Founded in 2008, today Maikii is a global player with subsidiaries in Italy, China and the USA, which has positioned itself in both the B2B and retail sector. The Italian creative company’s recipe for success: Non-mainstream USB products, powerbanks and accessories for smartphones and tablets, tailormade services and a young, dynamic team.
When Francesco Poloniato and Matteo Fabbrini took the risk of turning self-employed in 2008, their declared aim was to offer the market, which was already flooded with USB articles, something new: “Maikii grew from the idea of creating USB flash drives that were unique in their particular style. We wanted to develop products that distinguished themselves from the mainstream, combined with services precisely aligned to meet the needs of promotional products agencies and their customers. So, we decided to sum up our competences in purchasing, sales, web and product design,” explained Managing Director Fabbrini, who completed a sales and marketing degree at the Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice and worked in the corresponding sectors before turning self-employed. After completing classic training in the design and advertising sector, the Maikii Creative Director Poloniato was responsible for several agencies. Today at Maikii, he attends to all of the product development and design activities, including running the creative department.’
The start-up company based in Treviso, near Venice soon succeeded in expanding its client base. Maikii already penetrated the international market in 2010 with the launch of a multi-lingual website, an e-commerce platform, which automated and simplified the order and manufacture processing. The company additionally took part in a growing number of international trade fairs.
Furthermore, the company prepared the ground to enter the retail market, starting off with the production and distribution of licensed USB flash drives and smartphone accessories. Tribe, one of Maikii’s brands, distributes USB flash drives to the retail market. These licensed USB flash drives offer large-scale retailers a fun and functional gadget in the form of film and cartoon character-shaped memory sticks. Tribe’s USB flash drives collection includes among others the Simpsons, Star Wars and Marvel superheroes. The latest additions are Disney’s characters and Universal’s Minions.
Furthermore, Maikii’s rapid growth enabled the company to found GreyStar LLC, a subsidiary in Shenzhen, China in 2011. At the beginning of 2014, a subsidiary in the USA was opened: Maikii Inc. based in San José, California, deals with the logistics, and sales and customer services on the American market.
To this date, Maikii has by own accounts produced over 2,500,000 promotional USB drives, printed 6,500 different logos and uploaded 69 mil. MB of data files for more than 2,700 customers. The turnover of the promotional products division alone totalled 4.15 mil. Eurosin 2013 – around 20% of which derived from exports.
Never change a winning team
About 30 people work in Maikii’s three subsidiaries in Treviso, Shenzhen and San José, California. All design-related activities, as well as finished product logistics, distribution network and customer services are located at the headquarters in Treviso that span 1,800 m². The premises also accommodate the graphic design and marketing offices, the legal head office and administration. Consultancy, project engineering, manufacturing, logistics, customer care are all managed by a young and dynamic team of graphic designers, product developers, web developers, sales and marketing operators. “The average age of the employees is under 30 years, but lacking experience is definitely not an issue,” Fabbrini said. “Our staff guarantees fast and concise decisionmaking procedures, providing punctual and precise feedbacks to the customers and suppliers within a short time.”
The Chinese branch in Shenzhen deals with producers, negotiates the buying process, supervises the manufacturing phase and certifies the final quality of the finished product. All products distributed by Maikii conform to the international standards of safety and quality – such as ROhS or EN71. Last, but not least, Maikii exclusively uses recycled materials.
The catalogue for the promotional products sector USB flash drives, hard disks, multimedia players and SD cards. The line-up also includes powerbanks for tablets and smartphones as well as the corresponding accessories. All models can be extensively modified by the customers and branded, whereby a large selection of customising options is available – conveniently and fast via the web platform www.maikii.eu, as Poloniato explained: “The customers can choose the most suitable design from a wide range of shapes and materials and then order them with a simple click. Minimum orders start at 50 items, including customization, the order processing and delivery are taken care of within just a few days. Furthermore, we have created a neutral online platform at www.flashgift.eu for distributors, which allows them to operate and manage their very own e-shop in order to directly re-sell USB flash drives. This allows the distributors to be totally independent and autonomously manage their client network.”
Strategies and concepts with the help of which Maikii intends to achieve further growth – Fabbrini: “Maikii aims to strengthen its leading position in the promotional USB flash drives business in Italy, as well as increase its market share in Europe and strives to stand out on extra-European markets. And of course, we will keep on extending our range with new customized electronic items to offer an even wider range of solutions that combine aesthetics and functionality and which are suitable for the most diverse business needs.”