Jonathan Hartley, channel manager for kitchen retail, DA, Samsung Electronics UK, explains how the brand is supporting, educating and rewarding its retail network through its new Kitchen Circle Partner programme
One of the key reasons we created the Kitchen Circle partner programme was because we recognised the need to provide retailers with the tools that enable immersive engagement with the brand, our people and the range portfolio. We considered what we wanted to be as a supplier and, going back to basics, decided that our focus should be on three core areas, these being; support, education and reward.
As a Kitchen Circle partner, from the moment you sign up for your new displays, your details are registered with our engagement team. You will then receive a welcome call with an introduction to the brand and full details of the support we provide to get you started.
We encourage our retailers to take advantage of regular business development meetings with their Samsung area manager – who will be there to assist every step of the way.
We provide showrooms with valuable point of sale, product videos and branded sales assets to help get your clients engaged with the brand during their time in your showroom.
Our kitchen support team ([email protected] samsung.com) are also available to help guide you through your journey – providing technical, product and aftersales support.
Our UK product training team will be notified when your displays are shipped to your premises. They will then contact you to arrange an appointment to take you through our ‘on-boarding’ training programme.
And that’s not the last you’ll hear from them. They will reconnect with you after six months to provide refresher-training sessions for you and your team – to ensure you are all aware of our latest technology and innovations.
As a displaying retailer, you can register with our online academy. Here you’ll find an abundance of information and marketing tools, ranging from product videos, images and training courses.
We also run dedicated expert product training sessions at our retail-training centre, in Surrey, throughout the year. These are available to book through your area manager.
As a valued member of the Kitchen Circle, you will also receive a monthly newsletter – sharing the latest news from Samsung and the Kitchen Retail team.
In recognition of the support and commitment we receive from our Kitchen Circle partners, we have devised an on-going rewards programme. Simply register online with the Samsung Academy, and upload proof of sales to receive rewards that are redeemable against selected products.
We’ve also launched the Kitchen Circle Awards and are actively encouraging all Samsung kitchen retailers to enter. For more information on how to enter, see the column on the right.
We also host regular Samsung Focus groups and encourage all of our retail partners to get involved. Not only are they a great way for you to share your experiences and to get your opinion heard, they enable us to make Samsung and the Kitchen Circle even better for everyone.
We’ve already received a great response from customers, both on the products and the engagement processes we’re rolling out. But don’t take our word for it. I’ll leave you with some great feedback we received recently from one of our Kitchen Circle partners:
‘Having spent many years in the industry, I was impressed with the innovative designs and pleasing aesthetics of Samsung’s new range of kitchen appliances – in particular the Dual Cook Flex™ oven collection.
So impressed was I, in fact, that I decided to become a Samsung independent kitchen specialist supplier – removing all of my existing displays, from other well-known brands, and replacing them with Samsung appliances. And, I’m so glad I took the plunge.
Along with a national television advertising campaign, Samsung offers a great range of showroom sales and marketing tools, including point-of-sale and video assets; help with local advertising, regular field team visits and detailed training to ensure we’re conversant with each model and their various features.
Another standout innovation is the Wi-Fi connectivity feature and SmartThings app, which allows various different appliances, for example the hob and extractor, to communicate with each other. This function has even helped me close the sale on several ovens to customers who regularly work late and who loved the idea of being able to pre-prepare the evening meal, switch the oven on and control it remotely via the app on their way home.
Coupled with the fantastic help and support I’ve received from various departments, I really feel part of the Samsung “family”. The Kitchen Circle partner support pack is a particularly good reference tool highlighting how any member of the team can be contacted to offer further support when needed. Nothing seems to be too much trouble.
Samsung is also actively promoting its rewards program and I’m looking forward to mutually successful sales over the coming years.’
Bill Walton, managing director, Kitchen Doors & More Ltd, Bury St Edmunds
We encourage all of our kitchen specialists to enter the Samsung Kitchen Circle Awards for the chance to be recognised for your hard work, and to gain an invitation to our very special Kitchen Circle Awards day.
Finalists who make it to the Kitchen Circle Awards event will have the opportunity to participate in focus groups and workshops led by our experts, while additionally celebrating their success.
A Gold, Silver and Bronze award will be given out in each of the following categories:
The Do What You Can’t Award for best national kitchen studio embodying the Samsung brand
The Showroom Award for best regional kitchen display
The Connected Award for the kitchen studio demonstrating the best use of social media
The Hero Award for the greatest number of premium Samsung kitchen appliances sold
Additional information about each category will be added to this column over the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled if you’d like to find out more. Closer to the time, I’ll also be revealing more details about the Awards event itself, so please be sure to check this page for your latest Kitchen Circle updates.
To find out more about the Samsung Kitchen Circle, please email builtin. [email protected] or alternatively call the Samsung Kitchen Circle team on 0330 726 1001.