A great passion and the courage to dare are behind the growth and development of the company, that has recently entered the large distribution with a new product
By Tiziana Corti
Evolving technology for the air treatment. This is the goal and mission of Elica that, since its founding in 1970 to the present, has created cutting edge products, anticipating trends and responding to the peculiar demands of the many international markets in which it operates.
After conquering the channel of furniture manufacturers and retailers and of the high-end kitchens markets, Elica has arrived to the large distribution with Marie, a new fragrance diffuser concept, protagonist of a communication campaign and of various in store initiatives, in support of retail.
Francesco Casoli, the company president and son of the founder Ermanno, tells Home Appliances World the details of this project and the hard work that has led the group to international success.
Let’s start with Marie, the new entry in the Elica catalog.Would you like to describe this new product?
Our business, as manufacturers of duct-out and recirculating hoods, is based on the treatment and care of the air. Marie, our new smart fragrance diffuser, is a natural continuation of our corporate mission to find solutions to improve more and more the air quality not only in the kitchen, but also in the other rooms of the house. This diffuser, in fact, is wireless and can be easily transported from room to room. It works in manual mode and can be connected to the home wi-fi system. It can be connected to some Elica hoods models, thus receiving preset automatic commands. To give a concrete example, we can set Marie in such a way that it activates after the shutdown of the hood to remove the last residues of cooking smells.
In which channels is it distributed and to which consumers target is it addressed?
With Marie Elica, well established brand among the kitchen manufacturers and retailers, entered the large distribution. With the right humility and on tiptoe, we want to enter into this channel, offering an exclusive item, new and fresh, that gives the trade the opportunity to maintain constant contact with the end customer, thanks to the capsules used by the device. Fragrances that it emanates, in fact, must be periodically replaced and repurchased in store.
How are you supporting the trade in the proposal of the product?
Special corners dedicated to Marie are placed in store, where we also organize some demonstrations on the use of the product itself, which is however also the subject of a communication campaign on traditional and on-line media. Large retailers can count on the proven reliability of Elica brand.
It is our policy, in fact, starting new initiatives only when we believe we can offer a quality product and all the necessary support to our distribution partners.
Elica has a strong presence on the web, even on social networks. Which is the role of the on-line media in your communication strategy?
What we are doing on digital channels is just the beginning of a strategy in which we strongly believe and that we will try and strengthen. Internet gives us the opportunity to communicate directly with consumers and to understand, also through their criticism, how to improve our products and our services. I personally answer, when I can, to the comments of the people who write on the Net talking about Elica, even if there are complaints, that are useful to grow.
Is Marie distributed abroad too? In which countries and through which channels?
In this first phase, we will focus on Italy, France, Spain and Russia. We are making partnerships in England too. We purposely selected some ‘pilot’ countries to optimize resources and investments. Also abroad our fragrance diffuser will be sold through large distributors.
Marie, like the other Elica products, responds to the historical mission of the Group to treat the air we breathe. Would you like to mention the steps made by the Group in pursuing this goal?
Since its founding Elica has always worked in this area, making important investment and devoting great efforts in developing new technologies and products. The long experience, the countless tests and the intensive research and development work of our team have enabled us to be pioneers in various areas, launching functions, concepts and innovative designs. It is the passion for our work that allows us to continue to experiment with new technologies and features to improve more and more our products. Ten years ago we presented the Om hood that today, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary, we have proposed in a new version, sophisticated just thanks to the technological and functional ‘conquests’ that we have achieved in the last decade.
Performance and efficiency, always enclosed in an attractive designed. How important is aesthetics in an appliance today and how much is it important in products signed by Elica? Design of an appliance is certainly important but it must respond, before all, to the functional requirements of the product. The Elica design team focuses primarily on the use of the device and from there conceives its aesthetics. In the case of Marie, for example, they considered the weight of the product and its transportability, being made to be moved from room to room of the house; then they took in consideration noise and so on, to create the final shape of the diffuser.
Let’s talk about your core business, the hoods. What are currently the flagships of the Group?
In addition to Om, we have already spoken about, Edith and Shell are the products that better summarized the level of advancement of our production processes, achieved with years of experience and specialization. The island models, of which we have been pioneers, enclose motor, filtering group and lamps within geometric shapes made of stainless steel, a material that is very complex to model. The long testing done in our research and development centers has enabled us to achieve the highest level of filtration and extraction, while responding to the requirements of European legislation on energy efficiency. We propose models in A class, with LED lamps.
How is your offer declined in Italy and abroad?
To meet the many and varied demands of the local markets, our catalog has come to include 2,400 models. Our effort is to really respond to the needs of all cultures. In every nation, in fact, people cook in a different way and need the right kind of hood. Think about the differences that exist between the preparation of an American barbecue and that of a Japanese sushi. Think of German cuisine and about the Indian culture. They are completely different situations, it is necessary to know well, working on site, in order to give an appropriate response to local consumers and carve out a space in their market.
Which are the strategic foreign countries for Elica and the most interesting for the future?
North America, the UK, China, India and Japan are currently the most promising areas for us. Germany remains an attractive market, while Spain is awakening. We are entering also in France, for which we have good expectations. We consider Italy a positive market, but currently very difficult.
What is the value of the origins in a multinational group with strong local roots like yours?
Fabriano and the Marche region are very important for us, as Italy itself. Our origins are those that still manage to transmit us passion. We want to continue to be Italian and to promote Made-in-Italy, but we have to be competitive worldwide, taking sometimes even difficult decisions. The important thing is to do it with transparency and clarity to all.
How do you see the future of the hood sector?
In the world there is a growing attention to purification and quality of water and air. It is a very interesting trend, which opens new spaces and potential for growth for our models. Wellness and life simplification are elements that people look more and more in the products they buy.
Some anticipation about the future plans of Elica?
We have almost completed the realization of a new product that we have been experiencing for some time. We will present it in a short time, but for the moment I cannot anticipate anything else.
|Job is in the air
An initiative really rare for the times we live. With Job is in the air, Elica met young engineers seeking employment, in a special recruiting day looking for new talents to be included in the company. «The initiative - says Casoli - was much appreciated by the students and professionals that participated. Even if not chosen by us, they enjoyed the opportunity to meet and give a message of hope and optimism to the future of our country. Moreover, even in difficult times, we must dare.»
|After ten years, Om is renewed
It was 2004 and Elica presented Om, the first vertical hood in the world that has made the history of the brand. At the time it was received with much curiosity and soon became a coveted piece of furniture.Ten years after its birth, Elica has revisited the original version of the Om hood, built around the elementary and elegant shapes of the square and the circle. The successor of the first model is called Om Air and presents a renewed style, enriched by cutting-edge technology that increases the performance and energy efficiency. In black or white glass, with perimeter extraction and installation possibilities in back aspiration, Om Air is equipped with an innovative polyurethane anti-odor filter and strip LED lights.