This is the strategic goal which brought some home appliance companies to open showrooms, flagship stores or shops in shops, where display their products to the final consumer in a complete way: not to take away sales to retailers, but to bring greater visibility to their own brands anywhere
by Maria Eva Virga
Some companies of major and small domestic appliances have opened one or more flagship stores, company showrooms (also open to the public) and shops in shops in which they display their news also thanks to advanced technologies, giving more visibility to their brand, but without taking away sales to the large specialized stores. Some, such as Miele, use these spaces for sale too, others have a true factory outlet, such as Candy. For some companies, instead, such as Samsung, the showroom is an opportunity to display the “smart home” technology, which can only partly be seen by consumers in some shops in shops. But how is it conceived, at a marketing level, a place dedicated to the strategies of these companies?
Bertazzoni:«The goal is to offer a unique experience to visitors»
«Our main showroom, Casa Bertazzoni, is located in Italy in the headquarters of Guastalla (Reggio Emilia – Emilia Romagna region). The project was born with the aim of offering a unique experience to visitors, with an experiential path through the three values that have been guiding the brand for over 135 years: family, engineering and culture of good food. The showroom, in fact, is divided into three macro-areas with a path that opens with the museum that tells the brand story, passes through the zone dedicated to current collections and closes with the active kitchen. In addition to Casa Bertazzoni, we have three other showrooms in Europe – Stockholm, Paris and Velp (Holland) – in which we propose the same experience. We use our showrooms also for the training of the sales force, that can test the products. Furthermore, we are starting to open Casa Bertazzoni for external events such as, for example, active cooking events or workshops on food education organized by schools. With our showrooms we work on two levels: promoting the brand and the product. They certainly represent an important showcase to introduce us to the public and lead to a wider visibility of products, but not only: they have been designed to convey even the highest values of the brand. This is why they contribute to create brand ambassadors in the world. In the showrooms we have tried to give space to all the technologies we have developed in our home appliances, to enhance them in the better way. In particular, the active cooking area can benefit of gas and induction hobs and electric, steam and microwave ovens.»
Candy:«We are introducing VR in the showrooms»
«Candy has its own outlet, opened since the nineties near the office at Brugherio (MB province – Lombardy region-Italy). We also have a company showroom with all our products, dedicated to professionals, even from abroad .We also use a “store in store” marketing policy: together with some stores chains we define an area where we display our products and related new technologies. For this reason, we do not need to have totally dedicated stores. Our marketing policy is oriented to the customer journey, following the consumer in all its decision-making process. With these spaces we want bring the added value of our products to the consumer. In the outlet, for example, we sell more high-end products, because we can better explain their value to consumers. The same happens in the shop in shop, where our promoters have a high training and knowledge level, for the benefit both of the consumer and of the store staff. It is our interest, finally, to introduce in the future the experience of ” virtual reality” born with the Hoover brand and presented both at Ifa and Eurocucina: thanks to the collaboration with the Bonsaininja creative studio, Candy Group involved visitors to the stand, to see through a viewer, the performance of the Hoover “Kitchen of the Future”: a 360 ° involvement in the global vision of the house of the future with four experiential areas in which people were able to discover the potential of the brand connected products, even “diving” themselves in the new touch oven.»
LG: «We want to communicate to those who are looking for a superior user experience»
On October 19 2017 the Milanese flagship store of LG was inaugurated. In particular it is dedicated to the Lg Signature segment, products with a sophisticated technology and an appealing design (which now include the OLED TVs range, a refrigerator, a washer dryer and an air purifier), on sale in over thirty selected traditional stores of consumer electronics where LG realized special set up. «We want to communicate directly with those who are looking for high-level performance, style and design for a superior user experience day after day. We have also selected partners in Italy where to display and sell the products of this line.»
Miele: «We sell a ‘system’»
«The Miele stores in Italy are three: in Milan, Turin and Bolzano. In the world they are 91. In addition to our physical shops, we also have an on-line virtual store. The strategy of the shops responds to our will to be closer and closer to our consumer. Obviously we also rely on the trade, which is increasingly specialized and, in fact, we are among the few brands of household appliances that can rely on a selective distribution. In each store, our strategy is to offer the most high quality to the consumer, both in terms of product and of sales or post-sales. We sell a “system”. The main objective of our brand shops is to allow the consumer to have a complete experience with the brand, at 360 °. This passes from the service but also from the entire products range. Consumers see the whole range, but above all, they can see the latest technological solutions of the brand: so everything that is smart home is present and working, with a staff prepared to explain it. The advantage is linked to the very high degree of satisfaction of the final consumer, with a degree of brand loyalty of 100%. Then these stores do not take away sales to other stores, indeed: they work as amplifiers, bringing more traffic in the stores of our partners. The Miele brand would like to be present in all the capitals of the world. In Italy we are looking with interest to Rome, where we are already looking for a location, but also Padua , Bologna, Genoa, Florence. Next summer we will perform a refresh of the Milan store, opened 14 years ago.»
Samsung: «In our showroom customers can try products and interact with them»
«Inside the Samsung District, opened in 2015 during Expo, in the new area of the Direction Center of Milano Porta Nuova, there is a showroom open to the public, without sale. Samsung has decided not to open flagship stores in Italy, but to continue investing in traditional distribution, to communicate its products directly in the stores. In addition to the Smart Arena, dedicated to the events, there is a B2B showroom and the smart home area, the part of our company open during weekends too, in which consumers can live the incredible experience of the interactive home. It is possible to see an area with an island kitchen with built-in appliances, a “laundry” area with dryers and washing machines, and a living area with the new generations of televisions and an experiential area dedicated to telephony. We generally display a reference for any product, updating it about every three months, on the basis of the new launches. More than 100.000 visitors passes yearly. It is an experience that cannot be organized in all stores, even if obviously in some of them we have areas dedicated also to White Goods where it is possible to see how the Samsung smart home works. Today consumers have great interest in connectivity, but also many doubts, because not always they are able to understand the real benefits brought by the smart home. In our showroom it is not possible to buy, but it is possible to try the products and interact with them and then look for them in the shops. Milano is an important location because it offers and amplifies the visibility of our products: it is useful both for us and for the points of sales».
|And meanwhile in the SDA ...
The first Lavazza Flagship Store was inaugurated in Milan on September 19, 2017. It will remain open permanently. Here coffee is presented in a multisensory path divided in 4 areas: from coffee shop to Coffee Design (recipes with coffee created by international chefs), from extraction systems in the Slow Coffee area, to the roasting made at the moment in the Fresh Roasted area. «The opening in Milan is part of an international brand renewal strategy, the first step in a path which involves the birth of new stores in the major key markets for the company» - commented Giuseppe Lavazza, Vice President of Lavazza.
|The Dyson Demo Store
On March 8th the Dyson Demo Store was opened in the new City Life district in Milan. Among other things, the shop houses the styling station of the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer with the presence of a hair stylist; a smoke box to show how the sensors of the air Dyson purifiers are able to remove allergens and pollutants from the air; an entire wall equipped with cordless vacuum cleaners and lamps . «To give everyone the opportunity to understand how our technology works, it is crucial to give the opportunity to test and experience our products, " said James Dyson, Chief Engineer and President of Dyson, at the opening of the Dyson Demo in New York. The Dyson Demo Store is the first in Italy but the twentieth in the international markets where the company is present.