Electrolux takes on the outdoors

Electrolux, the home appliances giant, is launching its first own-brand outdoor product. The launch of Automower, a robotic lawnmower, is part of a strategy aimed at strengthening the Electrolux umbrella brand.

The move is likely to spell the end for Electrolux’s famous Flymo brand. The Automower, which will be launched at the end of this week, is the brand’s key product launch for 2004. It will receive significant consumer and trade marketing support, which is set to break after Easter.

Electrolux has been co-branding Flymo as Flymo by Electrolux for just over a year. It is thought that the company may phase out some of its brands in favour of the Electrolux umbrella brand.

Automower is being pushed as one of Electrolux’s icon products. These aim to offer consumers a way of making everyday chores, such as gardening, easier. The robotic mower has a navigation system so that it can be guided around a garden independently, using a wire that marks off the perimeter. It will also make its own way back to its charger when it runs out of power.

Andy Mackay, marketing director for outdoor and home products, says the launch is part of a move to establish Electrolux as an outdoor brand and develop the same kind of awareness that it already has in kitchen appliances and white goods.

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