Wanted: white (goods) knight

Caroline Parry is right to highlight the poor brand-building performance of white goods manufacturers (MW April 3). However, in a category populated by 71 brands and marques, where a healthy sector share is often a single-digit percentage, I would argue that brand focus is a necessity. If it is not achieved, retailers will retain the upper hand, the market will stay commoditised and consumers will remain ignored and irrelevant in terms of influencing operating dynamics.

This market is crying out for marketing innovation and creativity. Just look at the typical white goods retail environment – boring, faceless, brandless. Look at the typical white goods consumer communication – “housewives” media schedule featuring a product shot, a few features and a price.

It’s time to break this inertia – the opportunity is immense, so who is going to step up and take the lead, and redefine this category? Who is going to build real preand post-purchase relationships with consumers? Who is going to develop and execute the communication platform that changes the rules?

Whoever does this with vision and commitment will have the opportunity to win fiercely loyal consumers, unswerving brand loyalty, genuine distribution partnerships and unrivalled market position, profile and status. What are you all waiting for?

Mark Bernard




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