Giovanni Mannucci

How do you build a powerful brand? Giovanni Mannucci, president and chief executive officer of Boglioli, attempted to answer that complex question in the most spirited way possible.

How do you build a powerful brand?

This story first appeared in the April 2, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

It’s a complex question, but Giovanni Mannucci, president and chief executive officer of Italian men’s wear brand Boglioli, attempted to answer it in the most spirited way possible.

Mannucci, who previously served as ceo of high-end men’s wear firm Isaia, is overseeing Boglioli’s expansion. The tailored clothing brand opened a Milan flagship last year after Wise SGR, the private equity fund that owns all shares of the brand, completed the acquisition of about half of its current debt at merchant bank GE Capital Interbanca.

The executive, who joined Boglioli in 2013, used business philosophies and personal anecdotes to detail how he’s attempting to grow the brand, which was founded in early 1900 and is best known for its K. Jacket.

According to Mannucci, brands should attempt to follow in the footsteps of the Apple iPhone and dominate a space instead of competing with other players. “They told us competition was a very good thing. It was a healthy thing. The more competition you have, the better for the consumer. But if you are the entrepreneur and you are the guy that’s playing the game, you don’t like competition do you? You want to dominate the game,” he said.

In order to dominate, he offered a success sequence for brands — attention, criticism, haters, admiration — and likened it to the Kardashian brand trajectory.

“The first one is attention. Say, ‘Hey, I’m here.’ You are going to get the attention. Once you get the attention you are going to get criticism. Now criticism is good and bad. You should listen to things. But if you have a plan, stick to it,” he said. “They are going to hate you at one point, but eventually they are going to marry you. It’s the sequence of the Kardashians.”

As companies embark on this sequence, Mannucci said uncertainty and lack of persistence will get in the way of creating a powerful brand.

“You need to know what you are doing,” he said. “If you are not sure of your values, your goals and what you want, the world will never reward you.”

His last piece of advice: stay in the game.

“Spectators pay and players get paid.”