Based on direct consumer feedback from the Comtech Domestic Appliance panel, which surveys 45,000 homes in Europe’s five biggest markets, Kantar has identified the most innovative and best looking brand, the brand that has the most satisfied customers, the brand that provides best value and the brand that sells best across multiple categories.
The 2019 Winners are:
- Innovation: Samsung
- Design and Style: Samsung
- Customer Satisfaction: Miele
- “Value for Me” award: Indesit
- Cross-category: Hotpoint
- Ones to Watch: Hisense & Haier Group
2019 has been an interesting year for home appliances as brands look to define what their vision of smart home looks like. It has also proven a challenge to define how connected appliances can service consumer needs and are not just another feature. Some brands are exploiting the opportunity better than others. Traditional European & American brands are under threat from Korean brands who are similarly under threat from Chinese brands. Haier’s shrewd acquisition of Candy has set it up for a solid Q4 and we expect it to pose a serious challenge across Europe next year. We also expect to see continued product & operational improvements in environmental and sustainability credentials from manufacturers in response to environmental protests that have pushed sustainability to the forefront of consumer mindsets.
Innovation winner: Samsung
With consumers becoming increasingly aware of smart technology and Internet of Things (IoT), the demand for innovation permeates every part of consumers’ lives, including domestic appliances. As a purchase driver many consumers are looking to purchase brands that have (or are perceived to have) the latest innovations, so branding/communications/touchpoint messaging are key to converting customers as well as delivering on product innovation. Samsung wins on this key metric with over 18% of recent premium purchasers citing this as the reason for brand choice and is a brand position Samsung has managed to grow with. Other close contenders for this award are Electrolux (15%) and LG (15%).
Design and Style winner: Samsung
For discerning, style-driven consumers, Samsung seems to be the machine of choice with a quarter of all recent Samsung purchasers saying this was an important factor in their decision-making process. As a premium purchase maybe this is not surprising, so it is with some interest that Hotpoint at 21% is the second highest brand for whom design and style is important followed by LG at 20%.
Customer Satisfaction winner: Miele
An industry standard measure for customer satisfaction is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) It is determined by calculating the difference in % of Promoters (those who score likelihood of recommending: 9-10) vs Detractors (those who score likelihood of recommending: 0-6). Across the total of EU5 markets – France, Germany, Italy, Spain & UK – and all product categories, Miele has the highest NPS score of 27, which might not be surprising given that the premium end of the market often drives high satisfaction measures. However, Hisense has the second highest NPS just behind on 26. With only a recent launch in Europe by this Chinese manufacturer achieving such a high NPS this brand is definitely one to watch as NPS is a key driver in reducing churn.
Miele’s appliance owners pay a premium for their product but are amongst the happiest owners, for the longest period and one of the most likely to be loyal (re-purchase same brand again). Miele’s consumers purchase for reliability and quality of materials and are rarely let down. Brands such as Bosch and Whirlpool are also impressive given the size of their brand share across Europe. If you look at Bosch it is in the top 3 for NPS in every category and tends to be in the top 3 for brand share.
“Value for Me” award winner: Indesit
It is important to remember that nearly 60% of all appliance purchases are below €500 and a quarter are below €300. The biggest driver of purchase is when a customer feels they got “Value for me”. The brand that delivers on this message at a great price point time and time again is Indesit. As a brand it has a strong position backed up by a product that delivers that message so that any customer in this space will be drawn to Indesit. A future contender for this award could be Beko – it is a brand that is growing share and delivers on the “value for me”.
Cross-category winner: Hotpoint
Building brand ecosystems across categories and across regions is no easy feat. Sustaining that position as new entrants disrupt the market is even harder. Hotpoint is the brand with the highest multiple-appliance ownership over the last few quarters. Bosch, Miele and Siemens are all eroding this lead. In Q3 2019 Bosch and Miele have finally matched the Hotpoint level of multiple ownership at 59%. Watch this space to see if Hotpoint can hold onto this award next year.
Ones to Watch: Hisense & Haier Group
Both Hisense and Haier have the potential to disrupt the status quo in Europe. With less than 1% of total brand share across Europe, Hisense & Haier both still have low penetration. The impact of these Chinese brands across Europe however is starting to be felt as consumer understanding of the offer increases. Both brands have distinctive product offers and price appeal. A huge differentiator for Haier for example in refrigeration is the size of machine, for which 75% of purchasers stated this as an important reason for purchase, compared to the average for the category of 60%. Both brands are perceived to be innovative (10% – double the average) and good value (Hisense 35%, Haier 33%). Fisher and Paykel was acquired by Haier Group in 2012. In Australia this brand currently has the largest installed base (15% across all domestic appliances), is an important part of Haier.
This is going to be a focal point to watch next year as Hisense & Haier are taking different strategies but both making an impact in the market. Haier is performing well in France, but it is the acquisition of Candy Hoover that is of significant concern to many competitive brands in this market. The partnership is looking good and already benefiting both brands. Hisense is performing well in Refrigeration and regularly takes just over 2% of EU5’s rolling 12 months purchases, just over 3% in GB and even higher in Spain.
These findings are based on Worldpanel ComTech, a longitudinal panel of 45,000 households in the EU5 markets of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK. Kantar monitors purchase trends, loyalty and switching over time for Washing Machines, Dryers, Refrigeration, Oven and Dishwashers.