Philips unveiled a brand-new product, the Philips OneBlade electric shaver, in the Nordic countries in fall of 2017. In Finland, the winner of the competitive bid for the launch of the new product was BrandBuddy Group, which deployed the product to Citymarkets throughout the country—to each store simultaneously.
“The customer wanted the promotions to be in all of their stores at the same time. That created some work for recruitment, because the capital region, for example, has many stores. It was a challenge to place really good, sales-oriented people into every store. BrandBuddy was centrally in charge of finding people, along with one of our other usual partners. Everything worked out really well, despite the challenges,” says Kati Partanen, Trade Marketing Manager at Philips.
BrandBuddy deployed the OneBlade to stores according to instructions from Philips. There were two products, the actual electric shaver, and the additional blades that were sold separately. Many sales promotion visits were made to Citymarkets from fall until the end of the year.
“BrandBuddy took care of all of the coordination related to the launch, the recruitment of promoters and their joint training, where our lead promoter and I were involved as instructors. They also took care of the reporting, as well as the million things that an extensive event like this requires to operate,” Partanen elaborates.
The goal of the sales promotion events was clear: to sell every single product!
“The products flew off the shelves, so our objective was very successful. One might even say, problematically successful, because we finally had to tell customers we were sold out. I recall that usually there is one store where the goals do not pan out, but this time there was none. The sales were top notch, and everyone reached their goals, even though the product was brand new,” Kati Partanen beams.
Partanen is pleased with BrandBuddy’s expertise and project management.
“Communication was very smooth the whole time, and there was not one moment where we were in the dark about the process. We felt that, as customers, we were treated very nicely,” Kati Partanen says.
According to Partanen, the promotion was significant for the successful launch of the new product. The intermediate form between a shaver and a razor interested customers, and the product clearly has its space in the market.
“All in all, the promotion was the most significant activity related to accelerating the sell out. We did many other things related to promoting the sales, such as provided store materials, but the total campaign was the most substantial way to make a completely new product familiar to consumers,” she states.
BrandBuddy still manages the displays and in-store visibility for OneBlade.
“I can recommend BrandBuddy’s services. They handle things very well there and attend to customer needs. They listen to the customer and want to keep the customer happy. Above all, everyone at BrandBuddy wants to deliver results to their customer!” Kati Partanen, Trade Marketing Manager, Philips.
BrandBuddy has been Arla’s field sales partner since December 2016. This time however, the work has been done at wholesalers instead of retail stores, and so also the clients are HoReCa-field professionals instead of the end users themselves.
”This is new, as brands are usually not as visibly displayed at wholesalers and the customer experience is not thought through as carefully as it is in retail stores. We wanted to improve the visibility of our products also for HoReCa-professionals, and that has proven to be a success,” says Arla Marketing Manager Fredrik Grahn.
There were two projects: In-store-marketing materials were designed and produced for Café-maito milk and the locations and overall way of displaying the product at the wholesalers were re-thought. The other project focused on reorganizing how the dairy products were placed at the wholesalers.
The BrandBuddy team implemented a whole new Café-maito in-store marketing campaign for 11 wholesalers, including planning and creating the marketing materials. The displays were built at the wholesalers and the wholesalers were then visited once a month to ensure products and materials were well displayed and the wholesalers were satisfied. Based on the work done and the campaign ran during January and February 2017, Café-maito was still in April among the bestselling dairy products at the wholesalers.
“The effects of in-store marketing on the sales of Café-maito at the wholesaler were spectacular. Café-maito sales rose by 200% during the first quarter of 2017. Sales continued to rise in March-April even after the campaign of January-February had ended. We will continue our partnership with BrandBuddy and may also include other activation campaigns such as product tastings”, says Grahn.
Arla wanted to focus on the rebuilding and re-organising of the dairy products shelf in the cold room at another wholesaler. Before the re-organising, the dairy products of different brands were not organised in any particular way and the comparison between similar products was difficult.
“When you have 4-5 different brands with slightly differing products, such as four different full creams, we want to try how visual guidance at the dairy product shelf helps the customer make the decision on which product to buy. Together with BrandBuddy we re-thought the whole layout of the dairy products category so that customers wanting to buy products for their café or restaurant would find it easier to make the purchasing decision.”
Arla, with the help of BrandBuddy and in cooperation with the wholesalers’ staff, reorganized the dairy products shelves. Booklets with tips for the use of the products are also available for customers to take with them. The BrandBuddy consultants have visited the wholesalers once a week to check the products are well displayed on the shelves and there are enough booklets for customers to take. The results of this campaign are not yet available.
”The campaign aims at making the purchasing of dairy products a better experience for the customer, as well as get the Arla products better displayed. The staff of the wholesalers’ do not often have time to focus on the display of products, and therefore we must do it ourselves. We re-built the whole dairy products shelves and also organised our competitors’ products”, says Fredrik Grahn.
Brands have invested very little in how visible they are at wholesalers. Arla wanted to try whether branding makes a difference in sales at wholesalers.
“ Many see wholesalers as distributors, but also the number of visiting purchasing customers is significant. There is less branding at wholesale than at the retail side, and we thought there could be more room for last minute purchase decisions also at the wholesales side. The milk shelves are full of similar products, which makes it difficult to choose the most suitable milk. When we focused on the display of a particular milk product, it was also visible in the sales figures.”
The success story of Café-maito milk has been used globally at Arla as an internal example of the impact and importance of effective displaying of products.
“ We outsourced in-store-marketing, as a partner specialised in such cases can do the job quicker and Arla does not have resources of its own to be out in the field. Choosing BrandBuddy as our partner was clear, as only BrandBuddy could offer the whole package including the marketing materials. BrandBuddy has given the project full focus and I am extremely happy with how they have managed the project. Everything has proceeded quickly and the field staff recruited for the project have gained the full trust of the staff at the wholesalers. This has been of great value and importance to us, as the field staff are the face and image of Arla out in the field”, sums Fredrik Grahn, the Marketing Manager of Arla.
It’s not a big stretch to say that innocent could be the world’s best smoothies and juices manufacturer but until recently, it’s been relatively unknown in Finland. During the summer of 2016, innocent launched its new range of products but they also decided it was time to give the innocent brand a boost. They wanted to try a new approach in how they presented their products in the shops. BrandBuddy to the rescue!
The aim was to not only get more shelf space for selling innocent’s expanding range of products but also just as important was the developing of the brand. BrandBuddy recruited a Brand Ambassador to do a pilot demonstration tour in 60 Kesko shops. The Brand Ambassador was attired in a uniform that followed innocent’s style and colour palate and they offered tastings and spoke of the innocent brand ideology. Furthermore, they answered questions about current products, took additional orders and introduced upcoming shop promotions.
The pilot tour of the shops verified what was already suspected in that the quality of the demonstrations make a big difference! It was during the campaign that innocent was able to push their entire range of products to the shops and increase shelf space by 30%. Whilst there are a number of factors that contribute to any success, the store visits had a direct impact on visitation to the shelf space. This conclusion was further fortified by the fact that during a month’s break from the demos, there was a distinct lull in activity.
Due to the success of the pilot campaign, it was decided to implement this model of working for innocent systematically and on a regular basis.
”The campaign was a great success by all measures. BrandBuddy offered brilliant ideas and they were very proactive for the whole duration of our collaboration. The BrandBuddy Ambassador program, along with all other elements of the campaign have ensured that innocent’s net sales will have doubled by the end of 2016 and this has really reinforced our faith in the brand. We will definitely continue our collaboration with BrandBuddy in the future.”
Essilor is the worlds leading company for the developement of corrective lenses and it’s their mission to invest in the training and developement of professionals in this particular industry. During the months of September and October in 2016, the company organized training camps in several cities across Finland. There is a lot of information to take in during these long and sometimes intense training sessions so in order for Essilor’s main selling points to stay fresh in the mind of the participants, Essilor decided to utilise a unique working tool from BrandBuddy that goes by the name of Nanolearning.
With the Nanolearning tool, key product information is sent the morning after the training day in the form of an SMS that contains either brief text or a short video followed by a refresher question to really drive home the main points of the training sessions.
Webinars are a common platform for training in sales these days. The challenge with Webinars is not only the need to allocate time for participation alongside day to day sales work but there is also often the need to store passwords and usernames on several different systems. A big advantage of Nanolearning is that it can provide quick, mini-training anywhere and anytime, even on the bus or in the checkout line at the shop. There is no need to remember a password and training can be saved to your phone for later revision. This is a very effective way of keeping the main points/guidelines in the collective memory and if there would be questions on what participants remember the most from the training, there would most likely be the same uniform answer from all concerned. Very rare indeed!
After a mini-summary of the training program, a few feedback questions were presented with an electronic movie ticket as reward for taking part. There was an amazing 90% of respondees that recommended Nanolearning!
“Our company has a long history and we have had operations in the Nordic countries for over 30 years. Essilor is a pioneer in this field and we invest a lot in research and development, not least because we can really take advantage of our brand tools with the latest technology.
All in all, our cooperation with BrandBuddy went brilliantly and the results were very convincing. We were also able to influence the development of Nanolearning and the reporting kept us up to date.The Nanolearning pilot was an interesting and rewarding project that inspired us with some brand new ideas for ways to use the tool in our future trainings.”
Future Eyewear Group is the leading manufacturer of sunglasses, sports glasses, reading glasses and ski goggles in the Nordic countries. The company was founded in 1984, and its selection of brands includes Dr.Zipe, Bliz, Prestige, Granite and Swing. The headquarters of the Swedish Future Eyewear are located in Kungälv Gothenburg, which is also where most of the glasses are designed.
The sales season for sunglasses is from March to mid-August. For this period, Future Eyewear needed seasonal workers for sales promotion and found BrandBuddy Group to assist it. BrandBuddy hired two merchandisers to check the sortiment and make additional orders of Future product retailers. Julia Vrager works in Sweden and oversees the Stockholm area, where the products are sold at places like Åhlens and service stations. Representative Julia von Hertzen works in Finland and is responsible for Finnish retailers. In Finland, Future Eyewear products are sold at sports stores such as Intersport, Stadium and XXL, service stations and for example stores in the Aleksi 13 and Suomalainen kirjakauppa chains.
Every other week, BrandBuddy sends a summary of all store visits to the Future headquarters. Both employees use the same reporting system in Finland and Sweden, making the reports comparable to each other.
“The main goal of Future is to get people out in the field during the top sales season, i.e. the spring and summer. The recruitment process was fast, and I got just the kind of candidates I’d been hoping for. Because I was busy, I let BrandBuddy make the final pick for me.
I get a report with before and after photos as often as I want. The report also includes comments from the field that are really interesting, because they are more objective than the comments of our own staff. BrandBuddy understands field work and we will have use for the reports also in the future, when we have discussions with chains.
BrandBuddy has reached its goal of delivering professional merchandisers in the Nordic countries. They have clear goals such as how many stores employees should visit in a day or week. You can clearly see that they do their work with their heart in it and in an entrepreneurial spirit. I like the way the people at BrandBuddy think outside the box and know the Nordic market, especially in Finland, which is different from the markets of other Nordic countries.
Our collaboration with BrandBuddy has been smooth, and I have already recommended them to others. It’s good for me to have a contact in the fields of Finland and Sweden. It saves my time and makes it easier for me to compare markets. I recommend BrandBuddy to consumer brands operating in the Nordic and Baltic countries, and especially those whose needs for field workers vary seasonally or companies who don’t have in-house expertise in trade marketing.”
“The best thing about selling Future Eyewear is the wide product selection. The selection includes something for every customer or customer group. I enjoy interacting with a broad clientele: I may first chat with an elderly lady, and then with youth about glasses fit for them. I feel that my job is interesting and meaningful.
My main task is to oversee the way products are exhibited at the store and to forward any additional orders. I enjoy my work, because I get to plan my schedule freely, and am responsible for what I do. I get to use my visual eye, and I believe I’m able to make Future Eyewear products stand out favorably at the stores.
BrandBuddy did a great job at familiarizing me with my tasks. BrandBuddy told me about the job and its goals, so I know what is expected of me. The job of a sales promoter is well-suited for a responsible person such as me, but you don’t have to work alone. We are frequently in contact with BrandBuddy, and they take good care of their employees.”