On Friday, Umbra’s BSIM 390: International Marketing class visited ISA S.p.A., an Umbrian company that has been designing, manufacturing, and distributing refrigerated display units since 1963. Their products marry form and function: each one is meticulously engineered to both preserve the flavors of the products inside, and to entice consumers to purchase them.
Students were welcomed to ISA’s showroom and factory with a presentation by Giampiero Mariottini, ISA’s Marketing and Communication Manager. They were introduced to the brand’s history, current product range, sustainable practices, and customers, including Coca-Cola, Häagen-Dasz, and Grom gelateria. Giampiero also presented one of ISA’s most persistent marketing challenges: how does one sell gelato to the United States with its diehard ice cream culture? This question is what will fuel the course’s service learning project, which will require studying the U.S. market potential and how to infiltrate it with the Italian dessert (not to be confused with ice cream!). Students will prepare a presentation with recommendations for the company representatives at the end of the semester.
Students then toured the ISA factory and were walked through the complex process of making an ISA product. Walker Roe (University of Colorado – Boulder) reflects, “The site tour was informative and engaging. It was an opportunity to see a real-world application of that which we have studied in class.”
The company visit concluded with a tour of the showroom. Favorite piece on display? It was a tie between an egg-shaped mobile gelato stand called “The Berry,” and a touchscreen refrigerator with a built-in camera to see yourself as you choose your favorite flavor.