COUNTING ON THE REPOSITIONING OF MULTI-BRANDS
NEW CONSUMER COMMERCIAL MANAGER FOR GOODYEAR DUNLOP ITALIA
To tackle the challenging year that 2012 promises to be and backed up by good results in 2011, Goodyear Dunlop Tires Italia is applying an aggressive multi-brand strategy linked to the role of the one-stop shop and is leveraging the commercial presence of a nearby supplier with the best performance on the market
Mino De Rigo
A 2012 to be tackled head on by renewing a commitment to the sales network oriented towards greater proximity and a closer and mutually more profitable partnership. This is the first proposal by Goodyear Dunlop, which, after a positive year, is now defining an aggressive strategy for the immediate future that is focusing closely on the premium range and also aims to add value to all the brands in its portfolio: “The logic” – said Giuseppe Mastandrea, the new commercial manager of the consumer business unit at Goodyear Dunlop Italia – “is extremely simple: if the retailer makes a profit with us, we will become his main reference, which is the purpose of our commitment”. It is also summed up in the current year by having the best performance on the market. “Driven by the sales of winter tyres, in 2011 sales in Italy totalled about 30 million tyres, with growth of 2.7%. An overall trend that is also reflected in our company’s results”. The launch of new products, the ultra-high-performance Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric II summer tyre and the Goodyear Ultragrip 8 and Dunlop Sp Winter Sport 4d winter tyres, have fed the sales drive. A force that particularly benefited the winter tyre segment if it is true that, in general, national sell-in touched 9 million tyres, an increase of about 36% against 2010. “The current strategic key” – Mastandrea continued – “is to continue with adding value to premium brands and, at the same time, to develop the potential of the other brands by leveraging the added value of each one”.
The new musts: proximity and simplicity
Sava, Fulda and Debica are the lines of standard and budget products which, along with the Goodyear and Dunlop range, bring the total number of codes in the warehouses of Italian companies to over 3,300. “On the one hand, we can boast that we have a complete offer distinguished by two premium brands; on the other, we have a range of products that cover standard and budget quality levels that allow us to fully meet the demands of different consumer targets”. Whose buying choices will be increasingly inspired by considerable shrewdness, and it could not be otherwise in this troubled economy. “If it is true that during recession years 2008 and 2009” – the manager of Goodyear Dunlop objected – “the impact on the car tyre market was relative, we can say that it will be the same this year. We believe it and we are working on improving the results achieved. Starting with our Superservice network, the jewel in our crown and a source of great satisfaction, even last year, and the partnership with distributors which we have considerably strengthened”. With regard to the entire system of Italian retailers, the efforts by Goodyear Dunlop continue in the direction of increasing proximity and, above all, of simplifying daily contacts: “Doing business with us must be simpler and more immediate. And contributing to this is our ability, in which we continue to invest heavily, to present ourselves as the nearby supplier with a nation-wide commercial presence. Added to this is our commitment to improving the levels of service: at times it was not possible to satisfy requests in the desired times and ways, perhaps because of problems with planning or the complexity of a multinational organization with 54 factories in 22 countries”.
More margins for satisfaction
It is imperative to be quicker at translating demand into availability on the market. A reaction that becomes more necessary the more the speed of change increases in a segment that is rapidly evolving. “The role of the Italian organization” – Mastandrea pointed out – “is to keep on closing the gap between our market and the multinational of which we are a part and which guarantees increasingly leading-edge processes and systems in exchange. The company is commercially and financially strong and it intends to continue to grow and will carry on investing in 2012 to give the strategy impetus on the market. It is a really big advantage to have such a wide range of brands and products”. An extensive and segmented range is an undeniable trump card that can be invaluable, even if the request is only for immediate availability. “We have the chance to represent a real one-stop shop for the tyre retailer, a single reference for different supplies: more and different brands with the common denominator of positioning choices that will increase competitiveness”. But all this is not enough if it is true that the retailer is a determining factor in a manufacturer’s commercial policy and as such must be supported on several levels. “We look after our partners” – Goodyear Dunlop’s commercial manager repeated – “they are pleased with the product margins and, another fundamentally important aspect, we work so that network service is also adequately valued. There can be no doubt that the retailer is at the centre of our universe of action, the core of all initiatives. And, in the end, this also brings greater customer satisfaction”.
• From it tyres, focus is on the channel
Four months at the head of consumer commercial management at Goodyear Dunlop Italia, forty-one-year-old Giuseppe Mastandrea joined the company with twenty years’ experience in the business development field and equally long experience in Information Technology. For the past decade he was with Taiwan company Acer, one of the world’s major manufacturers of PCs, where he handled the consumer market in France and Italy. After roles with increasing responsibility, more recently he coordinated the repositioning of the group’s brands in the entire EMEA area (Europe, Middle East and Africa). “The Goodyear Dunlop project“ – he said – “was immediately stimulating. Also because of the obvious challenge of moving from one company in the new economy to one that is typically old economy: a complex world where focus on the market is strong and benefits from huge preparation and professionalism as well as an organization that is very attentive to the needs of customers”. And in his new role as manager of the car, motorbike and racing tyres business, there is no lack of affinity with the past: “The main challenge not only consists of a comprehensive strategy for multibrand optimization associated with the management of a multitude of products, but development projects also pass through distribution channels that have numerous points of contact with the IT trade: but if the logics of distribution and retail are quite similar, after-sales service is an element that clearly differentiates the two environments”. Lastly, an unequivocal decision: to place a Dunlop Sp Winter Sport 4D tyre in front of his desk so that he can breathe in, with immediate effect, the atmosphere that connotes his new working environment.