The new Excellence Line was gradually introduced to international markets last year. How have they reacted to the new product line?
The launch of Excellence line at Salone del Mobile Milano has been a great success. We have experienced great feedback in all respects, particularly for the sleek minimalist design and the personalisation options available in the user interface. The product heroes of the line, the new Grand and PowerSteam, received a great reception, exceeding the expectation of design and performance lovers, setting V-ZUG in the forefront in both the visual and cooking results perspectives. All regions then executed market-specific launches and introductions of the Excellence line, receiving orders in excess of our already challenging expectations. I trust that the Excellence line, alongside our customer centricity and utmost attitude to serve dealers and customers the best we can, is paving the way for V-ZUG to further grow in the International markets in which we are present.
What did the launch mean for dealers?
Our dealers are very fond of the Excellence line and have provided for extended opportunities for display of products. Their enhanced confidence in V-ZUG means that they are more prone to recommend our brand, our products and services as a superior offer, meeting the most demanding expectations in the market. We are seeing an increase of demand for product introductions and demonstrations at retail level, as an increase of interest for upper-premium multi-family projects: real estate developers are looking for brands, products and services able to lift the perceived value of their real estates and see in our value proposition fitting material for this purpose.
What do you personally like most about the new steamers and ovens?
The user interface is fascinating. I really believe that the way it’s designed now offers a lot of flexibility for our users, as the operating system can be fully personalised. The user can select recipes and set favourites right from the home page, using the same logic as a mobile phone. And with the V-ZUG App, we also have a digital experience that completes this amazing individual user experience.
Where do you see the biggest challenges for our company and for international business?
One of the biggest challenges is to be able to react to opportunities and problems. We come from a corporate culture that is focused on the Swiss market. Initially, we tried to sell the same products with the same business model abroad. Then we tweaked the model and the brand positioning and things started to move in the right direction. Now we are at a point where we should be closing gaps faster: we need to improve, be less process-oriented and more focused on problem-solving and meeting the expectations of our customers.
How would you like to contribute to the success of V-ZUG?
The long-term goal is to grow the international business at a similar dimension to the Swiss market, and in doing this we will naturally contribute more to diluting our fixed costs and hence also supporting our domestic market. I think we are done with the very difficult phase of getting things moving and I’m confident that this growth will continue. We have managed to attract some excellent people to our organisation and we have a good project pipeline. By growing internationally, I hope we will learn some lessons and go through some experiences that will also prove valuable in the Swiss market: in one way or another, I can see a lot of influences from our international practices in the current campaign.