Strong partnership with wholesalers
Through its own sales team, Geberit assists its wholesale partners in their activities by offering them comprehensive printed and electronic marketing materials as well as efficient order and delivery processes, which are becoming increasingly common in electronic form. This is to ensure that Geberit products are as widely available on the market as possible and that new products are well marketed. The aim is to work with wholesalers to ensure that the craft sector as well as end users receive professional support.
A reliable partner within the sanitary industry
A significant share of the company’s varied marketing activities is targeted at plumbers and sanitary engineers. This especially applies to the ongoing, personalised and frequently project-related support given to installation companies and engineering offices by Geberit sales representatives in the form of digital tools, technical documentation, catalogues, brochures, magazines, and a range of training courses unrivalled within the industry.
Design Meets Function – more than just words
As part of the integration of the ceramics business, dialogue with showroom operators – who belong to the wholesale sector in many countries – took on greater importance. The individual countries each have a dedicated sales team for this target group. There was also increased contact with architects and interior designers. With the “Design Meets Function” credo, Geberit wants to emphasise that it offers products in front of the wall that have both a timeless design and clever functions.
As the sponsor of an exhibition dedicated to the design pioneer Victor Papanek at the prestigious Vitra Design Museum, Geberit invited some 700 architects, interior designers and other market partners to Weil am Rhein (DE) at the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019. These partners not only gained a new insight into Papanek’s ideas, but were also able to view a range of innovative Geberit bathroom solutions.
Wide range of training available and attended
During the reporting year, around 35,000 professionals were provided with training on Geberit products, tools and software tools at 29 Geberit information centres in Europe and overseas. New showrooms were set up for this purpose at numerous locations, such as Barcelona (ES), Gaeta (IT), Zagreb (HR) and Shanghai (CN). Furthermore, plumbers, architects and sanitary engineers were supported via webinars on fire protection and sound insulation, drinking water hygiene and other issues. Around 90,000 additional customers also became more familiar with Geberit know-how and products at external training events, many of which were organised in cooperation with local wholesale partners.
Simplifying the brand portfolio
2019 will be an important milestone of the new brand strategy to be implemented. In key markets such as Germany, Switzerland and Austria, ceramic products and bathroom series will only be offered under the Geberit brand in future, while established brands such as Keramag will be discontinued. A number of other markets or brands respectively, will implement these changes in 2020. During the reporting year, Geberit prepared carefully for this streamlining of the brand portfolio. After all, this is a step that affects almost all areas of the company – including production, logistics, product data, marketing, and the sales organisations. Customers – particularly wholesalers and numerous showroom operators – were also informed of these measures in advance.
One billion metal pipe fittings
In spring 2018, the billionth metal pipe fitting left the production plant in Langenfeld (DE). A high-profile international campaign helped to mark this milestone, also attracting a wide response on social media. The successful “Geberit On Tour” campaign was repeated for the eighth 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.
Strong trade fair presence continues
In 2018, 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 trade fair concept, which had already proven its worth in the preceding years, ensured a high-end presentation of ceramic appliances and bathroom furniture in addition to the regular, more technical product range. Consequently, Geberit not only optimised the exhibition space that was needed, but also improved the scope for cross-selling. During the reporting year, Geberit showcased its current product range at events such as Swissbau in Basel (CH), SHK in Essen (DE), IHK in Nuremberg (DE), Finbuild in Helsinki (FI), Nordbygg in Stockholm (SE), Kitchen & Bath China in Shanghai (CN), and MosBuild in Moscow (RU). Architects and designers were specifically targeted at the Salone del Mobile and Mostra Convegno during Design Week in Milan (IT).
New advertising campaign for shower toilets
To support further growth of Geberit AquaClean shower toilets, Geberit launched a new advertising campaign in 15 European markets, putting emphasis on the advantages that this product offers. In the advertisements, people of different ages and backgrounds sit on an artist’s impression of a shower toilet and sum up in one concise sentence why they no longer want to do without “that freshly showered feeling”.
As in previous years, the AquaClean truck went on a major tour again in 2018, this time to Germany, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. 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.
Geberit also gave end users in other markets numerous opportunities to try out a shower toilet for themselves. Mobile AquaClean WC lounges were made available to the public at selected major events such as concerts and sporting events. In Switzerland and Germany, Geberit went one step further by offering potential customers the chance to try out a shower toilet at home for free. In most cases, the interested parties wanted to keep their installed Geberit AquaClean beyond the agreed trial period.
The international sales initiative for mid-range and high-end hotels also made encouraging progress. More hotel projects were acquired in the reporting year, including Hotel TwentySeven in Amsterdam (NL) and Hotel Lutetia in Paris (FR). The number of four- and five-star hotels equipped with AquaClean shower toilets in Europe has now risen to over 400.
Consistent further development of digital solutions
Geberit substantially expanded personnel and skills within the Digital team at Group level, with the aim of developing and launching digital tools faster and according to the needs of the respective target groups.
The reporting year saw the launch and further development of various digital tools designed to respond to the needs of end users as effectively as possible. An “inspiration app” for end users, which was already piloted in the previous year, is now in use in Switzerland and France. A 3D planning tool was also developed, providing a creative platform for end users to design their future bathroom. A new CRM system piloted in the United Kingdom allows Geberit to digitally tailor its offer to the requirements of potential end users who are interested in sanitary products.
Geberit set up its online catalogue for craftsmen on a new high-performance platform. Information relating to products and spare parts will now be available from a single source and can be displayed on various devices. Information searches are intuitive, also enabling easy navigation on mobile devices at the construction site.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an interdisciplinary planning method for optimising the entire planning and building process. Architects, sanitary engineers and building owners use BIM to share information efficiently. This helps them to avoid planning errors and improve productivity. For a number of years now, Geberit has been providing BIM users with support in the form of product data and calculation modules. During the reporting year, a specialised in-house team of BIM experts that was established in the previous year laid the groundwork for future BIM data processing.