1 year ago

Day 1 - IFA International

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spotlight on CHINA NEWS

spotlight on CHINA NEWS TCL Corporation releases a 26-inch intelligent cloud product named the iCE SCREEN THE iCE SCREEN creates a new form of consumer electronic products and redefines the intelligent cloud and digital screens, according to TCL Corporation. The iCE SCREEN is the fruition of a successful collaboration between TCL Corporation and leading Chinese integrated internet service provider Tencent. iCE SCREEN is the first large-screen mobile intelligent cloud product in the world, TCL claims. With four core applications – a large portable screen, a high-speed video player, a stylish music and photo album and high-definition video communications — the product offers consumers “the ultimate 3C (communication, computer and consumer electronics) experience”. Installed in iCE SCREEN is an independent operating system, which enables internet connectivity, offering users audiovisual, music, photo album, game, communications and many other major intelligent cloud applications. It is also equipped with a portable power source and features a slim design, for easy movement and storage. The iCE SCREEN offers a highquality screen, and cloud resources and portability. [ Interview by Richard Barnes ] How is the TCL TV brand evolving in Europe? We are progressively introducing the brand throughout Europe. It is currently in six countries and it is developing rather well. We positioned this as an entry-level brand with a full range of screen sizes. And we made a strategic decision to offer only LED solutions with this range. How are you positioning the TCL and Thomson brands in Europe? The challenge we have — which is also an advantage — is that we have two brands and two positionings. Thomson is a well-established brand, while we offer TCL as an entry-level brand. If you consider the consumers that we are targeting, for Thomson we are more aiming at well-established families and, let’s say, midto-higher income levels. And with TCL we are targeting younger populations — the 25-35 age group. And also, to sustain our positioning, we are offering coloured solutions. We have launched a range of customised models whereby you can select the colour that you want to match your interiors. And we have launched some models with easy-to-use remote controls. We are taking two different tracks for the two brands; we are also helping our distributors to position the two brands on the shelf. Thomson, the European TV brand you licensed some years ago, seems to be making a big come back at the moment. Can you tell us more? We are in a somewhat luxurious position in the sense that we are continuously experiencing two-digit growth. I think the Region TCL Beats Downturn and Enjoys Growth Technology and two-level branding are keys to TCL’s success TCL’s Senior Vicepresident, Europe, Didier Juin talks to IFA International editor-in-chief about the company’s new products, its branding strategy and the importance of IFA to both … Didier Juin Senior Vice-president, General Manager, Europe Business Center at TCL Multimedia Technology breakthrough for us came in the second half of last year when we were able to position large screens at competitive prices. We have been able, for example, to position the 55-inch model just below the magic price of €1000. We have also been introducing a large number of new designs and the latest state-of-the art technology. All our largescreen models are LED, so that’s a breakthrough in terms of positioning for the large-screen market. We have also launched models in white, which has been quite a success, and we are glad to see that our key competitors have done the same. So that has indeed brought us to the Nº3 brand in Spain, one of the Top 5 in France and in a number of markets we have grown at a two-digit pace — which is news that we enjoy, but which also motivates us to work harder and bring a new range of models that we will also present at IFA. What will be your key products on show at IFA 2012? We are showing our new range of smart TVs with a package of features offering connectivity to consumers. We are also introducing our new large-screen LED model, and a new smart TV range by which you can receive content as well as watch television. These models can also be connected to all kinds of equipment. How important is IFA for you as a platform to promote your brands and products? IFA is a key event for us. It’s a unique opportunity on the one hand to show our products to end-users and consumers, and to meet our distributors. We really pay a lot of attention to ensure that we promote our products in the most optimal way, and that we display our product in the most attractive manner. It is a unique opportunity and we are definitely committed to participate at IFA for the long term. We are always at the same location at IFA, which also is a strong sign that we are here for the long term. Hall 21 Stand 104 34

spotlight on CHINA Region The Value of Branding Haier builds brand status in Europe – expanding to new markets Olivier Faucon Olivier Faucon has a strong international marketing experience in Europe and Asia over 13 years. Faucon began as a marketing consultant in 1996 with the TNS Group and was promoted to Director of Studies at TNS Sofres in Paris. In 2006 he became Director of Marketing for JC Decaux in China before being appointed as Haier Europe's Marketing and Communications Director. “Haier is a global brand with an excellent knowledge and experience base that we adapt to local tastes and needs” Hall 3.1 Stand 103 Hall 3.2 Stand 134 Haier's brand awareness in Europe has doubled over the past two years. Olivier Faucon, Marketing and Communications Director, Haier Europe explains the key trends in Haier's development in Europe... [ Interview by Richard Barnes ] We officially opened a new office in Brussels serving the Benelux countries in June this year, although it has been in effective operation since the beginning of 2012. We have also established a new operating base in Warsaw, Poland to serve Eastern Europe. It is our first office in Eastern Europe and will be officially launched in October. So in addition to our core markets in Europe; Germany, Italy, France, UK and Spain, we are developing and expanding into new markets. In addition to our geographic growth we have also been launching new products and we now have an even more comprehensive product portfolio. In March 2012, we launched our Home Solutions business including air conditioning, solar systems, heat pumps and water & energy treatment solutions for new constructions and home renovations. We have been developing our Research & Development centres, and in September we launch our newest R&D centre in Lyon, France. In our traditional ranges of washing, cooling and TV product lines we have extended our washing product range with new 7kg, 8kg and 9kg capacities and we have introduced a range of drying machines. So we have improved and diversified our range to cater for the different needs of our customers. What have you been doing to increase brand awareness? We have doubled our brand awareness in Europe in the past two years. We have achieved this by building our brand platform and brand strategy through several communication channels, the most strategic being digital. Following IFA last year, we launched new websites in all of our European markets in September and October 2011. Prior to that, in April 2011 we launched Facebook pages in five countries with special content for our Facebook community, insights about what we do and competitions. We have had 30,000 'Likes' from throughout Europe, so it has been quite successful. As part of our strategy to increase our online visibility we have launched our own YouTube Channels and in June we launched a sponsorship partnership with and its pan-European partner sites to promote our new washing machine ranges with Anti- Bacterial Treatment (ABT), an innovation that we launched at IFA last year. It has been very successful in that 90% of female consumers surveyed say that this is of interest to them. We have also placed advertising in soccer stadiums and since 2011 we have run TV advertising and sponsorship campaigns. We sponsor weather forecasts on French TV, cooking programmes on Belgian TV and we will be extending TV sponsorship to Italy and Germany soon. What, would you say are Haier's key values and how do they relate to the public in Europe? Haier's key values in Europe are the same as our global values of quality, innovation and design. Back in the mid 80’s, our CEO implemented our quality strategy by publicly destroying defective models. Our quality standards have been set high ever since. In relation to consumers for example, we are launching a new generation of fridges this year with induction motors that are guaranteed for 12 years. This is a good example of how we apply our R&D. In terms of innovation, we always try to bring added value to all of our product ranges. For example, the Anti-Bacterial Treatment in our washing machines and with our fridge range, the MyZone multi-zone cooling concept where you can set different temperatures for different compartments and areas in the fridge. We place a big emphasis on the design of our products and to matching the design for the European market and lifestyles. For example, there is more open plan living in Europe and the fridge is at the centre of the kitchen, so it needs to look good with elegant design features and a good aesthetic. We offer our fridges in three colours, Olivier Faucon Marketing and Communications Director, Haier Europe white, red and black. Our dishwashers feature a glass design to create a harmony with our fridges. We keep a keen eye on new trends and consumer desires. How important is IFA as part of your global marketing push, and why? IFA is one of the most important fairs for white and brown goods in the world. Other shows in the US and Asia are important regionally, but IFA is important both for Europe and the rest of the world. It is a vital event at which to meet strategic partners and to understand new trends. IFA is also an excellent window in which to showcase our new products. IFA International • Friday 31 st August 2012 35

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