Although Barilla enjoys a strong, loyal following, seasonality, holidays, festivals and special occasions drive the performance of some of its product lines. The company wanted create demand for these products throughout the year and form a more personal connection with customers.
To achieve this goal, Barilla decided to create a digital startup within the company to allow consumers to express their affection or acknowledge birthdays, anniversaries or milestone events with personalised products. The startup was christened Dedicato a te (‘Dedicated to You’).
Not only was the concept unprecedented within the company, but its business model was too: Whereas Barilla traditionally sold through supermarkets and retailers, Dedicato a te would be its first direct-to-consumer channel. Moreover, it was a timely response to increasing consumer demand for bespoke experiences.
“Dedicato a te is a strategic testbed for us,” explains Laura Pezzotta, head of Barilla’s Personalisation Unit. “It is a way to gain experience in e-commerce, become more relevant to consumers, improve our velocity and agility and increase the emotional relationship among our brands and people.”