Electrolux carried out extensive consumer research in the development of the new Chinese product range, which is now being launched with a carefully crafted online and in-store marketing campaign.
“We began researching Chinese consumers and their perceptions in 2011, in key cities, starting with the Electrolux brand value proposition and the retail environment,” said Lynn Ong, Managing Director, Electrolux China.
Researchers visited consumers’ homes to understand their lifestyles, how they used their home appliances, their aspirations and the things that matter to them. In addition, they accompanied consumers on shopping trips to understand the consumer journey; behavior and key consumer touch points along the path to purchase.
Based on the research and in line with the Electrolux brand strategy, the products were designed for specific target consumer segments.
“As China is growing economically, consumers are getting more affluent and aspire to better quality of life,” Ong said. “The Electrolux brand fits in nicely with these consumer segments, which allow our brand to tap into changes in culture, attitudes and behavior occurring within China which affect life at home.”
Ong explains that as the Chinese consumer landscape moves from “Traditional” notions to “Modern and Simplified” ways of living, Electrolux worked to develop products that would be ingenious and intuitive, offer time management and efficiency, and provide better results.
“With that as background, we worked out product design elements and features across categories, and then conducted 70% preference studies where we achieved extremely good results for our new OuYi products against best-in-class competitors.”
OuYi is the Chinese name for the range and means, “European-inspired comfortable living.”
“Our consumers in China like to keep up with the latest technology and are active in social media and internet. Appliances should not only look good, they need to have meaningful high tech functionality — an emotional appeal yet with a strong rational unpinning,” Ong said.
Ingenious and intuitive design elements include Lightcraft™ lighting, which brings refrigerators, dish sterilizers and hoods alive by adjusting ambient lighting depending on how the appliances are being used. Most appliances also feature IQ Touch™ controls that are simple to operate, making it easy to store fresh food longer or get the optimal washing result. And on fridges, the Flexstor™ door system lets people customize their refrigerators depending on their needs, with flexible compartments that move up and down and side to side.
Other innovations include an indicator on the oil cup for hoods that lets people see when it is time to be emptied without having to see dirty oil. Dish sterilizers have specially designed reflectors optimize the spread of ultraviolet light beyond what our competitors offer. A weight sensor in washing machines lets consumers save time by maximizing the size of each load without the risk of overloading.
The campaign to launch the new products is based on the 360° consumer experience strategy; covering all of the touch points in the consumer journey—pre-sale, at sale and post-sale. It is designed to reach consumers wherever they spend time, both online and offline. This strategy will introduce the Electrolux brand in a consistent and relevant way, build loyalty and make the products stand out across the shopping experience and beyond.
The main theme of the campaign is that only 10% of our lives should be spent on chores, while the other 90% should be spent on things we enjoy. The campaign connects to consumers by suggesting new possibilities for doing household chores and exploring their passions.
“This theme resonates strongly with the emerging middle-class Chinese consumers who are demanding more time for themselves and solutions to the pressures of keeping up with work, friends and family. The messages and key visuals have also been tested with consumers, and scored very high both on impact and persuasion,” said Ong.
Electrolux has created short webisodes that bring the campaign’s theme to life. The first one features a young couple bonding over a washing machine in an appliance store. The series goes on to present various household scenarios and shows how the new Electrolux products can help to solve common domestic challenges. Electrolux is also promoting the new range via home decorating sites to help create online buzz. Other planned activities include multi-sensory retail experiences, cooking classes, a loyalty program and improvements to after sales service. The campaign also includes extensive, walk-through sidewalk displays at store entrances.
“Our strategy is disruption, intercepting the consumer along the path to purchase,” Ong explained. “The digital reality has changed the way people purchase in China.”