GRASS launched this year’s Guided Press Tour with the motto: “Be daring, be different”. The journalists who attended were shown what kitchen manufacturers can do to stand out from the crowd at over six stop-offs, which included Störmer Küchen, Ballerina-Küchen, Rotpunkt Küchen, SieMatic, Sachsenküchen and Häcker Küchen.
The theme of this year’s GRASS Guided Press Tour is a key strategic topic for kitchen manufacturers: if you want to be successful in today’s market, you have to be different. You have to create a brand that has clearly recognisable attributes and sets you apart from your competitors. As well as cabinetry, customers also want a sense of lifestyle when buying a kitchen. At the five stops, the participants on the tour on 18 September were able to see for themselves how this idea of being different is reflected not only in the cabinetry design but also in the branding and presentation in Eastern Westphalia, the centre of the German furniture industry.
At the first stop, Störmer Küchen, the focus is on cooperation with another leading international brand. Here, an elegantly composed kitchen concept was shown in collaboration with Villeroy & Boch.
Ballerina Küchen is strengthening its own brand. “Today, our distributors are selling Ballerina 70 per cent as a brand,” explains managing director Heidrun Brinkmeyer, who aims to drive forward this process. “We’re working very hard along with our distribution partners to raise awareness for the name. The emphasis is on integrated marketing, with the website and social media channels playing a major role.”
Sustainability as a differentiating feature was the theme at the third stop. Rotpunkt advertises the fact that kitchen manufacture at its production sites in Bünde and Getmold will be entirely climate-neutral as from 2020. In addition, they use eyecatchers that depart from familiar approaches. Rotpunkt mounts electrical appliances in cubes fitted to the walls, rather than placing them inside cabinets.
“Timeless by Tradition” is the motto at SieMatic. The company has remained true to its values for 90 years. As GRASS Brand Manager Harald Klüh pointed out: “Timeless design is the most natural design in the world. After all, there’s no plant that has red flowers one year and yellow the next.”
The approach adopted by Sachsenküchen is that “different is better”. And for Sachsenküchen, being different means focusing attention on integrated living concepts when it comes to new developments. Their cabinetry is visually enhanced so that it works in any setting within the home. In addition, Sachsenküchen had the first concealed flap system from GRASS, the new Kinvaro T-Slim, on show. This year’s tour ended at Häcker Küchen, who want to differentiate themselves from their competitors at different levels, the most important being the company itself. Their motto, “all about family” sums up the idea that employees, partners and customers all form one big kitchen family.
After the presentation at Häcker, the participating journalists had gained a comprehensive insight into the possibilities for differentiation within the kitchen industry – and the group were invited to wind down the day over dinner.