Investments in furniture design. The Italian furniture industry
Italy is the leading furniture exporter and the second largest furniture manufacturer in the world. Among the competitive factors determining the success of Italian furniture is the fact that the Italian furnishings industry is at the forefront in terms of quality of planning and product aesthetics, and Italian design has a clear role as a global trendsetter. Italian design is a by-product of a virtuous circle composed of quality workmanship, a winning manufacturing model (the industrial furniture districts), constant technological innovation and a strong creative attitude to the marketplace. This is an important success factor for the furniture related sectors (furniture components, woodworking machinery, household appliances) and is fundamental for the image of Italian furniture. This report offers a deep analysis of the role of design in the Italian furniture and furnishings industry, taking into consideration the various stages of furniture production, the decision-making process, the human resources involved in the decision of investing in design, the impact of design on communication strategies and branding policy. The result is clearly applicable to the Italian market (as data refer to the Italian furniture and furnishings industry), but also provides a tool for any business intending to evaluate the role of investments in design within company policy. The research is based on interviews with 250 Italian furniture manufacturers, 150 among furniture and furnishing designers and consultants to the furniture industry, 250 furniture and furnishings distributors operating both in the Italian market and overseas.
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