Since 1994 Patricia Martínez has been managing and is the co-founder, together with Arturo Álvarez, of the company that bears the name of the latter designer. A psychologist by training, Patricia has worked in the media, and specialised in marketing. Because of this, since 2008, she has been a firm advocate and champion of social media and new technologies in the company, as an essential tool for connecting with the brand’s target audience and opinion leaders.

  1. How important is brand image within the company’s overall strategy?

In a globalised, industrialised and high-tech world like the one we live in, and coming from a sector that is fiercely competitive, creating a brand image that is consistent, sound and easily recognisable by the target audience is a difficult but not impossible task. What is important is to work continuously on the brand image because it is a marathon that takes time and determination to build, and to be aware that it is an essential factor of the utmost importance.

  1. What sets the Arturo Álvarez brand apart from its competitors?

We have two unique selling points, which work as one because they are interdependent and nurture one another: “handmade and emotional”.

  1. What benefits does a commitment to design and innovation have in the lamp market?

Based in Galicia, we could not be competitive making industrial, mass-produced lamps. We are competitive because we are firmly committed to design and innovation and research our own materials so that we can produce a limited-edition product of the highest quality. Arturo Álvarez, one of the founders of the brand and the main designer, has just patented a material known as ‘simetech’ after two years of research. This material has unique properties for use in lighting and will undoubtedly help enhance recognition of the brand.

  1. Arturo Álvarez is becoming increasingly committed to internationalisation. How would you describe your International presence? Do you have your own stores or do you sell your products at multi-brand shops?

Internationalisation is proving crucial for the brand and for its development over time; we now export 80% of our products. We have developed a presence in European markets through a network of representatives; in other countries we work with distributors. Right now, we are betting heavily on the U.S. market, where we have just opened our own commercial office. Our clients are multi-brand points of sale specialising in design, furniture and lighting and our second channel is sales for commercial works.

  1. Do you think e-commerce is important for Arturo Álvarez’s international growth?

E-commerce is rising sharply and consolidating itself as an alternative to traditional retail channels. It is a type of business that is continuously evolving, progressing and changing and it is a channel that we cannot afford to overlook.

  1. What promotional strategy are you pursuing in international markets, and who is the brand targeted at?

The brand is targeted at an audience with a high socio-economic and cultural level, with a taste for art and design; who like to travel, want to have a home with personality and enjoy maximum comfort in concert with aesthetic and functional values. Our lamps have a strong hedonistic component.

Our promotional strategy is a combination of traditional media, such as advertisements in magazines and attendance at trade shows, and a strong presence in online media and social networks. Our company is a pioneer in the industry and social networks; we had our own blog and Twitter and Facebook accounts as early as 2008.

  1. What are the challenges facing the company over the next five years?

Environmental concerns have prompted us to undertake research into energy-saving lights, and energy efficiency is important to us. The second challenge is to strengthen our position in the U.S. market and to continue to “spoil” our traditional markets.

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