"We felt that it was important for our brand to connect with the blog world," says Fabio Rosciglione, vice-president of marketing and sales, via phone from the Milan-based office of Modo&Modo, itself owned by SG Capital, which bought it for €66 million ($89.3 million) in 2006. "This is a new kind of marketing policy and we wanted to be a part of it: These blogs are a way to connect the worldwide community to the brand through both the collection of notebooks and the Web."
A Fact of Fiction
And, as Rosciglione points out, Moleskine already had a sizable, unmonitored community of fans online. "If you Google ‘Moleskine’ you can see that we have more than 6 million pages," he says (it’s actually 4.95 million). "We support this activity on the Web and wanted to encourage it even more with the City Notebooks, which we see as an analog version of a blog." So really, rather than ceding control, this points to an attempt by the company to take back control of its brand, or at least focus its consumers on a forum of its own creation. "We’re starting to connect to all the Moleskine communities, also to authoritative city blogs in every place," adds Rosciglione.
It’s not the first time that Moleskine has come up with a creative marketing strategy. In fact, you might argue that its entire existence is based on a blend of truth and creativity. "Moleskine is the legendary notebook used by European artists and thinkers for the past two centuries, from Van Gogh to Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin," says the pull-out blurb inserted into the back of every notebook.
But while the wording carefully asserts that the company was "brought back" by a small Milanese publisher in 1998, the current notebooks are really in no way connected to those printed way back when by the small French bookbinders…"
Moleskine Blogs the Little Black Book
By Helen Walters
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