MILAN — Reshaping the world of strategic consulting is the ultimate goal of Alessandro Carnicella, chief executive officer of Brand Partners Group, a new brand adviser platform based in Milan but featuring a wide network of professionals worldwide, from Paris and London to New York and Los Angeles.
“Change is visible. The digital era has ushered in marketing and communications strategies that have completely upended things, making old schools of thought in these areas obsolete. To the point where today, even the word ‘marketing’ sounds dated,” said Carnicella, who, after kicking off his career at The Boston Consulting Group, held several roles at Ferrari, including the post of head of brand promotion, prior to launching the Bugatti Lifestyle Business Unit in 2011 and then being tapped by Lands’ End as senior director for brand and business development.
“As human beings and professionals, we’re all surfing a new wave, one that demands quickness of movement, intuition, interconnection. The true nature of BPG is all about connecting talents, projects and ideas. It doesn’t matter where they’re located on the map, or where they come from in a professional sense,” he said. “What really turns me on is being able to innovate together, inventing things together. That’s what co-creation is all about, and in today’s world, it’s something we can’t do without. This can even be done by having two hypothetical competitors sit down together at the same table — why not? That’s the spirit that drives BPG. Admittedly, it’s an uncommon approach where the focus is on immediacy. The market is proving us right.”
Instead of developing a traditional hierarchical pyramid, BPG is defined by a fluid and dynamic configuration, which takes advantage of the different skills of an array of individuals worldwide, who collaborate with Carnicella. The team includes international brand developer Maurizio Marchiori, the former head of Diesel America; SDA Bocconi professor Stefania Saviolo; Haralux New York founder Lottie Oakley; FIFA chief digital transformation and innovation officer Luis Vicente; PHG International managing director Carl Gurdjian; digital p.r. specialists Alessia Bossi and Lucia Serafini; SEG Football chief operating officer Stefano Saporetti; California-based software company Intuit senior director Mauricio Comi; Nowness co-founder and managing director Daniel Coutinho, and BPG ventures partners Mauro Grandinetti.
Along with offering communication and marketing advisory services, BPG scouts innovative projects in different fields, spanning from fashion and lifestyle to media and entertainment, and provides them with multilevel support, from positioning and branding to communication and distribution. Aware that start-ups most of the time don’t have access to high-end consultancy for budget reasons, BCG works in exchange for equity, becoming an actual business partner of the start-ups it consults with.
“The approach is synergetistic and our intervention is carried out on multiple fronts in order to bring out a brand’s potential and consolidate awareness and presence on the market, online and off-line,” Carnicella said.
Among the brands already working with BPG are fashion label Hebe Studio, which offers a feminine, contemporary twist on women’s tailored suits; ath-leisurewear firm Exkite, which employs upcycled kitesurfing fabrics to develop outerwear; the accessories house founded by designer Juarez Camacho, who combines Mexican folk details with urban elegance, as well as lifestyle blog Watch Insanity.
At the same time, BPG develops innovative sponsorship partnerships with high-end international players, including amfAR, Live Nation Entertainment, Spring Place, Faena, Lincoln Center and ABB FIA Formula Championship.
“We will soon be launching a fund-raising campaign to accelerate the growth and development of our start-ups on an international level,” said Carnicella, revealing the imminent debut of the BPG Ventures division. “Thanks to an exclusive partnership with the world’s fund-raising leaders and through a club deal platform, BPG will evaluate the best ways to allocate those investments, based on its portfolio and the needs of each project, guaranteeing the brands or individuals involved and the resources required for rapid and sustainable growth.”