Foothold in the end user segment
Following the consolidation and gradual realignment of sales structures – a process that was completed in the previous year – the focus in 2017 was on systematically strengthening and enhancing the Geberit brand’s profile with architects, interior designers, showroom operators and end users. To this end, Geberit launched its new “Design Meets Function” slogan at ISH 2017 in Frankfurt – the world’s leading trade fair for the sanitary industry – in relation to all products that are installed in front of the wall and are therefore clearly visible. Through this slogan, Geberit is articulating its intention to offer end users more than just beautiful ceramic appliances and bathroom furniture. Products “in front of the wall” should be well designed on the one hand and include clever, innovative functions on the other, offering sustainable added value. In the reporting year, this promise was delivered through numerous new products that set new standards – not only in design but also in terms of their functionality. In addition, high-quality ceramics ranges under the Geberit brand have been launched in selected markets for the first time.
All this provided the advisors working in the field with additional consultation and sales impetus specifically in their dealings with architects, showrooms, DIY stores, professional builders and general contractors – and, by extension, a promising basis for cross-selling, particularly in markets where Geberit is already known as a top-quality provider of sanitary technology.
Moving into new B2B markets
The complete opposite approach was taken in countries where the ceramic brands of the former Sanitec have enjoyed a strong market position for many years, but where sanitary technology from Geberit still lacks presence in comparison.
In particular, a wide, proven range of training courses was made available to customers – notably plumbers and sanitary planners – in additional markets. Some 30,000 professionals were provided with education and further training on Geberit products, tools and software tools at 29 Geberit Information Centres in Europe and overseas. Furthermore, Geberit gave support to plumbers, architects and sanitary planners via webinars on fire protection and sound insulation, drinking water hygiene and other issues. Around 90,000 customers became more familiar with Geberit know-how and products at external events, some of which were organised in cooperation with market partners.
The successful Geberit On Tour campaign was repeated for the seventh time in the reporting year. Specially fitted-out mobile showrooms visited local and regional wholesalers, offering plumbers the opportunity to assess Geberit innovations and solutions directly on site. In 2017, around 20,000 people in 12 countries were addressed with this campaign.
Most of Geberit’s marketing activities continued to target plumbers and planning offices. Besides new or revamped digital tools, proven measures were continued – such as customer visits, trainings, the publication of regularly updated technical documents, catalogues, brochures and magazines.
Fully integrated trade fair presence
In 2017, numerous trade fairs were once again used as platforms to foster and enlarge the network of contacts in the market and to demonstrate Geberit’s innovative strength. The new trade fair concept, which had been already developed in the previous year, made it possible to exhibit several brands jointly at Geberit’s booth and ensured a high-end presentation of ceramic appliances and bathroom furniture in addition to the regular, more technical product range. Consequently, not only the exhibition space that was needed has been optimised, but also improved the scope for cross-selling.
At ISH 2017 in Frankfurt (DE) the entire Geberit product range was showcased to both craftsmen and interior designers. This ranged from sophisticated sanitary technology to shower toilets and the full array of bathroom equipment. Other important trade fair appearances followed at Batibouw in Brussels (BE), Idéo Bain in Paris (FR), MosBuild in Moscow (RU), Unicera in Istanbul (TR) and Kitchen & Bath China in Shanghai (CN). Architects and designers were specifically targeted at the Fuori Salone during Design Week in Milan (IT).
Shower toilets becoming more popular
Following the launch of shower toilets in Russia during the reporting year, the comprehensive advertising measures for Geberit AquaClean are now being implemented in a total of 14 European campaign markets. As in the previous year, the Geberit AquaClean truck went on a major tour, this time to France, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Under the motto “My first time”, the mobile showroom and test unit offered interested parties the opportunity to try out an AquaClean shower toilet at their leisure and assess the various models.
The strategy of allowing potential end users to try out a shower toilet for themselves was also followed in other markets. Mobile AquaClean WC lounges were made available to the public at selected major events such as concerts and sporting events. In the reporting year, it was possible to establish contact with over 28,000 end users with these lounges alone.
The international sales initiative for mid-range and high-end hotels also made excellent progress. More hotel projects were acquired in the reporting year, including the newly opened Bürgenstock Resort in Switzerland and The Fontenay in Hamburg. The number of four- and five-star hotels equipped with AquaClean shower toilets in Europe rose to 375.
More targeted interaction with individual customer groups thanks to digital tools
The reporting year saw the launch of a range of new digital tools, including a web-based planning and tendering platform for sanitary planners and architects, and an “inspiration app” for end users that is due to be piloted in the Swiss market. In addition, the Geberit website was given a completely new look with a new navigation system to enhance user-friendliness and make product information more easily accessible. For owners of the AquaClean shower toilet, an app was developed that provides users with options such as saving their personal settings and applying these to other AquaClean devices.
The Geberit ProApp for craftsmen was enhanced and expanded. For example, additional functions such as a fire protection module and a product finder for urinal flush controls were introduced for the Scandinavian markets. In 2017, the app was downloaded onto 26,000 devices across Europe (cumulated 115,000 downloads) and actively used on a regular basis by some 12,000 users. The Geberit Sales App – a mobile sales supporting app for the Geberit field service – was launched in 12 countries. Around three-quarters of all European sales representatives use this digital presentation tool.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an interdisciplinary planning method for optimising the entire planning and building process. Architects, sanitary planners and building owners use BIM to share information efficiently. This helps them to avoid planning errors and improve productivity. In 2017, a dedicated team of BIM experts was put together to develop BIM tools and prepare BIM data within the Geberit Group.
New corporate look
The corporate appearance, which was launched seven years ago, underwent a subtle yet comprehensive revamp in the reporting year. The new corporate design now has greater elegance and versatility. The main purpose of this is to make the Geberit brand more attractive to end users, interior designers and showroom operators. However, communication materials such as catalogues, assembly instructions, documentation and online tools for plumbers have remained unchanged for the most part and therefore retain their familiar appearance.