Winning Group CMO aims for internal efficiency and external brand distinction

Chief marketing officer talks through the new Winning Appliances brand campaign as well as his efforts to build an integrated marketing team

Better distinguishing Winning Group’s portfolio of brands externally while building an integrated marketing function internally have been top priorities for CMO, Sven Lindell, in his first year in the job.

Lindell joined the Australian appliances retail group last November as CMO, the first group marketing chief to be appointed for some time. He told CMO the role was firstly about bringing the group’s disparate business units together to drive more strategic and effective marketing. Winning Group is the parent company for Winning Appliances, Appliances Online, Home Clearance and also acquired Rogerseller in September.

“We have an amazing opportunity to build a team that can service all of these brands. My first six months in the role was creating that dream team so we can scale as an organisation,” Lindell said. “As we do take on other businesses, we need to ensure we can do that efficiently.”

The role was also an opportunity for Lindell to build and shape Winning Group’s different brands in market to drive growth. Winning Appliances focuses on the renovator and high-end home kitchen and laundry category and has been around for a century, while Appliances Online is more DIY and targets those needing to upgrade appliances quickly. Home Clearance is about making ensure someone get the best product at the lowest possible price.

“Our brands need to sit separately in market as we can’t have them cannibalising each other as we grow,” Lindell said. “It’s about setting each brand apart - not too far, but enough to have core propositions that cater to different segments of the market.”

Brand strategy

While it was clear internally how the brands separated out, the company had struggled to articulate and convey this externally. In addition, working with manufacturing suppliers and their marketing efforts can dilute different propositions in market.

In response, Winning Group has debuted a fresh national brand campaign for the Winning Appliances business. Created with specialist content marketing agency, 3rdspace, the 'Create Your Forever Home with Winning Appliances' campaign focuses on how to create a home environment that’s not just functional, but that also provides long-lasting happiness.

The campaign was filmed in Winning Appliances Flagship Redfern Showroom and showcases multi-sensory shopping experiences, expert service, industry leading culinary team and world-leading appliances. It also highlights appliance solutions for different audience segments. Advertising runs until the end of October across print and digital titles, radio and social and is being integrated into prime-time TV shows.

Spending more time at home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has given consumers more time to think about how they can improve their home environments, Lindell said. To help, Winning Appliances also fast-tracked and launched a virtual showroom in early May using augmented/virtual reality to showcase and complement the multi-sensory experience it provides in-store.  

“It’s an opportunity for customers in a virtual world to navigate our flagship stores, see hundreds of products online, plus more than 50 videos, recipes and highlights around the brands featured,” Lindell explained.    

“We had a lot of digital content in the wings for a while, which helped accelerate implementation of this [virtual showroom]. A big part of the strategy for me coming onboard is also focusing on content. We have a whole content series, At Home with Winning, and we work with architects, designers, chefs, tech and suppliers to build a constant stream of content we can use to speak to our customers.”

In this vein, the latest Winning Appliances’ campaign showcases product experts and culinary experts bringing to life magical moments in the home. Regardless of whether a customer walks into its stores, speaks to someone on the phone or navigates the virtual showroom, Lindell said the ambition is to provide an unparalleled experience.

“From the level of expertise in our stores, such as trainer culinary chefs that work with customers to bake, cook and help them use the appliances, to a service experience like no other,” Lindell claimed. “We have an ethos we’ll never let a customer down and we wanted to showcase that. Now is the right time to be doing it.”  

For Lindell, it was also important to have a brand campaign that took consumers out of the COVID-19 reality.

“In all honesty, it feels like people are craving to get out. That is what good advertising does. And that’s what the magical moment is about in the creative - it is tapping into the fact we’re dreaming about entertaining and having friends around again,” he said. “Rather than get stuck into the COVID cookie-cutter creative out there, we said let’s paint the experiences we want to have again and talk about those. That works more to endear people to a brand than saying we’re all sitting at home going through this together.

“We wanted to be respectful of what is happening out there, but felt that would come across in our service proposition and how we work with customers. We didn’t need to go out and tell them.”  

Lindell’s key campaign goals include continuing to drive foot traffic in Winning Appliance stores, as well as digital and phone-based engagement.

“The growth of business has been great in this period. My goal is to ensure our growth momentum stays where it is as we come out of COVID,” he said. “This campaign is really about brand awareness as we build that luxury proposition around the home.

“When renovating, there is that 'dream' state, and that’s where brand campaigns work super well, capturing attention right at the top of the funnel as consumers start that journey. The first thing a kitchen designer or architect would say to you when they design the kitchen is what appliances you want. We want to be at the front of that consideration set.”  

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

 

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