Moleskine: More than just a notebook maker, a power of example in marketing

From the Moleskine site, art-filled notebooks

“This product has always been considered a platform and a culture product. A tool for self-expression.”

Amazingly, the “platform” here is a notebook, the non-digital, paper variety. The quote by Marco Beghin, president of Moleskine America, appeared in a recent article in The New York Times about this company’s success in advertising. Their campaigning techniques are exemplary for incorporating their “tribe” in their promotions, capitalizing on artists’ desire for exhibition and visibility.

I am struck by the Italian company Moleskine’s clever approach to involve artists and designers in their promotions. For instance, at a Bloomingdale’s event, people were invited to sketch inside a Moleskine while a live model posed nearby. Meanwhile, their Facebook fanpage is a kind of journal of self-expression, where people post photos of what’s inside their notebooks. The official website features an ongoing gallery of work made on their covers and pages.

The company also coordinates with art exhibitions. Like at the Venice Biennale: The notebook manufacturer provides sketchbooks for recording the first impressions of the installation “Seeing with Eyes Closed by artist Ivana Franke.

The participation, adoration and ultimately loyalty of their customers, especially artists and designers, are the stuff of marketers’ dreams, concretized by the company’s notable growth, as reported by the Times article. Marketing to this particular audience can be tricky — most artists do not want to “sell out” to a brand name. Moleskine has successfully used inclusiveness and creative possibility to appeal to artists, and combined this approach with their alignment with the world’s top art venues.

I’m with the artist Molly Crabapple, who calls companies “21st century Medicis.” Of all the “Medicis” out there, Moleskine is certainly one to note…for which they have certainly provided enough means.


All about the famous Florentine Medici family and their patronizing the arts

Moleksine’s artist marketplace