Marc Andre Palm on how hansgrohe is revolutionizing bathrooms for the discerning Indian consumer

Marc Andre Palm, Head of Global Brand Marketing, hansgrohe discusses how the German manufacturer of bathroom and kitchen fitting products is partnering with India for a sustainable future.

By  Indrani BoseJun 24, 2024 8:43 AM
Marc Andre Palm on how hansgrohe is revolutionizing bathrooms for the discerning Indian consumer
Marc Andre Palm, Head of Global Brand Marketing, hansgrohe discusses how hansgrohe is making dream bathrooms accessible in tier II & III cities.

Bathrooms are more than just functional spaces in today's India. They are evolving into sanctuaries of wellness and self-care. India's discerning consumers are demanding more from their living spaces. They crave not just luxury, but sustainable luxury that reflects their evolving aspirations. hansgrohe, the global leader in bathroom solutions understands the unique needs and aspirations of Indian consumers and is crafting a new vision for the bathroom – a space that blends luxury, sustainability, and innovation.

Marc Andre Palm, Head of Global Brand Marketing, hansgrohe discusses how the German manufacturer of bathroom and kitchen fitting products is partnering with India for a sustainable future.

Edited excerpts:

What led to the ‘PartnersInExcellence’ social media campaign? How does the brand convey this message to the Indian audience?

With the campaign we want to showcase hansgrohe as the premium brand for our partners in the architecture and project business. We show our ambition and promises we have for this key channel. Our extended product portfolio aims to support architects in creating holistic bathroom experiences and bring their vision of a dream bathroom to reality. Thus with the goal of the campaign is to raise further awareness on the variety of high quality products hansgrohe offers for the partner in the project and hotel industry.

How does hansgrohe plan on expanding its retail footprint via core trade partners & distribution network?

We aim to grow our retail footprint via both the channels by not just penetrating in new cities but also in the existing cities together. We are looking at adding more than 100 PoS every year in various formats. We are definitely looking at increasing our retail footprint from 235 to maybe 500 in the next three years. There is ample opportunity right now in India.

Can you share some insights on the brand's plans to enter Tier II & III markets?

We plan to tap into newer growth opportunities beyond metro cities by expanding into tier 2 locations. This expansion will allow the company to reach a broader consumer base in smaller cities and towns across the country, where there is significant potential for growth. We plan to achieve this through strategic partnerships with local distributors, multiple store formats and offering products at lower price point. By setting up dedicated retail spaces and leveraging product innovation that we have, our aim is to meet the unique consumer needs and preferences in the new markets. The idea is to ensure that we not only expand our market presence but also establish meaningful connections with customers in emerging markets across India.

What are some consumer insights and market trends that you are observing? How is the brand leveraging them?

Architects and specifiers prefer not to source each bathroom element from different suppliers. They seek high-quality solutions that seamlessly integrate in both functionality and design. Additionally, they want to express their personal style in the bathroom, whether it's a compact space or a spacious bathroom. This involves finding matching ranges of colours and styles, as well as ensuring durability and ease of maintenance. Another major concern is maintaining adequate water pressure for an enjoyable shower experience while also conserving water.

Thus, consumers as well as professionals working in architecture and project business are increasingly recognizing the importance of creating sustainable, personal sanctuaries. Bathrooms are no longer just functional places but are being transformed into spaces of well-being. This shift is driven by a growing awareness of wellness and self-care, where a well-matching bathroom offers a space to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate.

Furthermore we see a growing awareness on the topic of sustainability in the bathroom. Innovative technologies at hansgrohe save water and energy while still providing a spa-like experience and timeless design. For instance, our PowderRain spray, with its micro-fine droplets, cocoons the body in warm water while using less water. Our hansgrohe Pulsify shower collection embodies this principle, delivering unparalleled shower experiences in bathrooms of all sizes, creating a holistic wellness experience.

Can you explain the genesis of the brand's message -‘Imagine a bathroom like never before’?

For us, a bathroom is more than just its individual components; it requires a holistic design approach to harmonize both, mind and body in order to create bathrooms like never before. With our product range aim to offer bathroom solutions for different realities of life: for families, for small rented apartments, for luxurious hotels. Creating seamless experiences with high-quality and long lasting products is paramount.

The bathroom is inherently a multi-sensory space, where elements of sound, touch, and smell elevate the overall experience. Textiles and living objects also contribute to a more homely ambiance. For instance, our Designflex textile shower hose, along with soft towels and bathrobes, adds comfort and warmth to the space.

How is the brand evolving and innovating?

Being inventive, showing attitude and taking responsibility is part of our company and brand DNA. In the eighties we invented the first water-saving shower and we continue to improve our flow rates and efficiency.

With our new brand claim "Life is waterful" we are taking on an even more positive approach to highlighting the importance of saving water in our daily lives. In addition to that, we continue to follow our strategy of becoming a holistic bathroom supplier in order to create dream bathrooms with products matching in quality and design.

What are some of the key sustainability goals of the brand? How is the brand living up to them?

With our bathroom analysis we saw that the main driver of CO2e in the bathroom can be accounted to the usage phase of the bathroom. With our hansgrohe EcoSmart hand held showers we save up to 60% water compared to regular hansgrohe showers. That's why we set the goal to switch the whole product portfolio to "Eco". This means, until 2030 all water bearing products will be equipped with watersaving or energysaving technologies.

Take us through Hansgrohe's plan to engage with the Indian market. How is India as a market different compared to other regions?

India is a diverse market and every year, continuously, we reevaluate the situation and focus on understanding and meeting the preferences of Indian consumers. We offer products that are not only innovative and high-quality but also affordable to the segment we are catering to. We're not only expanding our reach across emerging markets but also penetrating deeper into the major cities through partnerships with local dealers and distributors who understand regional nuances.

Our strategy involves setting up dedicated showrooms via multiple store formats and leveraging multiple platforms to make our sustainable products and technologies more accessible and appealing to Indian customers. We’ve also launched ceramics, a new product category as a step towards complementing our existing range of bathroom solutions and cater to the evolving tastes of Indian consumers.

First Published on Jun 24, 2024 8:43 AM

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