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Building brand awareness with a bowl of cherries

Alberto Guenzi (Department of Economics, Univeristy of Parma, Parma, Italy)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 16 February 2015




This paper aims to approach the issue of premium offers in Italy by discussing the case study of Fabbri, a firm operating since 1905 in the business of liqueurs, syrups and semi-manufactured products for ice cream.


The research takes into analysis three marketing schemes, all related to direct premium promotions, adopted by Fabbri at various times during the twentieth century. The evolution of the company’s marketing strategy is outlined drawing on several types of sources: archive documents, posters and labels and audiovisual material. It is analysed in the socio-economic and legal context of twentieth century Italy, and in comparison with premium offers in the USA and Europe.


The study argues that direct premium may represent a long-lasting and efficient marketing strategy when a firm is able to adapt it to a context that changes over time. Fabbri not only used premium offers to launch its products but also to consolidate its brand image.

Research limitations/implications

By showing that innovative promotions are not necessarily connected to large firms, Fabbri’s case suggests that further research should be carried out to outline marketing policies carried out by small to medium enterprises.


Much has been written on premium offers in the USA and in Europe, but very little on such types of promotions in Italy, especially with reference to direct premiums. This study fills this gap and documents that a small family-owned firm was able to carry out innovative marketing policies as far as in the 1920s.



Guenzi, A. (2015), "Building brand awareness with a bowl of cherries", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 113-132.



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