After Haier and Candy announced its integration, Haier actively promoted the multi-brand strategy in Italy, resulting in Haier, Hoover, and Candy becoming a high-end brand in Italy, catering to a more diverse consumer base.
To support this multi-brand strategy, Haier actively transforms its products to cutting edge level, which has enhanced Haier’s brand strength and reputation, consequently expanding its market share of high-end products.
The Super Drum washing machine is one such success story. According to GFK data, since the model was launched in September, it has gained market recognition with its stylish design, leading technology and functions. In September, it has occupied the market share of 9.6% in the washing machine above 1,000 Euro segment.
Haier Group Corporation is a Chinese collective multinational consumer electronics and home appliances company headquartered in Qingdao, China. It designs, develops, manufactures and sells products including air conditioners, mobile phones, computers, microwave ovens, washing machines, refrigerators, and televisions.
According to data released by Euromonitor in 2018, the Haier brand had the world’s largest market share in white goods, with 10.2 percent retail volume market share. This was the sixth consecutive year in which Haier had been the market share leader for major appliances.
Haier’s Italy unit has now broken through German and South Korean brands monopoly in the segment
Moreover, Super Drum also made its way into the market and it’s now effectively challenging German and South Korean brands like Samsung, LG, and Bosch, and this is not a small feat for a market entrant. Traditionally, Italy’s washing machine market was dominated by European, Japanese and Korean brands such as AEG, Miller, Samsung, and LG. However, now Haier has become the first Chinese brand to challenge Miller, Samsung, and LG in the market segment.
“We have seen a better trend in Super Drum. Many consumers are now paying more attention to Super Drum because Italian consumers believe that the design and function of Super Drum is more suitable for their needs at a reasonable price. My years of experience have judged that Haier is getting better and better in Italy because we understand what the Italians want and what we can provide. I think Haier is Italy has been the most successful of Chinese brands for many years, it is time tested product, and the terminal sales of this model continues to grow,” said an Italian supplier, Christian.
Haier owes this success to its three-pronged strategy
Firstly, it entered the market at a very early stage, and it was well-received by channel vendors and users. Haier Air Conditioning entered the Italian market for the first time in 1999. This is the earliest that a Chinese home appliance brand entered Italy. Though initially, many Italian consumers were unfamiliar with Haier, but with time, Haier got a favorable review from the vendors and established a good relationship with Italian vendors and consumers. This proved to be a core element of Haier’s continued growth in Italy.
Secondly, Haier insists on its own brand rather than the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Haier’s entry into Italy is unique as it always insists on promoting its own brands rather than OEMs. In the context of business, the purpose of some home appliance companies was to earn money and earn foreign exchange for the country. However, Haier’s did not run after earning foreign exchange, but to choose the difficult path of creating a brand. It turns out that Haier’s model of insisting on creating a brand has now paid off in Italy.
Thirdly, Haier has formed a strong supply chain relationship in Italy, and its brand awareness is the highest among Chinese brands. After entering Italy for 20 years, Haier has become a household name. According to the sales data of more than 20 home appliance brands by GFK, an internationally renowned consumer durables research company, Haier Air Conditioning has surpassed 17 international brands and became the mainstream home appliance brand in the local market, ranking first among Chinese independent brands.
At present, the Haier washing machine brand cluster ranks second in the Italian market with an 18.9% share. This is the dividend that Haier has harvested 20 years after entering Italy.
For Haier, Italy is not the end of its global ambition, but it is an extremely important strategic location. The market trends over the years have proved Haier’s success.
Haier’s success in Italy was not accidental, but inevitable, and has become a symbol of the globalization of Chinese household appliances. With its integration into the local culture, the insight into the commercial value and with the iterative zeal to compete with the opponent, Haier has managed to achieve its goal in the Italian market quite decisively.
Sun Shubao, general manager of Haier Overseas Europe, told Blue Technology that Haier has been heavily investing in Italy for many years, and has a better understanding of the local people’s living habits and consumer behavior, and has established good cooperative relations with local channels. Now Haier series products in Italy and other European countries assures the demand as equal to the German and Japanese brands, and some even exceed their demand. Haier’s strength lies in quality, technology, and service and user experience.
Not blindly following the trend along with proactive market research has been key to Haier’s success. Italian consumers put their trust in Haier’s product and believe that with Haier’s home appliances, they are buying a worthy product with an emotional connect for an intelligent lifestyle. This is Haier’s success in Italy.