Polishing a precious stone The evolution of the 'MEISTER' brand


How often does the average consumer buy a new floor during their lifetime? Exactly: not very often. That is why brand management for durable goods differs markedly from that of frequency products for daily use. A sales-oriented point-of-sale (POS) presence and professional advice are just as important as the brand content. No component leads to the shared success of the manufacturer, retailer and craftsman without the other. An inseparable unit which requires expert brand development with judgement, love and attention to detail. It is with this self conception that the MEISTER brand is presenting itself at its in-house trade show in a new look.

Brands are like diamonds – and not only from an economic point of view. Diamonds come to exist under high pressure and considerable heat when carbon atoms are pressed together. In a similar way, all the messages a company sends out are crystallised in a brand and the resulting images and impressions create an insoluble brand core in the recipients' minds. A brand revolution would therefore destroy the accumulated values. If you want to change the brand a little, if you want to update it, you have to sharpen it and polish it – an evolution is required! MEISTER is now rising to this challenge.

Brand message: plausibility of the family business

Durability and quality, reliability, partnerships with retailers and craftsmen, technical and design innovation, the best sector logistics, sustainable products and processes, retailer loyalty and sales oriented marketing services are all values the market associates with the family business from Meiste in the Sauerland region of Germany. The premium character of the MEISTER brand is now being communicated with additional attributes. Managing Director Ludger Schindler predicts: "Retailers will be able to recognise their real friends more easily than ever before. Those who want to stand out in the market will approach us." In addition to well known values such as plausibility, detailed expertise of the full product range, the additional attributes of emotionality, inspiration and ideas, innovative, technical and emotional trendsetting, quality products which are made in Germany, as well as friendliness and fairness are now taking centre stage: they are the new or newly weighted brand dimensions which will be decisive for future success.

"MEISTER – rooms full of life" – this range consequentially leads to the new brand claim, positioned more emotionally than ever before and differentiated clearly from the competition. The logo in the usual orange remains unchanged, but is applied more discreetly and often vertically. Visually less loud, this modification supports the premium character of the brand. Combined with retail advertising media or the furnishings on the sales floor there is therefore sufficient scope for retailers to configure their own designs.

Pictorial worlds make the brand comprehensible

Brand worlds are pictorial worlds. Buyers can identify with them immediately. When you realise that it isn't just the head, but also your gut feeling and heart that make the purchasing decisions, the key role attributable to pictorial worlds becomes clear – in design and conceptual terms. That is why the MeisterWerke staff have decided on a comprehensive staging of these pictorial worlds at original locations and in a real ambience. In rooms with history and where people have enjoyed spending time, with a great love for detail, they show the varied possibilities of the MEISTER collections in the differing living styles, with even more choice for every trend.

The varied depth of the Longlife parquet® range, for example, enables seven thematic worlds to be experienced with the corresponding presentations: Natural Style, Pure Line, Colourful Grey, Luxury Affairs, New Classics, Wild Mountain and Perfect Basics are inspired by living and lifestyle trends from throughout Europe. The Longlife parquet® thematic worlds, visually supported by colour code symbols, demonstrate the different philosophies in lifestyle, product design and materiality in an easily understandable way. In this way the customer's imagination is stimulated, providing a valuable orientation in the choice of product at the same time.

Clustering as a consistent grouping principle 

As a first point of orientation for the customer and to enable them to presort the MEISTER range, typical surfaces, patterns and applications are now summarised according to theme in the different varieties. This simple and effective 'clustering' is also a great help for retailers in the advisory process at the point of sale. In this context the MEISTER laminate flooring is now structured in the three colour schemes of light, medium and dark, the panels and Nadura flooring are sorted according to the different applications, and cork, linoleum and design flooring are arranged in collections. 

In the MEISTER tradition, the clustering also supports the clear and understandable arrangements in the product catalogues: with a fresh and sophisticated layout, the current MEISTER catalogues draw attention to themselves from the outside. The contents of each catalogue are divided into three sections: Inspiration – Information – Collection. Such is the order. Different picture compositions staged in a lively format encourage interest in the new products. Of use to buyers and retailers are the comparisons of the collections according to their attributes. Pictographs show at a glance which flooring best suits which requirements. These are followed by collection overviews and technical information on the products and accessories.

Convincing POS presence ensures sales success

Premium products such as the MeisterWerke collections ensure their leading edge primarily through brand loyal retailer and their expert customer advice. Appropriate instruments enable the sales advisor to customise the offers to buyers. In addition to catalogues, POS presentation systems with samples and product information assist this task. The new MEISTER systems enable maximum functionality with fresh, modern design which addresses the customer directly and emotionally.

The 'Concept' exhibition system offers the retailer a competent product range presentation for the MEISTER brand. With the 'Basic' system, MEISTER makes it easy for its retailers to configure their product presentation cost-effectively, on location.

For the presentation of both systems in the market, very reasonably priced and easy-to-use conversion kits are available for the realisation of the new appearance which retailers are also able to install themselves.

The practical 'mid room solution' is new: fabric covered aluminium frame elements with all-over image themes act as customer magnets, stoppers, room dividers or provide route guidance on the sales floor. They can be combined with the proven MEISTER product presenters. The aluminium frame elements with their image themes can also be used as a wall presentation. Thanks to the modular, flexible design, optimum use can be made of every surface with the MEISTER systems.

Marketing Manager Dirk Steinmeier is pleased about the new concept: "The sales exhibition presents the customers with 'rooms full of life' where you feel at home. With this emotional orientation, our retail partners are able to communicate the premium quality of MEISTER even more convincingly." 

Brand tools clearly outlined

Regardless of whether it is at the POS, on the internet or in the catalogues, the new concept clearly highlights the characteristic attributes of the different MEISTER product groups: every collection receives a limited number of coloured, easily understandable icons with catchy, readable short texts which communicate the product benefits in focused form – this is a general orientation for the customer and a good guide for the advisers during the sales talk.

The website www.MEISTER.com is also more attractive as the impact of the initial information received by prospective customers is not to be underestimated. On a full page basis, the large format living ambience of the theme worlds find an additional area of use here. What remains the same is the proven menu guidance with so-called mega drop-downs, with the help of which the user can find the continually expanding contents they are seeking as quickly as possible. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is now a recognised daily task at MEISTER, being necessary to stay at the top of the Google rankings.

The MEISTER brand is also supported by the independent seminar offering from MEISTERWerkstatt. Basic seminars with contents heavily oriented towards sales methods, the 'technology for sales professionals' best sellers and the 'sales professional workshop', in addition to many innovative seminars, require the commitment of the specialist advisers and support the shared success.

The MEISTER brand evolution has seen the launch of a genuine all around package. To enable the diamonds to sparkle in a new light, it is a good idea to polish them all as a whole. Only the complete solution can bring the full impetus to the business. The MeisterWerke staff are convinced that they have succeeded with the many measures and considerable attention to detail.