Recap: “Love Branding: Fiat 500 in Japan”
FEW Meeting March 13, 2014
Speaker: Tiziana Alamprese
By Christina Hanazawa-Gallagher, Vice President of FEW
You would think that being hit by two Fiats while walking would have been enough motivation for Tiziana Alamprese, Marketing Director for Chrysler Japan, to work for another automobile company. But, she is not like any other person.
Armed with her personal philosophy, “keeping my identity is my mass,” Tiziana, FEW’s March 2014 speaker, has risen up the ranks in Chrysler and she is behind Fiat’s wildly successful rebranding of the Fiat 500.
With her balloon style pants, “these are Japanese (construction) worker pants” and a long, Vivienne Westwood-esque, fitted blazer, it’s not hard to believe that Tiziana has not only kept her own identity, but also made it possible for her customers and staff to do the same.
When she started rebranding the Fiat 500 a few years ago, she had a minimal budget and was competing in a very saturated, compact-car market. Despite the odds, she encouraged her staff to pay attention to numbers, but also to “do as your guts tell you to do…If you are the boss and can make a difference, even if it is a small change, do it.” She also vowed “we can’t do it like the others.”
The result was making people fall in love with the Fiat 500 by allowing people to connect with the Italian culture, which included launching the Fiat Caffé in Aoyama.
The café’s slick white and red interior is the height of Italian posh and has enabled Fiat to increase the percentage of female, Fiat 500 owners from less than 15% to 60%. “The café helps women feel comfortable. They can meet the car and they can meet the Fiat culture.”
But, the café almost didn’t happen. “No one wanted to support me at HQ because the idea was not from a big man, or a big marketing company.” Frustrated, she travelled to Cuba and serendipitously saw a humble Fiat café ran by a local distributor. “I thought if they can do it in Cuba, we can definitely do it in Japan.”
Now, the café along with other initiatives such as community outreach in Tohoku and a powerful social media movement (Tiziana said they have a higher social engagement ratio than Uniqlo) have boosted Fiat 500’s appeal beyond aficionado collectors, who couldn’t bear to see others driving the car.
Tiziana credited a lot of her success to being a “fighter and not a soldier.” “ The more authority they (bosses she was trying to persuade) had, the more fighting I was doing. This was a process that kept me down. I always had to do 3X’s more than a man…. If you want to be there, there are many wars.”
Given this, she still prefers having a leadership role in Japan than in Italy. “I struggle with teamwork. It’s a power game in Japanese companies. I speak really frankly to my team about all the things I do not like. In Japan, I feel much more free (than in Italy) because I am foreign and a woman. I’m so special that they don’t know how to handle me.”
Speaker: Tiziana Alamprese
Marketing Director, Chrysler Japan
My working life is rich and fulfilling because I like to put my heart & soul in whatever I do. Happiness for me and my coworkers is the simple objective that I try to reach every single day at work: this is the way to make also our Customers happy! If you want to understand what I mean, please come to the Fiat Caffe’ in Aoyama, Tokyo. With the help of few believers, I’ve created a place to experience the good energy that can be brought together when people work in a happy way! Of course, Fiat sales are growing, in a shrinking Japanese Market……..because happiness is contagious!
September Strategic Partner News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]Published on 4th September 2017
July Meeting Recap: One Size Doesn’t Fit All
By Lisa Matsumoto, Public Relations & Communications Intern The 2016-17 FEW year ended with our monthly meeting on July 13, where we were joined by guests and members to hear about the endeavors of longtime FEW member, Melanie Uematsu. Melanie was born in Germany and studied fashion design in Berlin and London. Fascinated with Japan, […]Published on 3rd September 2017
June 2017 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Mentorship and Networking
The FEW Women’s Start-up Club wrapped up the year on June 29, with a timely presentation on mentoring and motivation for entrepreneurs by Patricia Bader Johnston. Patricia’s career in Japan has spanned the public sector, including the Canadian Embassy, and the private sector, including positions at Goldman Sachs and Japan Tabaco, corporate decision-making as a […]Published on 1st August 2017
Event Recap: Few & Mirai no Mori Concert For a Cause
What a night! On behalf of all of us at FEW, a great, big thank you for joining us for Concert For a Cause! On a balmy, summer night, FEW members, friends and performers got together at British pub 2nd Half in Takadanobaba for a night of music to raise funds for Mirai No Mori, an NPO providing […]Published on 14th July 2017
How I Got Here: Joanna Sato
I look through the windows of my Japanese home at the cityscape of Tokyo and I see how my life has been a series of navigating varied landscapes. The landscape I inhabit now is very different from the one of my hometown in the south of Poland, where my journey began. I first left home […]Published on 30th June 2017
Midweek Lunch Mixer at Le Petit Marché Roppongi
Take a break from work and join us for delicious food and great networking at our monthly midweek lunch gathering at Le Petit Marché in Roppongi!
Share Your Passion
Do you run your own business or are you thinking of starting one? Join the first FEW Women's Start-Up Club of 2017-2018 to share your projects and passions and connect with other like-minded when who may be able to help you in your entrepreneurial journey.
Make the Connection: Practical Networking Strategies that Work for You
Join us for an interactive workshop with Helen Iwata, Founder of Sasuga! Communications, to learn about the benefits of networking, and gain insights, practical tips and strategies for connecting with confidence, conviction and purpose.
Japan's Path to Multiculturalism
At our October Monthly Meeting, we’re welcoming a panel of speakers to discuss multiculturalism in Japan today, including what steps organizations and individuals are taking to help expose people to multicultural environments and develop a more inclusive society.