Bocconi University, renowned for its applied research, are collaborating on this important initiative, which is designed to reveal important insights that large and small companies can learn from,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of Gucci, in a statement.

“More than ever before a company’s culture can be the differentiating factor in terms of competitive advantage,” he said.

Gucci cruise 2018. Image credit: Gucci

For the duration of the three-year Gucci Research Lab, annual findings will be published as an official paper. Findings will be presented to Gucci shareholders and will also be made available to the public.

Due to the research partnership, Gucci has been given the title of strategic partner of Bocconi University. Gucci and Bocconi University had previously established their relationship as an employer of Bocconi students and graduates through the Luxury Talent Program and the Corporate Associate Program.

Gucci’s efforts with Bocconi University underscore its parent company’s dedication to foster work-life balance and gender equality at all levels of its group.

In December 2016, Kering Group furthered its advocacy for women’s rights with the introduction of a parental leave policy for all employees globally.

The length of maternity leave, and whether the period away from work is paid, fully or at a lower salary, has become a passionate issue for many women and their partners. With no true workplace standard and a lack of government mandates in many countries, companies with policies that support employees’ desires to have children will be better received than those who do not implement leave programs (see story).