[:it]Coronavirus: OnestiGroup, the lockdown and the restart. Marketing Director Nicola Carlevaris speaks[:]



Nicola Carlevaris, Marketing Director of OnestiGroup, tells us how the company reacted to the arrival of the Covid19 crisis, what initiatives it has implemented and what it is preparing for the restart.


Nicola, how is OnestiGroup coping with this lockdown period?

I will tell you that this period of break from the frenetic pace of the past has allowed us to think about something strategic that was appropriate for the moment. We immediately organized online training sessions dedicated to our sales force, with more than ten in-depth meetings on different products. Furthermore, the brands we represent have moved in parallel, with online presentations (dedicated to a much wider audience) which we have supported from the beginning.

How did Onesti react to the emergency?

In my opinion, in an exemplary way. OnestiGroup is based in Fiorenzuola d'Arda, towards Codogno. Already two weeks before the lockdown was decreed we were all at home working smartly, the company was quick to secure its collaborators. We are a SPA but a "family" one, we make strategic decisions trying to remain as human as possible. A few weeks before the lockdown there had been T-Day, a national fair that we organized this year for the first time with the aim of presenting our historic and new brands. You can imagine the excitement of that period and how Covid may have caught us off guard. But we still have those days in our minds, because the conditions were excellent and we intend to pick up exactly where we left off.

You recently made a video that left a lasting impression on us, do you want to tell us about it?

Of course, because it was a wonderful experience that everyone actually enjoyed. We contacted many of our brand ambassadors from all over the world asking them to send us a greeting video, each in their own language, and then to close with the phrase in Italian "everything will be fine". It's nice because everyone says it with their own accent and the video brought a smile to many people.

You have also created an e-commerce in the meantime.

Yes, and we succeeded in just a few weeks thanks to the work of our collaborators. It is called 86gradi.it, because 1986 is the year the company was founded and because the initials of Ottantasei Gradi are also those of OnestiGroup. More than an e-commerce, it is a real experiential wine shop that offers packages created personally by us and which can contain only spirits, only wines or a mix of spirits and wines. Many of the spirits packages also contain everything needed to make cocktails, while others are real collections of bottles that can give you a different experience, perhaps for example a virtual trip to the United States thanks to products that come exclusively from there. The same thing can be done with wine, for example one of our boxes contains bottles that come from 3 or 4 different countries but which are united by a common thread that can be discovered by tasting them.

Have you supported any solidarity initiatives?

We particularly support the Val d'Arda area, where we help the Civil Protection, the Parish Authority and the Hospital Unit, without forgetting that the 5% of the value of each purchase on 86gradi.it goes to the Italian Red Cross. Another idea we had was to create packages dedicated to all our customers who have an e-commerce or delivery service, with freebies such as miniature spirits or glasses, all things that the final consumer may like receive with your order and that our customers may like to give as gifts. Furthermore, thanks to miniatures, consumers can discover new products that they might never have known about if they had had to buy them sight unseen.

How do you intend to support your customers' reopening?

The task of a distributor is to act as an intermediary between brands and sellers, therefore a series of initiatives are being examined through which we will try to stay as close as possible to our customers, not only financially but also, for example, with interventions that will allow everyone to equip themselves to cope with the new regulations in the health and hygiene field.

Do you think Will this epochal crisis also bring some changes on a human level?

On a general level there are some aspects that I hope remain in everyone's consciences, such as the awareness that we are much less strong than we thought and that nature can rebel at any moment. As for our work, I hope that the results we have obtained in the field of research and training, simply by slowing down a little, can be an example. Stopping allows you to focus more on the details, and quality, as we know, is all about details. I am certainly referring to the products but also to the approach with which they should be consumed. It's very difficult for me to think, a few months from now, of those overcrowded counters in front of which people drank their cocktails or spirits, perhaps even in a hurry because there was a queue behind them or because they had something else to do later. We will have to adapt to the calm, and perhaps this will allow us, in a cocktail bar, to read a list of spirits or cocktails more carefully, and perhaps, sitting at a table, to exchange opinions on the matter, deepening our knowledge of what we are drinking. Personally, I hope that almost everything can go back to the way it was before the crisis, apart from the haste and superficiality. What I like to call "qualitative consciousness" I hope can be the great protagonist of the recovery.






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