At a round table meeting with the electrical press in London the executive board of the BSH Group discussed the performance of the company in 2011 and the changes it plans to introduce to its operations.
“In 2012, BSH Group’s turnover in the UK was £509mln, an increase of 7% on a previous year. This was the second best year ever for us. In times like this it was an important achievement for the company,” said Michael Steinle, CEO of BSH Home Appliances. “The UK was the only country in the BSH portfolio where all the product categories posted growth.”
Neff brand is doing particularly well in the UK, outperforming the market as a whole. The market share of the Siemens brand in the UK increased in 2011. The Gaggenau brand posted a double digit growth, although from a smaller base. Bosch is the biggest and best recognized brand in the Group’s portfolio.
“At present the key word for BSH is change,” stressed Mr Steinle. “There are now 20 people steering the UK company. Fourteen of these senior managers have new responsibilities.
“For its trade partners, BSH has new trade terms, new partner programmes, and a new plan of marketing activities that will include the use of social media. The company is investing in marketing activities that are driving consumers into retail stores, such as the ‘Winning Line’ Bosch campaign linking the performance of best appliances to the sports events of summer 2012.” BSH aims to grow Bosch’s brand awareness to 55% by the end of the year, making it the number one brand appliance in the UK (currently it stands at 44%).
“The UK is considerably more price driven than any other European market,” said Mr Steinle. “Selling higher specified appliances with a variety of features and benefits, key among which is resource efficiency, proves to be a particular challenge for us. We are making big changes in our training programme to address this.
“We need to engage customers’ emotions with the company’s products, for example by staging cooking demonstrations. We now have experienced chefs in our training teams to help retailers achieve this. At the same time, however, the retailers have responsibility to invest in training and allow their staff time off to train,” argued Mr Steinle.