Hettich: Research is an invaluable tool for business

Hettich UK MD, Simeon Gabriel

Hettich UK’s MD Simeon Gabriel (pictured) gives us an in-depth analysis of the results of the kbbreview Retailer Survey 2024 and outlines why research is an invaluable tool for all businesses

The volume of feedback requests on everything from holidays to everyday basics can exasperate us all.

But we all like to know what other people think – particularly what they think about what we do or the things we sell. That’s a good thing. Corporate history is littered with the casualties of businesses which failed to listen to customers properly and adapt their strategy to a changing landscape.

Listening, of course, is only one part of the equation. If we’re not hearing what we need to know, perhaps we’re not asking the right questions.

This was front of mind when we got behind the kbbreview Retailer Survey 2024. I commented on some of the stand-out numbers in last month’s issue. Now it’s time to dig further into the rationale for the survey and the need to ask the right questions is a big part of this. 

So, what is the purpose of a survey on this scale when the customers who matter are the ones we encounter personally? If we’re not seeking direct feedback from our customers, then we’re not doing our job. 

However, there is always a bigger picture – the world outside our community, network, whatever you want to call it. External surveys such as that conducted by kbbreview in partnership with experts Eureka! Research with Hettich’s support, ensure a non-biased approach and eliminate the risk of any personal agenda. 

Respondents tend to be more candid, both in praise and criticism, if they can respond freely to a third party with which they have no personal connection. Responses are more likely to be valuable if left to experts in extracting meaningful data.


In the fight for the consumer’s attention, and also the fight for the consumer’s increasingly discerning spending, I would argue that there has never been a more important time to know your market. Careful research and meaningful customer insight are essential for decision-making, even more so in times of heightened uncertainty. Things move fast these days. Our customers live in that world and their tastes, expectations and influences are increasingly fluid.

The fact that not all businesses have the resources to conduct independent research made it all the more important for us to support the kbbreview Retailer Survey 2024. It benefits us all to be part of a well-informed industry that understands its market. We can only create value if we have a handle on risk and opportunity.

What struck me initially in reviewing the results of the survey was the high rate of converting enquiries into sales, the relatively healthy order books enjoyed
by a sizeable chunk of respondents and the primacy of reputation and recommendation over all other success factors. 

So, with the benefit of reflection, a key takeaway from the Retailer Survey 2024 is that businesses which plan for the long term are more likely to thrive. It might sound obvious, but not all businesses operate that way. Hettich has built its business through generations whose investment decisions weren’t about profit for any single financial year but about business sustainability in all senses of the word. 

Long-term decisions don’t always have to involve huge costs and risk. It can be as simple as choosing the market you serve and how you present solutions which add value and distinguish what you offer. 

Our role as suppliers is to make that process as effective as possible with relevant products which impress day-in, day-out, appropriate technical support and reassurance of an honest, long-term approach. 

The survey shows that more than 75% of retailers’ business comes from people who live in their own homes with these purchases – more than that if you include intermediaries such as interior designers. They will value honesty above all, even if the honest answer is not always what they want to hear.

If you’ve not yet had the chance to check out the numbers, I recommend taking the time to do so [kbbreview, January, pgs 36-41 and kbbreview.com]. Even if you know your market very well, I suspect there will be some surprises.

For more information contact Hettich on 0161 872 9552

or email [email protected]. Alternatively visit https://web.hettich.com/en-uk/contact-us

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