The best of the electrical industry

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The Awards, which are in their 17th year, have the longest heritage of any awards in the electrical industry and the number of nominations they attract is greater every year.

The annual Independent Marketing Awards have been relaunched this year with a new title – the Independent Business Awards. This reflects the change of focus of the Awards bringing them up to date with the industry today. This has also allowed us to introduce new awards categories which recognise retail business excellence as well as achievements in marketing and manufacturing.

“The Independent Business Awards remain the only awards programme designed to recognise and reward the achievements of electrical goods manufacturers as determined by the independent electrical retailing sector,” said Andrew Castle, Datateam publishing director, opening the Awards evening.

“The Awards continue to give IER readers the opportunity to recognise manufacturers’ contribution to the ongoing development of their businesses and the sector as a whole.  In this regard, they are truly unique and with some 16 years of heritage behind them, they have become a highly regarded declaration of business excellence.”

Anna Ryland, editor of Independent Electrical Retailer magazine commented: “Last year we introduced new awards categories honouring the professional skills and service excellence of the independent electrical dealers. They helped us to identify and bring to the limelight some outstanding independent businesses – large and small – whose professionalism and customer service are second to none. This year we are hoping to bring to your and the industry’s attention another group of truly outstanding retail professionals.

“This year we have also introduced the Technical Innovation Award and the Energy Saving Award. All of you to whom I spoke during the last few months have told me that the only way out of the recession is to continue innovating. The long line-up of truly innovative products, nominated for the Technical Innovation Award, incorporating ground-breaking technology and giving customers real life-enhancing benefits – clearly demonstrate that you were true to your word.”

To set the scene for the evening Nigel Catlow, GfK business group director, Consumer Electronics, made a presentation outlining some of the growth opportunities which are stimulating sales during the current recessionary times, such as high capacity washing machines (over 7kg) the value of which grew by 18% over the last 12 months; DAB products the volume of which now exceeds 9 million, and HD and Blu-ray products, such as Blu-ray players which grew eight-fold over the last year.

 

The Winners of the IBA 2009 received awards in the following categories:

BEST ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN

Advertising support remains essential for new product in the crowded marketplace. And it takes great skill to convey a product’s unique features and benefits in just a few seconds and to capture the audience – whether this is a TV commercial, a bus poster or a press advertisement.

This first series of awards was presented in recognition of the outstanding creativity and power of the media campaigns that support and underpin so much of the sales activity within this market.

Consumer Electronics

The finalists were: Hitachi Ultra Thin LCD range, LG Scarlet TV, Panasonic Freesat TVs, Samsung LED TV and Sony ‘Foam City’.

Winner:

Samsung LED TV

Domestic Appliances

The finalists were: De Dietrich advertising campaign, Elica Deep Silence hood – ‘Space’, Hotpoint Quadrio fridge freezer and LG 9kg steam washing machine.

Winner:

Hotpoint Quadrio Fridge Freezer

Small Domestic Appliances

The finalists were: Dimplex Opti-myst electric fires, Miele S7 vacuum cleaner, Marco Pierre White by Russell Hobbs and Tefal Scientists Digital Ad – the Tefal Quick Cup.

Winner:

Tefal Scientists Digital Ad

TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION AWARD

This category has received the greatest number of nominations which is a reflection of need to innovate in recessionary times and resulting in an immense investment in product development, research and design.  Some of the most innovative products which came onto the market during the last 12 months were on the finalist list for this award category.

Consumer Electronics

The finalists were: Humax Foxsat-HDR, LG 7000 Blutooth Scarlet TV range, Panasonic Freesat TVs, The PURE Evoke Flow and The PURE Lounge, Q-Acoustics Q-AV speaker system, Roberts Stream 202 radio, Samsung LED 7020 television, Samsung BD-P4600 Blu-ray player, Sony A900 Alpha D-SLR camera, Sony Motionflow 200Hz technology, Sony OLED television and Sony Reader.

Winner:

Humax Foxsat-HDR

Domestic Appliances

The finalists were: Fisher & Paykel three door refrigerator, GDHA Stoves Richmond 900 SXS, Hotpoint Quadrio fridge freezer, Indesit Iridium fridge freezer, LG 9kg Steam washing machine, Liebherr ICBN 3066 built-in combination fridge freezer, Miele 90cm ovens, NEFF single oven with Slideaway door, Samsung AIR Refresh washing machine and Whirlpool freestanding Aquasteam dishwasher.

Winner:

NEFF Single oven with Slideaway door

Small Domestic Appliances

The finalists were: Bosch Tassimo coffee machine,  De’Longhi Perfecta ESAM 5500 coffee machine, LG Solar Cube microwave, The Magimix Black and Gold 5200 Food Processor, Magimix M100 Nespresso coffee machine with Aerocino, Philips Senseo Latte Select coffee machine, Philips GC9040 pressurised steam generator, Russell Hobbs kitchen accessories Gizmo and Tefal ActiFry low-calorie fryer.

Winner:

Bosch Tassimo coffee machine

ENERGY SAVING AWARD

Energy consumption and other environmental considerations have become top business priorities for every self-respecting manufacturer. Industry leaders are publicly pledging their energy savings targets for the future. Consumers are scrutinising energy consumption of almost all electrical products before purchasing them. Even vacuum cleaners will shortly be displaying energy rating levels. The products nominated in this category reflected the significant progress made in this field.

Consumer Electronics

The finalists were: JVC LT-42DS9BJ LCD TV, LG 6100 Scarlet TV, Philips 42PFL5603D EcoFlat TV, PURE Evoke Mio DAB radio, Roberts Solar DAB and Sony WE5 BRAVIA range

Winner:

Roberts Solar DAB radio

Domestic Appliances

The finalists were: Bosch SMV 69T10GB LO91XX dishwasher, Hotpoint Laundry Eco Cycles, LG 9kg steam washing machine, Liebherr GTP 2356 Premium freestanding chest freezer, Miele T8626 WP Heat Pump Ecocomfort tumble dryer, Siemens A-rated tumble dryer – WT46W560 GB, Smeg SCP 112.2 multi function oven and V-Zug TSL WP dryer.

Winner:

Miele T8626 WP Heat Pump Ecocomfort tumble dryer

Small Domestic Appliances

The finalists were: Ainsley Harriott S/Steel Eco Friendly Kettle AH358, Bosch BSG71266GB Pro Energy Vacuum Cleaner, Dimplex Cadiz Eco portable radiator, DC24 Dyson Ball, Electrolux EnviroVac, George Foreman Grills, Philips Energy Efficient Kettle and Tefal Quick Cup Deluxe.

Winner:

DC24 Dyson Ball

BEST TRAINING AWARD

Training – in all its formats – is key to the success of both the retailer, who receives it and the manufacturer, who provides it.  Due to the nature of their business, independent electrical retailers are not always able to take up training in the traditional format. Therefore they are highly appreciative of the choice of traini
ng offered to them by the manufacturers and the investment they made in this field.

Consumer Electronics

The finalists were: Alphason, Armour Training Academy, BBG Distribution, Loewe Training and Sony Training Team.

Winner:

Sony Training Team

Domestic Appliances

The finalists were: De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances Training, GDHA Training, Indesit Company Training Team and Miele Training and The Smeg Academy.

Winner:

GDHA Training

BEST ACCESSORY COMPANY

In a recession, accessories are an even more important part of a sale than they used to be. They provide a significant revenue stream for retailers. In fact the margins on some of them are up to three times as large as on the equipment they support. Best Accessory Companies with their products but also with their training – help retailers to satisfy customers and to ensure that the products they buy work to their full potential.

The finalists were: Alphason, BBG Distribution, Indesit and Techlink International.

Winner:

Indesit

TECHNICAL INNOVATION AWARD – accessory

This is also a new award category, introduced this year to reflect the range of innovations launched by accessory manufacturers. Like the products they support, accessories are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and in the case of AV furniture – also design-led. This was demonstrated by the very diverse range of submissions received in this category.

The finalists were: Alphason’s Viewsmart Corner bracket, Alphason by Conran’s Contemporary Natural range, AVF Cornermount, PURE Highway in-car adaptor, Sanus VisionMount LMT15 Motorised Tilting Mount and Sanus VisionMount LR1A In-Wall Box.

Winner:

PURE Highway in-car adaptor

BEST FLOORCARE PRODUCT

The floorcare market has become very focused on the diverse needs of consumers, such as allergy sufferers or pet owners. However, the ‘green’ considerations, such as energy consumption of vacuum cleaners and noise levels, have also played a significant role guiding product innovation in this sector.

The finalists were: BISSELL’s ‘ReadyDry’ carpet cleaner, Bosch Pro Energy vacuum cleaner, Dyson Ball DC24, Home-tek Steam Mop Elite, LG Compressor Plus, Miele S7 vacuum cleaner, Samsung Silencio vacuum cleaner, SEBO automatic X4 Pet Cleaner and Vax V-124 Dual V carpet washer.

Winner:

Vax V-124 Dual V carpet washer

BEST PERSONAL CARE – MALE & FEMALE

Fashion continues to dominate the personal grooming category, whether this is hair care, body grooming or shaving. Now there is hardly any difference between professionally groomed people in the media and ordinary men and women, who using grooming appliances, totally transform their appearance. 

The finalists were: Andrew Collinge Super-Slim Digital Straightener, The BaByliss Pro 230 radiance straightener, Philips Arcitec Shaver System, Philips AT&T Williams HQ7390 Shaver, Philips Satinelle Ice Premium Epilator and Philips TT2030 Bodygroom Plus.

Winner:

Philips Arcitec Shaver System

ULTIMATE TOP SUPPLIER

Voting for this ultimate accolade of the IBA, independent dealers indicate which company provides them with the best service and supports them most effectively. To a large extent this award is a combination of all the other awards and as usual there were a number of strong contenders in this category.

Winner:

Panasonic

SPECIAL REPRESENTATION AWARD

The award for the best manufacturer’s representative was presented by Bryan Lovewell, chief executive of retra. For this award independent retailers nominated the sales representative who best supports them with their help and advice.

Winner:

Gerry Kehoe, Roberts Radio

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD

This Award was sponsored by D&G and Lee Miller, director of sales, presented this award to the winner.

Best Customer Service-

John Hutchinson, Hutchinsons HiFi & Vision

INDUSTRY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

With this special award, sponsored by Sony this year, the electrical industry shows its appreciation of someone’s lifetime contribution to its efforts and to the independent sector.

This year the award was given posthumously to John Binks, business group director, Consumer Electronics at GfK, who passed away in September 2008. Widely respected, John was an exceptional individual, a popular colleague and mentor to younger staff at GfK. He was invited to speak at countless industry events where he presented market trends with great clarity and a wonderful sense of humour. In a career spanning 30 years John’s knowledge and passion touched many people across the industry. With a background in management accounting gained at a UK retailer and Sony in the late 70s, John joined what was then AGB in 1984 where he was instrumental in launching the Retail Audit Panel in the UK, which became GfK in 1989.

Janice Binks collected the award on behalf of her husband accompanied by Shani Orchard, GfK HR director.

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