Discover what Olaf Koning, Market Leader Benelux Philips Domestic Appliances, has to say about being Best Small Domestic Appliances Brand.
What will you do to maintain this number one position in 2021?
Olaf Koning: Our driving force in everything we do is our mission to improve people’s lives at home. We do this by developing innovative and sustainable technologies that help people connect and care for each other in a meaningful way at home.
One example is our latest steam generator, developed with the world’s first fabric detection technology. A built-in camera combined with artificial intelligence, recognises which fabric is being ironed and sets the ideal temperature and amount of steam. In this way, you achieve excellent ironing results in a minimum of time.
The customer is central to us. Based on consumer research and trends, we understand consumer needs better than anyone.
For example, we identified a trend where consumers are looking for products to keep their homes healthy and hygienic, but don’t want to sacrifice their leisure time by having to clean frequently using different appliances. We therefore developed a unique stick vacuum cleaner that allows you to mop and vacuum in one go. By doing two things at once, you save a lot of time.
Finally, more than ever, we want to be a source of inspiration. Through apps and digital platforms, we offer consumers inspiration, information and tips & tricks that respond to individual needs. Whether it is preparing delicious fresh meals, enjoying a good cup of coffee, cleaning the home quickly and hygienically, getting through a laundry basket quickly or purifying the indoor air in our homes, Philips is a partner in making your home a home.
One example is that almost all Philips air purifiers are “connected”. This means that you can operate your air purifier anywhere and at anytime and always have insight into the air quality in your home. The accompanying Clean Home+ app acts as a personal coach, giving you instructions on how to improve indoor air quality. In this way, you can reduce your exposure to air pollutants and allergens.
Philips is in the top 10 most popular brands in Belgium in all categories and has the highest score for the factor “first choice”. How do you stay at the top in customers’ minds?
O.K.: Philips has adapted to a world where we want to be present wherever the customer is. We don’t try to lead consumers through a linear journey but inspire them through a 360-degree cross-media marketing plan; via TV, digital and social media, PR and influencers, and through in-store communication.
Our campaigns have a central objective: attracting consumers and building brand preference. And they bring our mission statement “Together, we make life better” to life. This ensures that our trusted brand remains highly recognisable throughout all of our campaigns.
You have the highest score in terms of “Cross-selling potential”. Is it important for you to diversify your product range?
O.K.: Yes, it is. With our uniquely broad portfolio, we are present everywhere in consumers’ homes. We offer products that meet everyone’s needs; both for those who live alone or with two people in a flat and for families in one home. With a “Customer First” strategy, we develop innovative solutions that give all our customers the best possible experience with regard to their personal needs, at the best price.
You score 98% in terms of Awareness. How do you rejuvenate your goals?
O.K.: This year, Philips has existed for 130 years and we have been present in Belgium for more than 100 years. It is a brand that is passed on from generation to generation and is present in the whole house; so many consumers know us. But we are also consciously building brand awareness among a younger audience. For example, we have rethought our media strategy. We combine TV campaigns to reach a broad audience, with digital and social media campaigns to attract the younger target group.
We also work with influencers. For example, we used an influencer campaign to inform consumers in the younger target group, for whom sustainability is paramount, about the sustainable benefits of our Steam&Go clothes steamer. The steam cleaner removes odours and bacteria, so clothes smell fresh and clean and look like new for longer. Thus, you don’t have to wash or dry clean them as often. In this way, you save energy and prolong the life of your clothes.
“Our current Environmental, Social & Governance framework builds on this success: We are committed to using renewable resources.”
Philips is in the top 10 most sustainable brands, with a good track record of supporting environmental projects and charities. Can you tell us more about your sustainability projects?
O.K.: All our products and services must comply with Philips EcoDesign requirements. For example, the Philips Senseo Original Eco is the most sustainable way to drink coffee and our most sustainable coffee maker ever. In its manufacture, we used more recycled plastic than ever before.
With our “refurbishment” service, our ambition is to give a second life to the products that our customers return. This permits us to offer a more sustainable alternative to consumers and reduce our environmental footprint.
Philips is also committed to social responsibility. Globally, our aim is to improve the health and well-being of 2 billion people by 2025. We do this by working with different partners. An example from Belgium: Philips is a co-founding partner of “Super Powerful Tasty”, an initiative aimed at creating awareness on the importance of healthy food as part of the treatment therapy for children with cancer. This project has now been transferred to the Children’s Cancer Fund.
Philips achieves an average score on Reducing the ecological footprint. How does the brand plan to improve this?
O.K.: We are one of the first health technology companies in the world to become fully carbon neutral in its operations. We achieved all the goals of our “Healthy people, Sustainable planet” programme for 2016-2020. The key results of the programme include being carbon neutral in our business operations, getting 100% of our electricity from renewable sources, getting more than 70% of sales from green products and services, getting 15% of sales from circular revenues, and recycling 90% of company waste.
Our current Environmental, Social & Governance framework builds on this success: We are committed to using renewable resources. We continue to build a circular economy that reuses/recycles parts and materials responsibly without depleting the world’s natural resources. And we will ensure transparency and efficiency in the supply chain to further reduce CO2 emissions from ourselves and our suppliers.
How important are brand experiences to Philips?
O.K.: We want to offer our customers great experiences that connect with their lifestyles. We do this by ensuring that every interaction with our brand and our innovative products is consistent, memorable and meaningful. We look at how consumers experience our brand and our products from different touch points, whether in-store, online, through social media or at home while using them.
We want our brand and our products to enrich people’s lives, stimulate their senses and expand their possibilities. For example, an Airfryer makes it easy to prepare delicious, fresh, home-cooked meals every day. Thanks to the NutriU app, consumers can discover new dishes and flavours every day, and enjoy eating together even more.
The brand scores well on the parameter “Trust”. How can you explain this consumer confidence?
O.K.: The fact that we score well on trust means a lot to me and to our employees in Belgium. It’s a recognition of the contribution we make to society through innovation.
Philips has incredible products, solutions and a strong market base, all built on 130 years of experience. We want to inspire people to make their homes a home, where they can connect with and care for each other. With our innovative technologies, we help improve the lives and home environments of our consumers. And we create sustainable solutions, making conscious choices that care for people’s home environment and our planet.