Franke Group drives digital transformation.
Switzerland-based provider of kitchen and catering systems develops a digital showroom and revamps its global web properties using Adobe Experience Manager.
Develop a digital strategy for the entire group
Improve customer experience through three-dimensional brand worlds
Build a consistent brand presence based on emotions rather than products
Increased time spent on website by 40%
Reduced churn rate by 15%
Centralized content management
Fast rollout in new markets
“If digital transformation remains a marketing-only project, it is bound to fail. You need to include and fundamentally change the entire organization.”
Renato Di Rubbo
CMO, Franke Group and Franke Kitchen Systems
New marketing strategy relies on consistent brand presence and emotions
Franke is a global provider of products and solutions for home kitchens and bathrooms, as well as professional catering systems, coffee makers, and semi-public and public restrooms. As part of the new corporate strategy called “One Franke. One Strategy. One Brand.”, all Franke divisions have been operating under the Franke brand with a consistent look and feel for some time.
Running 68 branches on four continents and exporting goods to over 100 countries, Franke Kitchen Systems, Franke Foodservice Systems, Franke Water Systems, and Franke Coffee Systems all strive to maximize the advantage of synergies within the group and further optimize internal processes. To that end, the company launched an emotional ‘Make It Wonderful’ brand campaign and a digital transformation process that spans the entire organization, from production and logistics to IT, HR, marketing, and sales.
“If digital transformation remains a marketing-only project, it is bound to fail,” says Renato Di Rubbo, CMO, Franke Group and Franke Kitchen Systems. “You need to include and fundamentally change the entire organization.”
Partnering with implementation vendor One-Inside, and leveraging the latest version of Adobe Experience Manager, Franke applied a responsive web approach to all its Internet properties and started targeting customers with more emotional content. Using virtual reality Franke also created a digital showroom, which is unique in the industry so far and is changing the way kitchens, coffee makers, and sanitary facilities will be sold in the future.
Delighting customers with emotional experiences
‘Frames by Franke’, which is Franke Kitchen Systems’ most recent line of products, is based on comprehensive consumer intelligence and analytics regarding preferences associated with built-in kitchen appliances. The result is a modular approach that covers all components of a modern kitchen and perfectly aligns design, materials, and functionality, ranging from sinks and fittings to range hoods and built-in appliances.
“Even in marketing, we now prioritize customer value over product features,” says Di Rubbo. “We used to produce for an anonymous market and organize global sales by partnering with kitchen stores only. Now we are starting get to know our customers better and delight them with emotional experiences and the ‘Make It Wonderful’ value proposition.”
“The reason we could realize the digital showroom for Franke is that the required multimedia technology has become affordable now. Plus, Adobe Experience Manager provides a perfect digital solution.”
Embarking on a journey into the future of sales
Franke partnered with One-Inside to develop a digital showroom, which allows customers to get a very realistic view of their new kitchen at an early stage in the process and experience it based on their personal taste. For retailers and kitchen stores, the digital showroom is a welcome enhancement of their display space and an extension of their product range at the point of sale (POS).
The journey into the future is powered by a mobile app that enables customers to take 360-degree panoramic photos of the virtual environment using their own device. They can then share these photos with their family at home or with their friends on Facebook. Whether it’s the color, countertop, layout, appliances, or fittings, every detail can be modified and customized as many times as they want. “This helps not only avoid typical misunderstandings during the planning stage, but we can also offer a completely new customer experience that people can share across social networks,” says Di Rubbo.
In addition, the digital showroom allows Franke to present new products in a compelling fashion before they spend a lot of time and money assembling them at kitchen stores. While stores have room for only one or two new products per year, they can showcase a virtually infinite number of digital configurations. They can introduce fresh design ideas to potential customers much sooner and collect feedback, thus avoiding costly failures.
The combination of virtual reality, the Internet of Things, and social media enables a new, ultimate kitchen shopping experience, which is powered by Adobe Experience Manager and an innovative digital showroom module provided by One-Inside. Franke is also considering the integration of the Adobe Experience Manager Screens add-on for digital signage, which would allow the company to present and manipulate any content on large screens in physical spaces. “The reason we could realize the digital showroom for Franke is that the required multimedia technology has become affordable now,” says Chris Henn, CTO at One-Inside. “Until a few years ago, you would have had to invest millions. Plus, Adobe Experience Manager provides a perfect digital solution.” Henn adds that when planning the solution, they intentionally chose hardware from the end consumer segment as control tools, including smartphones and conventional TV remote controls.
Supporting the customer journey
Whether it’s copy, images, videos, or 3D assets, Adobe Experience Manager, which acts as the central content management system, supports any content through its digital asset management (DAM) capabilities. All content is deployed to standard web browsers without the need for any proprietary add-ons. This allows customers to experience three-dimensional kitchen solutions not only in the digital showroom with Franke Kitchen Systems and at partner stores, but also on their desktops, tablets, smartphones, and home entertainment systems.
“When it comes to new kitchen purchases, the customer journey tends to be very long,” says Di Rubbo, “with customers usually discussing the pros and cons of specific features with their family and friends.”
The digital showroom allows potential customers to store the experience on their devices and share it with their loved ones at home or on social media. “The look and feel on Facebook is the same as in the digital showroom, and the kitchen experience can be viewed and shared as a 360-degree panorama anytime and anywhere,” says Henn.
“This is why we aimed to provide both audiences with the online customer experience they looked for, while taking into account the various product specifications and variations in the different markets.”
Renato Di Rubbo
CMO, Franke Group and Franke Kitchen Systems
Offering responsive designs to mobile customers
Franke has been using Adobe Experience Manager since 2009, and it is the company’s platform of choice for the more than 100 re-launched web properties across the entire Franke group, its four divisions, and the other brands in 68 countries and 80 languages. The difference is that the websites are now completely responsive, which means that the navigation and content automatically adapt to the device the customer is using. Now, more than half of all web visitors access the company’s sites on their smartphones and tablets.
The websites now offer much simpler navigation. They also feature a product search engine called Product Explorer, which automatically pulls data from the self-developed internal product information system (PIM).
“Our sales partners use that feature of the website very frequently because they usually need to find specific details about our products,” says Di Rubbo. “This is why we aimed to provide both audiences with the online customer experience they looked for, while taking into account the various product specifications and variations in the different markets.”
Another requirement Franke had was for its 150 distributed online writers and editors to be able to manage and orchestrate content, such as 3D assets, images, video clips, and so on, without any special technical expertise. “This is where Adobe Experience Manager really excels,” says Di Rubbo. Instead of just working with classic page templates, content authoring is now also based on three-dimensional spaces.
In Di Rubbo’s opinion, another plus of the Adobe solution is that it supports a simple global rollout and the centralized four-member web team can conveniently adapt content experiences to each target market. Currently, they roll out 8 to 10 new country-specific web properties each month, so the entire project is going to be finished by the middle of 2017. The results gained from analyzing the websites that were already pushed live are very promising. For example, the time visitors spend on sites has increased by 40% due to the improved customer experience. On the other hand, the churn rate has dropped by 15%.
Franke is also considering ways to make content more personalized. However, that would require individual logins and customer profiles, which the company’s business model does not yet support. To facilitate the endeavor, the marketing automation the company is planning on implementing soon could make a contribution by collecting contact information and generating leads. “Once the right solution is in place, we want to start executing multi-level campaigns in the near future and provide our customers with even more guidance through their entire journey,” says Di Rubbo.