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May 2021 ertonline.co.uk


A hero shot from Miele’s new Quality Ahead of its Time consumer campaign Q&A


Q: What do you think it is about the Miele brand that has made it so popular with consumers today? John Pickering: The Miele business is over 120 years old, it’s been there through two World Wars, as well as other turbulent times. What we have found is that consumers turn to brands that they trust and, as a result, we’ve seen the business really prosper. The company is all about quality, durability,


sustainability and craftsmanship, and therefore that trust is built on the daily experience that consumers have with our products. When we sell one of our appliances it’s the start of a life-long journey with the consumer, and the service we provide after that initial point of transaction is arguably even more important than the delight of the initial installation and usage. We know consumers are likely to stay with us and we have incredibly high rates of repeat purchase. We even have Miele products left in wills to


people! And others have contacted me offering products for our museum that are 35 years old or more… and they are still going strong. The last details that Which? provided was an average lifespan of 21 years for our washing machines. When you’ve got products that can last that long you’re delivering something very special. And only in April, Miele washing machines were awarded 16 new Which? Eco Buy accolades! Looking at home appliances more generally,


we have evolved over many years; for example, our cooking range today includes ovens with FoodView cameras and zoneless hobs. Each one is hand-built by one person and that attention to detail is not widely seen elsewhere.


Q: Miele HQ reported a slowdown in production last year. How did this affect the business from your point of view? JP: Once the lockdowns came into force across Europe there was a brief pause, but our staff in


19


Germany returned to the factory and we went back to 100 per cent production very quickly. The biggest challenge then came as the demand for the category really stepped up, not just in the UK but across Europe. The level of increase was disproportionately higher than anything anyone could have predicted. We are very fortunate that we are stable and in


some areas we are largely delivering on time and in full. But by no means are we complacent; availability is still a challenge based on the incredible category growth versus the manufacturing capabilities that we have.


Q: Which of your product categories have been most successful in recent months? JP: Business across the board lifted, and some of that is linked to the biggest product launch in the history of the company – the Generation 7000 range of ovens. This was a whole new range of products that had taken years to come to fruition. Other elements are, of course, linked to


changes in consumer behaviour such as cleaning and vacuuming. For example, our TwinDos Washing Machines have seen a


significant step up, as well as the Triflex HX1 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – that won the Best New Product Small Domestic Appliances award at the ERT Awards in December and it got a Best Buy from Which?.


Q: IFA Berlin is now cancelled for this year, but Miele had already scrapped its plans to take part. How will you engage with the industry in the absence of this huge show? JP: We remain big supporters of IFA and it’s one of a global list of conventions that we would always be at. But the only reason for us cancelling our plans was the practicalities for this year specifically. We are looking at the year ahead at how we


can combine digital media with anything we are going to do physically. There’s nothing I can share at the minute, sadly, but we are finding ways to adapt with product launches that can take place both in a physical and digital space. I think we are all missing a physical


connection with our customers, so we hope that we can get back to that as soon as possible.


>>


Part of Miele’s new Quality Ahead of its Time campaign, demonstrating the cleaning power and quietness of its appliances


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