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Thursday, 04 December 2014 11:42

‘Nigerian Customers Deserve The Best’ - Thermocool

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Thermocool, which has been in Nigeria for 40 years, has recently unveiled new series of air conditioners. In this interview, marketing director of Thermocool, Vikramjeet Singh, explains the unique features of the product which are built with customers in mind. Excerpts:

What informed your choice of introducing the new range of Haier Thermocool air conditioners into the Nigerian market?

Thermocool has been in the Nigerian market for over 40 years. We brought Haier Thermocool into Nigeria market in 2002, when Thermocool and PZ had a venture partnership. All the appliances are being brought under the joint venture. Haier is the technological partner while Thermocool is doing all the marketing, production, distribution and designing. Haier Thermocool is not new to the Nigerian market. Basically, as the market keeps changing, the consumers keep changing, and you need to give the best to the consumer all the time. What we are doing is a re-launch, we are bringing in new features, new technology, new looks to the consumers, which appeal to them.

What are those unique features in these new sets of Thermocool air conditioners?

Electricity is a major challenge we have in Nigeria. Some companies are doing their best in building infrastructure for that. But in the meantime, consumers need the appliances that will withstand low electricity supply. All the product range has been designed to have the low-voltage feature. This makes the product efficient and gives the maximum cooling required. Aside that, there has been a growing concern about having a healthy environment while using an AC. We are glad to inform Nigerians that these new products have in-built anti-bacteria-filters to give good, healthy life to the consumers.

One other area we have taken into consideration is that energy consumption is high. There is high cost of electricity and cost of fuel. Consumers also want fast cooling. All these features have been incorporated in the new air conditioners to serve the consumers well. Again, the product is pocket friendly.

Are you assuring consumers that the features will not affect the durability of the product?

We believe in our brand promise – making things better and make better things. We always focus on innovation and quality. Innovation in terms of what can better the lives of consumers and better things in terms of making the right quality product. This is quite embedded in our thinking and in our approach. And today we follow the same principle. Today, what we need to recognise is that we also need to bring the best of the world to the Nigerian consumer. By introducing Haier, we are bringing global expertise to the product and at the same time keeping the design principles in mind; that the product has to be designed for Nigeria and specifically perform efficiently with the Nigerian environment. Before the introduction of any new product, we basically do a proper testing and give consumers the product to test and get their feedback before the product is launched into the market.

You have talked much on the features that are not unique to Haier Thermocool air-conditioner; so, what are specific features unique to you?

Every company has its strength. What stand us out from competition are durability and warranty services. We have so much trust in our products that we are giving three years warranty. This shows the trust we have in the product, and if you have technical issues we encourage you to come back to us. The other thing is design. All our units are made from copper condenser; again taking into consideration the environment. We are concerned about what is best for our consumers, thus, the composition of these products allows for lower cost of maintenance compared with aluminium condenser.

In addition, all the compressors have been designed for low voltage and we are offering different range and colours in the series for our esteemed customers to choose from.

How would you describe your after-sales service?

This is another unique proposition we are offering our customers, unlike any other AC brand. Our after-sales services are strongly established. Thermocool is a Nigerian company and we are in all major towns of the country. We have 26 depot centres and other seven centres. So, it is never a constraint for us to get to our customers wherever and whenever such services are required.

 

How would you review your brand performance in the outgoing 2014?

This year, we are celebrating our 40th anniversary. We have done a series of work on the brand communication and product launch. We have been able to get a very good momentum in the market, and we have seen that achievement reflects in every year growth path. I see there is a big potential in the Nigerian market and the market is still growing, and we are now very much poised to take that opportunity and move forward.

Who are your target audience?

Every discerning customer who wants better life. When we design our products we look at the various sections of the society. We are not just focusing on one section of the society. Our products have been designed to take care of every individual or groups within the society. All they need to do is visit any of our showrooms and make their choice. We have eco range, eco plus range and double plus range. Our aim is to accommodate as many customers as possible; more so, our prices are very competitive.

In view of the ongoing austerity measures by the Nigerian government, what are your marketing strategies to ensure customers who desire these products get them?

The austerity measures definitely are a concern for everyone. However, we have schemes where consumers can spread their payment even up to six months. But what we are looking at is the impact on the market. At this stage, there is a lot of speculation but we are waiting to see the kind of measures government will take.

Are your products imported or assembled in Nigeria?

We have a manufacturing facility in Ilupeju, Lagos. Last year, we made an investment of about $4 million in the facility. We are committed to investment in Nigeria, and we are doing what is required to make sure we promote local production as well as local talent development. We are a proudly Nigerian brand and one thing we like to see is how we can expand Nigerian brand i.e. West Africa, Africa and globally. We want to double our number in the next five years; and to achieve that we need to develop the people significantly in this direction.

Online shops are growing, are you partnering them to sell your products?

This is a global phenomenon. In China, it is booming where some shops do several millions of dollars sales, and Nigeria is gradually tapping into this trend. But, now it is about information gathering because there is need to have other associated infrastructure in place, like credit cards. We have online presence and websites. 

One of Africa’s most decorated communication outfits, MTN has again topped the Brand Africa 100 list as the ‘Most Admired and Most Valuable African Brand’. At over $5.4bn, MTN is the only African brand valued over a billion dollars.

The 2014 Brand Africa 100 rankings of the most admired and most valuable brands in sub-Saharan Africa were released on Monday at the Nairobi Stock Exchange in Kenya.

In the overall rankings, Coca-Cola displaced Nokia as the most admired brand in Africa, while MTN moved up in the admiration ranks among Africans.

“While it is nice to again be acknowledged as Africa’s most valuable brand, it is even nicer to be ranked the most admired African brand. It means that MTN doesn’t just have a spot in our customers’ pocket book, but in their hearts and minds as well.

“Special thanks to our employees who are the best ambassadors of the MTN brand. Our employees have also done very well to partner with communities through projects such as the 21 Days of Y’ello Care staff volunteer programme,” the Executive for Marketing, MTN Group, Jennifer Forrester, said.

Established in 2011, Brand Africa 100 measures and ranks the brands that consumers admire and their corresponding value.

Brand Africa 100 was developed by Brand Africa in partnership with Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent valuation consultancy.

Congratulations to MTN..

What is your take on this?

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 11:15

Phase 3 Telecoms Bag 2014 NCSA

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ABUJA October, 2014:
Phase3 Telecom, West Africa’s largest independent fibre optic infrastructure provider recently added another prestigious accolade to its sea of local and international distinguished awards and recognitions; this time at the Nigeria Customer Service Awards ceremony in the nation’s capital – Abuja.

For placing premium on customers' satisfaction and effective service delivery, Heritage, Access banks, Etisalat and 34 other companies at the weekend were awarded the presitigious Nigeria Customer Service Excellence Award.

The Entire member of Customer service  watch Magazine Team, Welcome you to 2014, CSW aim is to promote service excellence in Africa, kindly update our team on any customer service issue positive or negative.

Friday, 31 October 2014 13:20

CONSUMER CHALLENGE IN LUGBE ABUJA

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We need help at FHA Phase1, Lugbe, Abuja
I strongly believe that people will find it difficult in a country where there is  everyday stories of improvement in power supply. At times, it looks like a dream but this is reality that there is a place in the Federal Capital Territory without light

Social media has sacked regimes and governments; it has taken a product to
the corners of the world, in a phenomenal way that conventional media could
never anticipate. Social media is helping to break barriers, and helping to
create new job patterns of the future.

Friday, 31 October 2014 13:08

NIGERIANS ARE STILL STRANDED

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PASSENGERS going back to their various working places from the Eastern part of the country are stranded in different loading parks in South East states, following a sharp increase in transportation fares.

Friday, 31 October 2014 13:02

Customer Service in 2014

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1. Mobile Apps Set to Bypass Traditional IVR Processes Smartphones and mobile apps now give users the chance to bypass traditional IVR processes and start interactions straight away.

Representative of Winners, Studio 24, Salos Plumber, Silverbird TV, GTB, Notore, Ayeye&co,De-king Furniture, Etisalat, BHN and Magnum Trust

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