Malcolm Scott, the KBSA corporate chair, considers the importance of a good marketing strategy to independent KBB retailers and highlights the benefits of tapping into the support packages provided by many manufacturers
Marketing could be summed up as a management philosophy that puts the customer at the heart of every business decision and builds all decision-making around the desire to improve the customer experience.
To that end, there is a huge amount of free, ‘off-the-shelf’ marketing support available from manufacturers that can help kitchen specialist retailers.
The Premier Partner Scheme from Smeg, featured in the April issue of this magazine, demonstrates how big brands are trying to work with kitchen retailers to create clear and coherent marketing strategies. Similar support schemes from brands like Franke, Neff, Symphony, Carron, AEG, Bosch and many others, offer large amounts of marketing support and ‘know-how’ for retailers.
Trade associations like the KBSA, and buying groups like the KBBG and MHK, provide further marketing guidance to their members. Franchise groups like Schmidt, Kutchenhaus and Dream Doors also offer their own comprehensive marketing support for franchisees.
Choosing to go down the route of buying a franchise involves a very clear decision to outsource a large part of the marketing function within the business. Groups like Schmidt offer a complete marketing package, including a promotional calendar and coordinated in-store and digital assets, allowing the proprietor to concentrate on designing and fitting kitchens.
The kind of marketing support offered by a trade association like the KBSA is much more of a continuous training overview with workshops, seminars and the like. The kind of marketing support from a buying group typically falls somewhere between that offered by a trade association and that offered by a franchise with ‘opt-in’ activity rather than a full marketing programme.
The Franke More in Store support package for displaying outlets is a good example of the type of marketing support big brands are offering retailers.
This package includes 19 different information guides for retailers, covering key marketing issues such as how to create and manage a Facebook store, how to mount a Google Ads campaign, and how to improve your website. In addition to these useful guides, the package includes a raft of digital assets and in-store promotional items.
It also provides inclusion in the Dealer Locator tool on the Franke UK website, where the brand redirects consumers to the showrooms of participating retailers. Pre-Covid, the package also included a huge amount of social media exposure for participating retailers via the annual charity event, Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party. The entire More in Store programme is also supported by regular print advertising in key consumer magazines and regular social media promotions.
The BSH HUB provides very similar kinds of marketing support for Neff, Bosch and Siemens displaying outlets. The Neff HUB offers lots of guidance including a step-by-step guide to creating a social media poll, a guide to virtual meetings, a digital marketing toolbox, a guide to remote working and clear guidance on new energy labels for advertising. The HUB also features a large amount of digital assets.
The Bosch HUB features a selection of ‘ready-made’ social media content, eight campaign videos plus posters.
Furniture brands like Masterclass, Symphony and Omega offer displaying retailers ‘off-the-shelf’ marketing packages with rolling programmes of consumer offers, backed up by full sets of digital assets and in-store point-of-sale. These packages usually include additional discounts on featured products for specific periods.
Consumer cash-back promotions have become ever more common with brands like AEG, Bosch, Neff, Whirlpool and Rangemaster, supported by a full set of advertising and marketing assets for retailers.
Promotions often run simultaneously. For example, offering ‘40% off selected doors’ and ‘£500 cash back on appliances’ at the same time, with the backing of national advertising and in-store and digital assets, enables a retailer to put out a strong local marketing message.