The Industry’s Best Performers

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The sixteenth Independent Marketing Awards, organised annually by Independent Electrical Retailer magazine and co-sponsored by BDC Independents were held at The Boswoth Hall Hotel in Warwickshire on 26 June 2008.  The winners of this year’s Awards – companies which the readers of IER – the independent electrical retailers – recognised as having given them the best support by investing in product excellence, advertising communications and training, collected 15 awards in 11 categories. In 2008, for the first time the Awards were only voted by the independent dealers, but honoured the professionalism and the service excellence of the best independent electrical retailers in the UK.
The Independent Marketing Awards have a special place in the electrical industry. It is the only awards programme which recognises and rewards the achievements of electrical goods manufacturers as determined by the independent electrical dealers – the readers of IER magazine – who cast their votes for the best performers in the industry.
“The Independent Marketing Awards have become a highly regarded declaration of business excellence. They continue to give our readers the opportunity to recognise manufacturers contribution to the ongoing development of their businesses and the sector as a whole. All the awards have a common theme – the consumer.  The independents play an extremely important role in putting the products and the consumer together!  Their high levels of service and product knowledge enables them to display and communicate an unrivalled passion for manufacturers innovation and brand values,” said Andrew Castle publishing director of IER, opening the Awards ceremony.
“However, this year’s Awards are truly special. I am delighted that for the first time in the history of the Awards, independent electrical dealers will come onto the stage to receive Awards for their professional achievements – as nominated by manufacturers – their trade partners.  I hope that this new category of the Awards will grow in the years to come, and will help to reinforce the status and the voice of the independent in the electrical industry,” added Anna Ryland, editor of IER.
The Independent Marketing Awards are organised with continuous and generous support of BDC Independents. Rysiek Tomczyk, group board director at BRIDISCO, the parent company of BDC, commented on the importance of distributors and the efficient supply chain management systems in the current economic situation. “Where demand is slack or depressed – rapid and efficient supply chain management can give enormous competitive advantages.  We must provide leadership by leveraging technology, reducing costs, eliminating waste and protecting the environment. Most of all we need to find new ways of working with manufacturers, distributors, and independent retailers, communicating, collaborating and focusing on delivering efficient consumer response and best value to the consumer.”
Nigel Catlow, GfK business group director, Consumer Electronics, presented an overview of the current market trends and opportunities arising from the rapid growth of consumer electronics, which in Northern Europe is facilitated by the high quality and widespread availability of the English language and our ‘indoor-focused’ lifestyle.
This year’s winners received awards in the following categories:
CONSUMER ADVERTISING
This first series of awards is presented in recognition of the outstanding creativity and promotional might of the media campaigns that support and underpin sales activity in the electrical market. Imaginative and persuasive advertising by the manufacturers is now an integral part of the business relationship that they have with the independents. All the nominated campaigns reflected the serious commitment and heavy investment with which the manufacturers supported a number of outstanding product developments.
Consumer Electronics
The finalists were: AVF ‘It’s shame to hide’ print campaign, Panasonic’s ‘See it wide, see it close’ Lumix , Philips Aurea TVs campaign, PURE website and URL (http://www.rockstarradios.com/), Roberts Robi, Sony Bravia 3 ‘Play-doh’ campaign, Toshiba brand relaunch – ‘Innovation is…’
Winner:
Sony Bravia 3 ‘Play-doh’ campaign
Domestic Appliances
The finalists were:  BEKO Xpress washing machine, BISSELL ProHeat All Rounder, Bosch DA – The Animal Campaign, Caple Gastron range cooker with Aldo Zilli, Electrolux: ELUX – TV & Press, ‘Iron Aid’, Indesit Moon, Neff: CircoSteam oven print advertising, Stoves Accolade press advertising and Whirlpool Goddess campaign. 
Winner:
Bosch DA – The Animal Campaign
Small Appliances
The finalists were:  Braun Oral-B Triumph electric toothbrush, Philips Satinelle Ice Premium, Marco Pierre White/Russell Hobbs Range and Tefal Quick Cup.
Winner:
Tefal Quick Cup


IMPACTFUL PRODUCT
Once again this category received the largest number of nominations which resulted in the longest list of finalists. This reflects the competitiveness of this sector and the immense investment in product development, research and design which manufacturers made this year in response to growing consumer expectations.   Some of the most innovative products which came onto the market during the last 12 months are in the impactful product category.
Consumer Electronics
The finalists were: Armour Home – Sanus mirror frame AV bracket, Hitachi Hybrid Camcorders DZ-HS500/ 501, Intempo MP3 speaker-dock with DAB, Panasonic TH-42PZ70 Viera Plasma, Panasonic DMC-TZ3 Lumix camera, Philips Aurea TVs, PURE Chronos Family, Roberts Gemini 21, Roberts WM201 (wi-fi internet radio), Samsung the 650 TV range, Sony Alpha D-SLR camera, and Toshiba REGZA XF series.
Winner:
Samsung 650 TV range
Domestic Appliances
The finalists were: BEKO Xpress washing machine, Belling Kensington 90cm range cookers, De Dietrich Modular Hobs Collection, Electrolux Global Design Range, inc Brita F/F and Iron Aid, Fisher & Paykel extra large ice & water refrigerator, Lec Quartz FF, Liebherr’s IGN 2566 8 drawer integrated freezer, Indesit Moon, Maytag ZigZag, Miele Glasslight Fridge Freezer, Neff: CircoSteam oven, Samsung Jasper Morrison SBS, Stoves Accolade built-in collection, Siemens ASR stainRemoval washing machine and Whirlpool AquaSteam washing machine.
Winner:
Indesit Moon
Small Appliances
The finalists were: Bosch Private Collection Brita set, Breville Blue Ice range – kettle & toaster, Kenwood kMix Stand Mixer, G WaveDOM microwave,  Philips Wake up light, Marco Pierre White/Russell Hobbs Range, Russell Hobbs Precision Heat iron, Tefal Quick Cup and Team UKI Professional fish steamer.
Winner:
Tefal Quick Cup


TRAINING AWARD
Training – both product and sales related – is key to the success of both the retailer, who receives it and the manufacturer, who provides it. Particularly, at the outset of the current economic slowdown, investment in training becomes even more important than ever. Independent electrical retailers are not always able to take up training in the traditional format. Therefore they are highly appreciative of the choice of training offered to them by the manufacturers who understand the nature of their business and tailor the format and the location of training to the independent dealers’ needs.
Consumer Electronics
The finalists were: Armour Home Academy, Panasonic Training Department, Samsung Training Centre and Sony High Definition Roadshow.
Winner:
Sony High Definition Roadshow
Domestic Appliances
The finalists were:
De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances sales training, Electrolux Training Team on site, off site or online, Glen Dimplex Home Appliances training, Indesit Company Training Academy, Neff training, Siemens training programme and Whirlpool Area Sales Force Group on site training.
Winner:
Indesit Company Training Academy


BEST ACCESSORY COMPANY
Accessories have long been a key weapon in any retailer’s armoury for creating additional margin on a sale. In fact, the margins on some accessory products are up to three times as large as on the equipment they support. The HDTV revolution gave retailers unprecedented opportunities for creating a significant revenue stream from selling AV furniture, brackets, cables and batteries.
The finalists were: Alphason Designs, Armour Home, AVF, BBG, Optimum International, Monster Cable and Tech+Link International.
Winner:
Alphason Designs


BEST FLOORCARE PRODUCT
The booming floorcare market is becoming more focused on special features and functions, in response to particular needs of various customers, such as allergy sufferers, pet owners, single person households, and increasingly also on eco-friendly products. The list of nominations in the best floorcare product category clearly reflected these trends.
The finalists were: BISSELL ProHeat All Rounder, DYSON DC16 handheld cleaner, Electrolux Intensity, Home-tek Light’n’Easy Steam Mop – HT824, LG Compressor, Miele Cat & Dog vacuum cleaner, Panasonic MC-UL672, Panasonic MC-CL675, Philips FC9222 bagless – Marathon and Samsung Silencio.
Winner:
Miele Cat & Dog vacuum cleaner


BEST PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT – Female
Personal grooming has never been a bigger business than now – with grooming products and appliances reaching increasingly wider audiences, and catering for literally every need of both the sexes.
The finalists were: Nicky Clarke Detox Range – Nanosilver straightener & dryer, Panasonic ES2057 epilator, Philips Satinelle Ice Premium,  Philips Sonicare FlexCare and Salton Europe – Andrew Collinge Once Through 230 Styler.
Winner:
Nicky Clarke Detox Range – Nanosilver straightener & dryer


BEST PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT – Male
The finalists were: Braun Activator Shaver,  Panasonic ES8163 Men’s shaver and Philips Moisturising Shaving System.
Winner:
Philips Moisturising Shaving System


SPECIAL REPRESENTATION AWARD
Bryan Lovewell, chief executive of retra, presented the award for the best manufacturer’s representative. For this award, independent retailers nominated the manufacturer sales representative who best looks after them and on whose help and advice they can always depend.
Winner:
Jan Davey, Bosch
Jan Davey joined the Bosch sales force, from Hotpoint as area manager for the East Anglia region in September 2004. Since joining she has achieved her sales target every year and was Bosch area sales manager in 2006. Jane is very much liked by her accounts as well as her colleagues, as she always remains very positive and has many good business ideas.


ULTIMATE TOP SUPPLIER AWARD
This is the ultimate accolade of the Independent Marketing Awards, which Rysiek Tomczyk presented on behalf of BDC Independents, sponsors of the Award. Voting for this Award, independent electrical retailers 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 there were a number of very strong contenders. 
Winner:
BSH Group

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