It’s been less than three months since Juventus FC officially published its new logo with a brand new design. This decision was completely conscious and fully harmonized with the new and developing area of Conceptual Marketing in sports industry.
Conceptual marketing firstly introduced in 2012. Its primary goal is to link an emotion or an idea with a symbol (a letter, a number, a color) that every consumer thinks, sees or uses on daily basis. Michael I. Norton, professor of Strategic Marketing in Harvard Business School, claims that Conceptual Marketing is a tool for marketers to capture the free space that the mind of the average citizen in the Western World has after he stopped putting so much effort satisfying his physical needs (Norton, 2009). “With our physical needs sated and time on our hands, increasingly we’re finding psychological outlets for this drive, by seeking out and consuming concepts” Mr. Norton refers and continues: “This exact free space it’s like a “goldmine” for the Marketers” (Norton, 2009).
This “goldmine” was exactly the main reason that convinced Juventus FC to abandon the traditional marketing strategy and bring a new era in the entire sports industry. This plan, according to Federico Palomba, Co-Chief Revenue Officer and Head of Marketing and Digital at Juventus FC, has as a main goal, to completely link the letter “J” with the club in the mind of every supporter not only in Italy but also in foreign countries (Tutto Mercato Web, 2017). “We will make Juventus, the “Gucci” of Football”, he mentioned during the presentation of the logo.
Both of these very enthusiastic approaches of Mr. Palomba, match exactly with the main two pillars of Conceptual marketing.
The first concept of Conceptual Marketing is called “Consuming Expectations”. The results of a recent research by the Association for Consumer Research, shows that the average person nowadays chooses what to consume based on his emotions and not on the real value of the product (Association for Consumer Research, 2015). Consequently, when a supporter or a tourist buys a product with the club’s logo on it, he feels like he is representing the club at that moment, or in other words he feels a like a true part of the club. This exact consumer’s feeling will open the “goldmine” that it was mentioned before. “J” logo can be put everywhere, even on non-athletic products and the club could obtain a rapidly expanding market share in every market. Some of the markets that Juventus FC desires to enter are already been known. Juventus FC already promotes its own jewelry, clothes, furniture, electric devices, even food and sweets (Brand New, 2017).
The second pillar of Conceptual Marketing is called “Consuming memories”. This is an opportunity and a peril for marketers at the same time. Mr. Norton explored the phenomenon whereby people who have truly enjoyed an experience, sometimes prefer not to repeat it to retain this experience in a distinguished spot in their minds. This phenomenon has no existence on luxury products (Norton, 2009). That is the main reason why Juventus FC desires to become the “Gucci” of football. If the club’s products will not get promoted to luxury category, then the phenomenon on “consuming memories” will probably dissuade the supporters to consume even more of club’s goods and the whole expansion strategy will face difficulties. However, if its products will get promoted to luxury category then this effect will not take place and the club will continuously expand in different markets and increase its revenue.
Juventus FC decision to invest in “Conceptual Marketing” permits the club to become a member of a very small club of companies that have already proceeded in the same paths such as Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Jeep. Yet, it is so early to call if “J” brand is so strong to conquer the market. Either way the club’s decision to deploy such an innovative marketing plans in the sports area is astonishing and admirable.
Association for Consumer Research, 2015. Consumerism, Consumer Expectations, and Perceived Product Performance, s.l.: The University of Mississippi.
Brand New, 2017. New Logo and Identity for Juventus by Interbrand. [Online]
Available at: http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/new_logo_and_identity_for_juventus_by_interbrand.php
Norton, M. I., 2009. How Concepts Affect Consumption. Harvard Business Review.
Tutto Mercato Web, 2017. Dossier Juve: strategia, management e comunicazione di un’azienda al top. [Online]
Available at: https://www.tuttomercatoweb.com/altre-notizie/dossier-juve-strategia-management-e-comunicazione-di-un-azienda-al-top-963922