March 2014 FEW Meeting Recap: Love Branding: Fiat 500 in Japan

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.”

Thanks Tiziana!

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!


Q&A with Color and Style Consultant Maud Janssen

Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Reinvigoration & Reinvention: Color Your Life,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with Maud Janssen, a color and Style consultant working for the British company House of Colour.  The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Learn about how finding the right colors that suit you […]

Published on 9th January 2018

FEW Community Survey 2017 Results

Results of the FEW Community Survey 2017 conducted in the summer have been released. This survey, which was sent to FEW members as well as the wider FEW community, was designed primarily to determine overall satisfaction level among current FEW members and wider community so as to ensure FEW is accomplishing its organizational mission and vision. Of the 158 […]

Published on 4th January 2018

The Best of FEW: Fall 2017

Happy New Year from FEW! Thank you to everyone who joined us at all our events since we kicked off the 2017-2018 FEW Year in September. As the go-to place for personal and professional learning, connection and inspiration, FEW is proud to offer various events, resources, and networking opportunities for internationally-minded women in Japan. We look […]

Published on 4th January 2018

November 2017 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Marketing with a Purpose

On November 29, the Women’s Start Up Club hosted Zsuzsanna Jarfas to speak about her experience and run an interactive workshop on “Marketing with a Purpose.” Every business needs a strategy to help define the direction and vision of that business. According to Zsuzsanna, the definition of strategy is “a plan to reach a financial […]

Published on 4th January 2018

January 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 […]

Published on 4th January 2018