Next Generation Italian Icons: The brands disrupting the competitive equilibrium

Interbrand and IAA Italy – International Advertising Association present Next Generation Italian Icons, a study analyzing the emerging Italian brands that have captured attention, attracted capital and generated significant financial results.  

Milan, December 12, 2022 – Italy has been the birthplace of brands that have not only contributed to the country’s growth but have also had a significant impact on audiences around the world. New Italian brands that are contributing to the principal indicators of macroeconomic growth and the country’s reputation worldwide are the brands that Interbrand defines as: “Next Generation Italian Icons”.  

With the Next Generation Italian Icons study, carried out in collaboration with IAA Italy – International Advertising Association, we wanted to analyze those new generation brands capturing people’s attention, attracting capital and producing financial results, thereby changing the competitive landscape. Fifteen qualifying brands were identified: Bending Spoons, Cortilia, Freeda, Illimity, Manebí, Miscusi, Musixmatch, NeN, Poke House, Progetto Quid, Satispay, Talent Garden, Tannico, Velasca and WeRoad. 

Italy is recognized as being Europe’s richest country in terms of legacy brands, but it doesn’t stop there, it’s also a country where venture capital companies and system creativity allow new excellences and innovations to emerge and challenge international markets.” confirmed Lidi Grimaldi, Managing Director of Interbrand. “With Next Generation Italian Icons we wanted to celebrate the most promising recently established brands at a financial and strategic level, which have the potential to continue to grow and generate value for all stakeholders, distinguishing themselves as new icons on the market.”   

“Establishing a brand, especially in a context such as the Italian one – full of successful realities – requires vision, quality, dedication, commitment and, today more than ever, a meaningful and sincere relationship with the consumer. A relationship that also encompasses the ability to tell your story, recognizing and tuning into your audience, engaging with them on common values and, importantly, knowing how to listen.” commented Marianna Ghirlanda, President for Italy of IAA – International Advertising Association, the foremost international community of marketing and communication leaders. 

The Next Generation Italian Icons study analyzes the competitive landscape of emerging brands according to Interbrand’s proprietary Thinking and Making approach, which sees brands as enablers of change and accelerators of sustainable growth. 

Interbrand and IAA Italy therefore examined a broad spectrum of brands, combining Interbrand’s proprietary methodology based on the brand’s three lenses of analysis of a brand – Economics, Human Truths and Experiences – with a qualitative assessment by IAA Italy on their communication abilities. This means that the three most relevant dimensions for growth were considered for each brand: creating, maintaining and consolidating relationships with target audiences through relevance (Human Truths); creating unique, high-impact experiences (Experiences) that transcend their own industries; defining new Competitive Arenas based on meeting consumer needs and not simply in terms of products and services; and finally, the ability to achieve significant financial results (Economics). 

As far as financial performance is concerned, the companies were evaluated based on the growth rate of turnover, workforce, and total assets; to assess labor and capital-intensive companies on a level footing. The profitability, where applicable, and strength of the business model was also rewarded. 

The analysis painted a clear picture in relation to financial results (average CAGR of revenue of 60% in the period assessed), size (80% medium-sized enterprises) and diversity (20% with at least one female figure in the founding team).  

The study also highlighted how the Next Generation Italian Icons have shown not only their capacity to innovate, but also to leverage the role of the brand within the value creation process and to recognize its importance from the beginning.

“A distinctive value proposition, an authentic point of view and constant dialogue with their audiences allow brands to generate customer love, engagement and loyalty, with a consequent reduction in risk for the business and accelerated growth, creating the foundations for expansion of the brand into new competitive arenas” observed Gaia Pedinelli, Director of Economics, Interbrand

The brands which build a community in an authentic way and establish an ongoing, lasting, and relevant connection with their consumers, through processes enabling co-creation of products, services, or experiences, are at the forefront of developing new experiences together with the consumers themselves and can benefit from this in terms of results and business sustainability in the long term. It is also interesting to note that the success that some of these brands have had outside Italy, is a clear signal of how much international audiences value Italian entrepreneurial excellence, not only as a symbol of “Made in Italy” but also as a concrete expression of leadership that promotes uniqueness, creativity, and innovation.  

The correct use of all brand levers plays a fundamental role in consistently aligning actions along a clear trajectory and contributing to the creation of an icon that changes the rules. The Next Generation Italian Icons that have observed and interpreted new social and cultural tensions have also been able to create an effective communication network with the correct use of all available media, disrupting the status quo in the behavior of many consumers – even in areas often considered as being more traditional, such as the worlds of energy or banking. 

“The methodology for analysis of communication took into account all the levers sought by Stakeholder Capitalism and assessed relevance, innovation and engagement capacity on every possible target” explained Marco De Angeli, Vice President of IAA Italy – International Advertising Association. “This made it possible to clearly select the brands that have been able to make the best use of the rules of commercial communication and the media channels available.” 

In conclusion, the Next Generation Italian Icons are the companies that can best combine the innovative process with an effective brand and business strategy, recognizing the vital role of the brand in its growth trajectory.

The full report can be downloaded here.

Next Generation Italian Icons

(The selected brands are listed in alphabetical order, this does not represent a ranking)  


The analysis carried out to select the Next Generation Italian Icons 2022 is based on an integrated approach that combines Interbrand’s proprietary methodology with IAA Italy’s experience in analysing brand communication skills. 

The brands were assessed in the following areas: 

  • understanding and anticipating consumer expectations (Human Truths) 
  • translating these into unique and differentiated experiences (Experiences) 
  • achieving positive business results (Economics) 

The financial calculations were conducted on the basis of data extracted from the Aida database from Bureau van Dijk – a Moody’s Analytics Company. 

Criteria for inclusion 

The Next Generation Italian Icons were selected from brands that applied via the website and based on an additional analysis of businesses operating in the Italian market, conducted by experts from Interbrand and IAA Italy based on agreed criteria:    

  • CAGR of revenue of at least 10% in the last 5 available accounting years (2017-2021, where available);  
  • companies founded from 2019, included.  
  • Italian brands: with registered office in Italy and/or at least one Italian founder 



Caterina Piras, Marketing and Communications Manager

[email protected]

T. +39.335.459507

About Interbrand

Interbrand Group is made up of Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy and C Space, the global customer agency.

Interbrand has been a world leading brand consultancy for over 45 years, having pioneered iconic work and forged many of the brand building tools that are commonplace across the industry today.

In an age of unprecedented abundance of choice and speed of innovation, customers’ expectations are moving faster than business. While incremental change is still essential, it is no longer sufficient. It takes bold moves to leap ahead of customers and competitors. Interbrand calls these moves Iconic Moves.

In collaboration with the world’s leading brands, Interbrand’s global team of thinkers and makers are pioneering the future of brand building. By turning customers into active participants, Interbrand helps its clients strengthen their brands on an ongoing basis. This approach gives them confidence to make Iconic Moves that spark desire and create utility, driving extraordinary results.

Interbrand is a part of the Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC). For more information, please visit

International Advertising Association 

Founded in 1938 and operating in 56 countries, including Italy, IAA is the most significant international community of marketing and communication leaders worldwide. It represents a global and one-of-a-kind encounter among businesses, communications agencies, the media, institutions and the academic world.