The fifteenth Independent Marketing Awards, run by the Independent Electrical Retailer magazine in cooperation with distributors BDC Independents, were held at The Belfry hotel in Warwickshire on 14 June 2007. The winners of this year’s Awards – companies which the readers of IER – the independent electrical retailers – recognised as having given them the best support by investing in product excellence, advertising communications and training, collected 20 awards in 12 categories. The Awards were compered by Andrew Castle, IER Publishing Director, and presented by Jeff Moody, BDC Appliance Business Unit Director, Rysiek Tomczyk, Board Director of Bridisco, Anna Ryland, Editor of IER and Hannah Dedman, IER Publishing Manager.
The Independent Marketing Awards are in their 15th year and their reputation in the electrical industry is stronger than ever. It remains the only awards programme designed to recognise and reward the achievements of electrical goods manufacturers as determined by the independent electrical retailing sector.
“The Independent Marketing Awards continue to give our readers the opportunity to recognise your contribution to the ongoing development of their businesses and the sector as a whole. In this regard, they are truly unique and with some 15 years of heritage behind them, they have become a highly regarded declaration of business excellence,“ said Andrew Castle, publishing director of IER.
“We’d like to think that this comes from your recognition of the professional knowledge and service excellence of the independent electrical retailers – the readers of our magazine, and from your willingness to put your products and marketing efforts to the test before such a demanding and independent-thinking audience,” commented Anna Ryland editor of IER.
Jeff Moody added: “Through the involvement in these Awards, BDC Independents wish to demonstrate their commitment to the independent channel. We also wish to thank all the manufacturers who support the Awards for showing their commitment to the channel and an appreciation of the BDC contribution to it. “ This year’s Awards attracted a record number of nominations, reflecting the pace of change and product development in the electrical industry. A new category has been introduced to this year’s programme. This is the Digital Switchover Award, the winner of which was determined through the promotional campaign conducted by its sponsor, Digital UK.
The full list of this year’s winners is as follows:
CONSUMER ADVERTISING – Consumer Electronics Award
Consumer electronics – the fastest moving of all sectors – requires impactful advertising campaigns to establish the latest product developments in consumers’ minds and appeal to their pockets.
The finalists were:
Winner: Sony Bravia Paint Campaign
CONSUMER ADVERTISING – Major Appliances
The list of finalists in this category clearly reflects the serious commitment and heavy investment with which the manufacturers supported a number of outstanding product developments in the major appliances sector.
The finalists were: AEG ‘Silent Kitchen’, Electrolux ‘Insight Cooker’, Genus TV, Hotpoint Aqualtis,
The creative execution of the winner’s multidimensional advertising campaign made it very memorable. It is not surprising that it has appealed to the independents and, no doubt, it had a significant impact on their bottom line.
Winner: Hotpoint Aqualtis
CONSUMER ADVERTISING – Small Appliances
Last year witnessed a large number of launches of innovative and beautifully designed products in the small appliances sector. With such a wide choice of propositions competing for customers’ attention, strong advertising support was vital.
The finalists were: Breville CM8 Instant Cappuccino Machine, Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Multi-Coffee Machine, Russell Hobbs Thermocolour Iron and Siemens Porsche Nespresso Coffee Maker. A national campaign focusing on design and functionality of the product exemplifying German engineering at its best has received the most votes from the independents.
Winner: Siemens Porsche Nespresso Coffee Maker campaign
IMPACTFUL PRODUCT – Consumer Electronics
In 2006, the value of the consumer electronics sector increased by 14%, with growth rates double that recorded in the telecoms sector. With this impressive performance, consumer electronics proved that it was the leading durables market, reflected by an outstanding range of innovative products represented on the list of finalists in this category.
The finalists were: Panasonic’s TH-65PX600 HD 65in Plasma TV, Philips Ambilight Surround and Ambilight Full Surround LCDs, Pure Chronos CD DAB Clock Radio, ROBERTS Gemini 49, Samsung Bordeaux TV, Sharp 52in LCD, Sony ALPHA DSLR Camera, Toshiba HD DVD Player and Toshiba Regza WLT68 LCD TV.
The year 2006 was the year of flat panel TV and one of the manufacturers in this sector – the winner of this category – provided its customers and retailers with products which not only had quality and style but which also came with ‘staggeringly affordable price’.
Winner: Toshiba Regaza LCD TV range
IMPACTFUL PRODUCT – Major Appliances
This category had the longest list of finalists, no doubt reflecting the competitiveness of the sector and an immense investment in product development, research and design. The most innovative major appliances which came onto the market during the last 12 months are on this list.
The finalists were: Candy Trio, De Dietrich DCM6120X – Double Pyrolytic Range Cooker, Electrolux Source and Glacier F/F, Fisher & Paykel Ice & Water Refrigerator, Hotpoint Aqualtis,
Only unique products make a real impact on the market. The winning product in this category took this brand into a new price bracket and doubled the company’s share in the premium sector of the laundry market.
Winner: Hotpoint Aqualtis
IMPACTFUL PRODUCT – Small Appliances
A continued trend towards healthy lifestyle and stylish living, inspired by a Continental way of life, has fuelled product developments in the small kitchen appliance sector in the past year. Their innovative features, numerous consumer benefits and modern designs make them lifestyle symbols in our homes.
The finalists were: Baby Belling Pronto Induction Hob, Breville CM8 Instant Cappuccino Machine, Kenwood Chef KM310, Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Machine, LG Black Solardom Microwave,
The winning product in this category has a 50-year heritage, and over this time it has helped homemakers all over the world in countless time-consuming tasks. Its latest model has been designed to provide a simple solution to almost every food-preparation challenge in the in the kitchen.
Winner: Kenwood Chef KM310
TRAINING AWARD – Consumer Electronics
The pace of change and product development in the consumer electronics sector necessitates constant training and updating retailer’s knowledge to sell the most sophisticated technology with confidence.
The finalists were:
The winning company rolled out a training campaign that covered the whole country and prepared over 1,000 retail staff for a successful launch of the new Bravia LCD range.
Winner: Sony Digital Training Course
TRAINING AWARD – Major Appliances
Training – both product and sales related – are key to the success of both the retailers, who receives it, and the manufacturer, who provides it. Due to the nature of their business, independent electrical retailers are not always able to take up training in the traditional format. Therefore they are highly appreciative of the choice of training offered to them by major appliance manufacturers.
The finalists were: Electrolux, Glen Dimplex, Miele, NEFF, Hotpoint, LG, Siemens, Smeg and Whirlpool.
The winning company has a long relationship with the independent channel and to support independent dealers’ needs it has a dedicated team of 12 regional training managers visiting independents every month and offering them specialist training courses.
The winner: Hotpoint Training Centres
TRAINING AWARD – Small Appliances
In the small appliance sector, with many products competing for consumers’ attention, specialist product and sales skill training is particularly important.
The finalists were: Kenwood/De’Longhi, LG and Groupe SEB.
The winning company has been considered the best demonstrators in the SKA business and has excellent training facilities at its training centre.
The winner: Kenwood/De’Longhi Training
BEST ACCESSORY COMPANY
With the cut-throat competition in the consumer electronics market, accessories provide a significant revenue stream for retailers – in fact the margins on some of them are up to three times as large as on the equipment they support. The iPod alone has created an accessories market with some 4,000 products, while the flat, HDTV panels stimulate sales of connecting cables, leads and AV furniture.
The finalists were: Alphason Designs, Optimum International, Miele Accessory Shop, Monster Cable and Tech+Link International.
The great hunger for flat panel TVs has been creating an unprecedented demand for AV furniture, from which independent dealers benefit greatly. Not surprising they voted for the winner, which has one of the largest sales teams in the industry and has also offered some fabulous prizes in this year’s window display competition.
Winner: Alphason Designs
BEST FLOORCARE PRODUCT
The floorcare market is experiencing something of a renaissance, since pricing is becoming less of an issue with significant developments and combination of function and design playing an increasingly important role. The list of finalists clearly reflected this.
The finalists were: Bissell Proheat 2x Deep Cleaner, Domotec Super Steamer, Dyson DC16 Root6 (handheld), Electrolux Loopie, Home-tek Light ‘n’ Easy Steam Mop (model HT824), Hoover Dust Manager Pets ‘n’ Stairs Products (DM5530/1 & TC5238), LG Upright Allergy Vacuum Cleaner, Philips Marathon Vacuum Cleaner and Panasonic’s MC-UL862KP47 Upright Cleaner.
The winning product, supported by a £3.5 million advertising campaign, has given many independents a brand new opportunity to put additional floorcare appliance in the customers’ homes.
Winner: Bissell Proheat 2x Deep Cleaner
BEST PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT – Female
Female grooming has never been a bigger business than now – with grooming appliances reaching increasingly younger women, and catering for literally every need of the fairer sex.
The finalists were: Carmen Hair Thermal Moisture Lock Multi-Styler, Nicky Clarke NCG18 Professional Sleek & Style Gift Set, Panasonic’s BH-820E/M 2-in-1 Body Brush and Massager, Philips Bikini Perfect, Philips Satinelle Ice Premium and Remington’s Perfection BodyCurve Epilator (EP400)
The winning product offers consumers two essential tools for creating the ultimate hair do: a 2000 Watt hair dryer and a ceramic hair straightener. It is a tool set for every mood and occasion.
Winner: Nicky Clarke NCG18 Professional Sleek & Style Gift Set
BEST PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT – Male
The male grooming sector is showing an excellent market performance fuelled by the acceptance of the idea that taking an interest in neat appearance and all over body grooming is masculine.
The finalists were: Nicky Clarke NCM35 Professional Grooming Kit, Philips QC5170 Hair Clipper, Philips Sonicare Elite e9500, Philips WilliamsF1 Special Edition Shaver and Remington’s High Precision Grooming Kit.
The winning product combined an inspirational design with superior performance, becoming the Louis Hamilton of men’s shavers.
Winner: Philips WilliamsF1 Special Edition Shaver
BDC SPECIAL AWARDS
Joseph Sopher, managing director of BDC, presented the Special BDC Awards for the company’s suppliers which had offered significant support to both BDC and independent dealers.
BDC Supplier of the Year Award Consumer Electronics – Samsung
BDC Supplier of the Year Award Major Appliances – Indesit
BDC Supplier of the Year Award Small Appliances – Kenwood
ULTIMATE TOP SUPPLIER AWARD
This is the ultimate accolade of the Independent Marketing Awards. Voting for this Award, the independent electrical retailers indicated which company provided them with the best service and supported them most effectively. To a large extent this award is a combination of all the other awards and there were a number of very strong contenders, including: Electrolux, Hotpoint, Miele, Panasonic, Sony and Whirlpool. This year’s Ultimate Top Supplier is a company which enjoyed very high brand awareness in
SPECIAL REPRESENTATION AWARD – Sponsored by retra
John Hutchinson, president of retra, presented the award for the best manufacturer’s representative. For this award independent dealers nominated a sales rep who looks after them very well and on whose help and advice they can always depend.
Winner: Monika Kavanagh of Dyson who looks after 50 independent electrical dealers in
Beth Thoren, director of communications, Digital UK, has presented a unique award in this year’s ceremony. It was created to recognise the contribution of independent electrical retailers to the digital switchover process managed by Digital UK, and in particular in helping customers to understand its requirements and implications.
Winner: Brooks Audio & Visual in
INDUSTRY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
With this special award the electrical industry shows its appreciation of someone’s lifetime contribution to its efforts and of her/his support for the independent sector.
This year’s Award went to John Morrissey of Indesit, who spent 30 years working in the electrical industry and throughout his whole career maintained links with the independent channel. He greatly enjoyed this association and said: “Most rewarding is the trust and loyalty that can be built up between manufacturer and independent, which is not something that exists for long periods in the other channels.”
Winner: John Morrissey of Indesit.
In keeping with the tradition of the Awards, the Electrical and Electronics Industries Benevolent Association (EEIBA), the charity whose constant efforts help the needy and distressed who work, or have worked, in the electrical and electronics industries, has been chosen to benefit from fundraising at the gala dinner.
Brian Lovewell, EEIBA appeals director, conducted the EEIBA lottery raffle, which was generously supported by manufacturers with a variety of fabulous prizes and generated an impressive amount of £1,700.
The IER and BDC teams wish to thank very much the IER readers who voted for the Awards and everyone who attended this year’s Awards evening. With your help next year’s event will be even bigger and better.
Congratulations to Mark Raymond of Southpoint, who has won a pair of tickets and corporate hospitality at the forthcoming