Akzonobel’s fashion collection ready to transform
AkzoNobel, the Dutch multinational company, made their dealer management network successful by deploying training. Discover in this case the 6 benefits of turning your dealers into brand ambassadors.
AkzoNobel operates as a paints and coatings company worldwide. It offers decorative paints, including paints, lacquers, and varnishes; a range of mixing machines and color concepts for the building and renovation industry. The Dutch multinational company made their dealer management network successful by deploying training. Using the Sunday strategy the dealers who successfully complete the training and pass the exam get rewarded with a surprise box filled with branded clothing items. Next to that we created a fashion collection for one of Akzonobel’s painting brands Trimetal. Besides working actively around their dealer management, AkzoNobel also focuses on customer loyalty. With a voucher there loyal customers can purchase the clothing items on the Trimetal webshop. Discover in this case the 6 benefits of turning your dealers into brand ambassadors.
AkzoNobel pioneering since 1994, produces paints and performance coatings for both industry and consumers worldwide. As experts in making coatings, there’s a good chance you’re only ever a few meters away from one of their products. Their world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. They are active in more than 150 countries and have set their sights on becoming the global industry leader. It’s what you’d expect from the most sustainable paints company, which has been inventing the future for more than two centuries.
As the company was already familiar with working with clothing items. We got the chance to do our sales pitch and show how we differentiate ourselves from competitors by focusing on sustainable and quality products. Our expertise in design and our high quality products won them over and convinced them to work with us.
Dealer management network
As a manufacturer, AkzoNobel works together with a lot of dealers who sell their products. The biggest advantage of dealer management is that you as a manufacturer can focus on what you are good at: producing, without having to bother about the sales process.
Of course, that’s not completely true. Every company thinks about its sales and revenue. As a manufacturing company you have to rely on your dealers and try to persuade them that they should suggest your product to their customers. That is easier said than done.
AkzoNobel therefore started to take a closer look at their dealer network to see where there might be solutions. One of the things that stood out to them was the fact that dealers will especially recommend products about which they have sufficient knowledge. It is hard for a salesperson/shopkeeper to persuade a client to buy a certain product if he/she doesn’t have any knowledge about that product.
One possible solution to this problem is to provide quality training for dealers. By training them, they will become much more familiar with the products and also feel more confident when they have to explain something to 1 of their customers.
But when AkzoNobel had set up their training program they noticed that there were not many enrollees. The number of registrations was not high enough, and the people that did register didn’t always pay enough attention.
Therefore, they linked a test to the training program, where those who passed received a fantastic box. So dealers who successfully complete the training and pass the exam get rewarded with a surprise box that contains a tape T-shirt and sweater. A very nice gift that shows AkzoNobel appreciates its dealers for making the effort to follow the training. And on the other hand it is an added value for the dealers who, by wearing these clothes, also radiate a certain expertise in their store. Customers can quickly recognize the employees and will be more inclined to ask questions.
Meaningful company fashion
We have already worked together with AkzoNobel for quite some time now. In the beginning they suggested the design of the clothing items by describing what they wanted. We turn, on our part, the designs into a makeable pattern that really fits the clothing. Therefore we have an internal design team, a lot of technical knowledge and in house production to keep an eye on every step.
After they realized that we are capable of creating pieces that not only fit their wants but also match their brand 100%, they fully trusted us to design the fashion collection.
Pieces that match their brand 100%? How?
With campaigns, it’s very important that the chosen items are the right ones. The second thing is implementing the brand colors into the design. Add a subtle label, embroider the logo or even Pantone dye the fabric from which the clothing is made of.
For AkzoNobel, Trimetal, we went for Pantone dying. The given Pantone color was being matched with our textile colors. We did this for the sock yarns, the cotton and threads for labels and tapes. This way, the clothing is fully in line with the brand guidelines of Trimetal and the brand becomes very recognizable.
Ambassadorship and customer loyalty
Besides working actively around their dealer management, AkzoNobel also focuses on customer loyalty. For example, Trimetal is a paint brand from Akzonobel. When a painter buys multiple Trimetal products from a dealer, or is a loyal customer who buys Trimetal products regularly, they receive a voucher. With that voucher they can purchase the wearables on the Trimetal webshop.
By starting to reward loyal customers, AkzoNobel succeeds in creating true brand ambassadors. Painters who are used to working with another brand but would like to switch to Trimetal can receive a starter kit, which contains a T-shirt of high quality. Which is something that new dealers receive too.
- Increase of the number of registrations
- More attention during the training (by implementing a test and reward)
- Skilled sales people at dealer shops
- Sales people become ambassadors of Trimetal and will promote Trimetal better to customers / users
- More turnover
- More visibility of the brand
At AkzoNobel they are very happy with the results they are achieving by strategically deploying merchandise clothing. We are already looking forward to our next campaign with this company!