Blog & Inspiration

IN CONVERSATION WITH OLIVER FRÖMMER
There are ever more touchpoints, new business models and sales concepts, increasing product diversity, internationalisation, exciting design ideas and marketing approaches. Observing and assessing these developments and optimising your own business model in line with them is no easy feat for companies – however, the current challenge is something completely different: traders have to orient their offerings and processes specifically on the customer. Basically, you have to be downright “customer-obsessed”.
IN CONVERSATION WITH MARKUS FUCHSHOFEN AND JÖRG REWER
For most companies, the efficient creation of content is fundamental, as it is the prerequisite for the successful sales of their own products. One of them is bonprix, a subsidiary of the Otto Group and an international fashion retailer. Today, the former mail-order company is – with 29 online shops worldwide – a successful e-commerce player celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
IN CONVERSATION WITH MATTHIAS KANT
As a European analyst house, we witness a certain trend at the moment. Manufacturers act contrary to the existing, clear separation of the markets within the best-of-breed approach and position their products broadly rather than deepening existing core competencies. Their aim: to utilise their products in several markets in order to be present in various sectors simultaneously. We summarise these candidates with what you could call almost a holistic approach by the term Market Plus. They position themselves in the middle between the best-of-breed and purely holistic vendors. We had a first discussion on this issue with Matthias Kant, CEO of pirobase imperia GmbH.
IN CONVERSATION WITH TOM EBLING
With its software provided as a software-as-a-service solution, Demandware enables retailers to establish a user-friendly, scalable web presence. Tom Ebling, CEO of Demandware, explains the role innovation will play in this highly dynamic market, what the future of the retail business will be and what impact the merger with the industry giant Salesforce will have on the company that was founded in 2004.
RUNDUMBLICK
Volle Kontrolle bei der Digitalen Transformation VON CHRISTIAN COLMER (Veröffentlicht in Das Produktkulturmagazin Ausgabe 3 2016) „Jede Unterhaltung mit dem Piloten ist strengstens verboten!“ Damit schnitt Picasso einem Interessenten brüsk das Wort ab. Erfolgreiche CMOs handeln entgegengesetzt: Sie sind Piloten,...
WENN ALLES FLIESST
Wasco ist ein führender niederländischer Händler für Heizung, Sanitärprodukte und Dienstleistungen mit mehr als 30 Geschäften sowie drei großen Distributionslagern. Das Portfolio des Unternehmens umfasst mehr als 450.000 Produkte – entsprechend schnell bewegt sich Wascos Markt- und Produktumfeld. Der technische Charakter der modernen Heizungs- und Sanitärprodukte führt dazu, dass Installateure heute weniger Produktwissen besitzen als in der Vergangenheit und sich deswegen bei der Kaufberatung immer mehr auf den Rat ihres Großhändlers verlassen. Dies eröffnet dem Unternehmen die Möglichkeit, ergänzende Heizungs- und Sanitärprodukte als Cross- und Upsell zu verkaufen sowie durch maßgeschneiderte Angebote auf Basis der persönlichen Vorlieben der Kunden die Markentreue zu steigern.
PRINT FEAT. ONLINE
Die Digitalisierung bringt radikale Veränderungen der Gesellschaft und der Wirtschaft mit sich. Dieser Wandel macht auch vor der Produktkommunikation nicht halt: Unternehmen stehen vor der Herausforderung, eine Vielzahl an Kanälen und Produktinformationen gezielt zu bedienen. Wichtig ist dabei, eine gesamtheitliche Strategie zu verfolgen, denn das Fokussieren auf einzelne Maßnahmen oder das Ausspielen von Print versus Online führt nicht zum gewünschten Erfolg.
INTERFACE
The TKD Kabel GmbH is one of the largest suppliers of cables, wires, ready-to-connect cables and accessories for virtually all industries worldwide. The company has locations in Europe, America and China. Its focus is on markets for materials handling, industry and cable tracking chain systems. The firm’s entire range includes approximately 30,000 items. TKD thus serves a wide range of applications and addresses various economic sectors. Furthermore, cables, wires and systems are custom-developed and designed for specific client demands.
I, ROBOT
Robots are on the rise all over the world. Experts in the field speak of it as Industry 4.0. Google and Facebook have become fierce competitors in the development of artificial intelligence whereas Kuka Roboter is a leading pioneer in the field of robotics and systems engineering. All innovations of the Augsburg company are aimed towards the integration of man and machine. CEO Stefan Lampa in fact believes that in due time, human and robot will cooperate as extensively as they will walk hand in hand.
DECISIONS FROM THE HEART
Consistent brand management – anytime and everywhere – is at the essence of any business. Consider it the best way to safeguard its health. Protected access then becomes the practical solution for sharing data and knowledge. The eldest private insurance company in Switzerland (Bern, 1826) got in touch with Censhare for a central brand portal as part of its brand redesign.
ON THE GO
Shopping was still relatively simple in the nineties. Now, however, technical achievements such as the smartphone and changing consumer behaviour are transforming the shopping process. According to a study by Demandware, a Salesforce company, the traffic channel that brings in the most customers for retailers is mobile. So the smartphone is a key contributor to growth in digital trade.
CLOUD WORKING
The market for online data storage has been battled over for years, and yet, some newcomers, like the start-up Box, have managed to penetrate it and even expand their business. The technology platform increasingly focuses on enterprise customers and particularly seeks to stand out from the competition with clever third-party apps for mobile teams. Niall Wall, senior vice president for business development and responsible for international expansion, explains his long-term strategy and highlights the importance of strategic partnerships.
BATHROOM INSPIRER
bathroom can be an oasis, a private retreat in one’s home where one can relax; some may even feel as though they are going through a thorough process of rejuvenation. Richter+Frenzel, a German wholesaler for plumbers and builders founded as far back as 1895, now use an ultra-modern application that turns dream designs into reality well before they are built. CEO Wilhelm Schuster demonstrates the process through the lenses of some very powerful 3D goggles.
DIGITAL BOND
Always-on technology isn’t new. In fact, most of us grew up with a version of this tech in our homes – the telephone dial tone. In 1908, German engineer August Kruckow created the first dial tone as a signal to users that their phone was off-hook and ready for them to enter digits for the automated switchboard to relay. This technology was adapted by the US in 1940 as the availability of in-home telephones increased and the demands on the existing telephone infrastructure made the workload for live operators untenable. In modern parlance, the system of the day wasn’t scalable and so an automated system was created to ease the burden on the network.
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE
At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Volkswagen Group defined new goals for the future of mobility. With digitisation at the top of its agenda, the largest car manufacturer in the world hopes to bring in new business and more revenue. Johann Jungwirth, Head of Digitisation Strategy, answered our call for a conversation.
TEMPLE OF ART
Now, will ya’ give me? Sold!” Just some of the typical rants heard at the premises of Christie’s, the world’s oldest and most respected art business. Since on December 5, 1766 James Christie conducted his first auction in London, the house has expanded into no fewer than eighty different categories ranging from fine art to clocks, marine chronometers and barometers. Its price records are well documented and yet many objects become donations to both longstanding and recent clients. Among them many celebrities: Kate Moss once had her own auction valued at a million pounds. For sale: photos, paintings, sculptures, collages and a tapestry of the supermodel. CIO Ken Citron talked to us without reserve of how the company masters the fine line between tradition and digital transformation.
CULTURAL MIX
The Chinese online merchant Alibaba has arrived in Germany. The huge demand for international brands in China has triggered a veritable battle for access to coveted goods. We talked to Germany boss Terry von Bibra about Alibaba’s plans to achieve its new operation in Germany.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
Many generations have grown up with the blue-and-gold logo of the American entertainment giant Warner Brothers. The company based in the Californian city of Burbank is one of the so-called “majors” – the six largest film companies in the United States. Along with Columbia Pictures, the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios, it is one of the global players courting the favour of viewers the world over. Now the movie industry pioneer is planning to go one step further and conquer the United Arab Emirates.
KING OF ENTERTAINMENT
Range meets ideas: it is with this innovative concept that ProSiebenSat.1 has become the number one media investor in Germany. By exchanging TV advertising time for company shares or revenue sharing, the media group has built an attractive e-commerce portfolio over the past few years, which today is one of its strongest growth drivers. Now, it has set its sights on assuming pole position in Europe. Dr Christian Wegner, Member of the Executive Board and Chief Officer Digital, provides insight which strategy is being deployed to achieve this goal and what role the topic of digital transformation plays.
BE YOURSELF
We are into great designs and into small details. We are all about quality and understated looks. We started out with denim and advanced into collections. We go beyond borders and believe in true friendship. We value our heritage,  love today, long for tomorrow. We are Closed. Denim handmade in Italy since 1978.
ON HER WAY
George Wurz and Dr. Eugène Frezzati are names that will ring a bell with only a few. However, Lancaster, the company they founded, is known around the world. The two men met at random in Monaco in 1946 and soon realised they both dreamt of a company developing and marketing innovative luxury toiletries. Back then, this was nothing short of a revolution; seventy years later another one has sparked-off: its digital distribution delivered by Akeneo.