Krug & Priester, a leading German manufacturer of paper shredders and cutters, and its subsidiary, MBM Corporation, approached Highlands to explore the possibility of driving growth in the US market for their high-end shredders, despite the category being in decline.
Develop a fresh go-to-market strategy in the USA for Krug & Priester, that delivers multi-million-dollar sustainable growth.
The Highlands Difference
Given that the category was in decline and there are strong and entrenched competitors in the market, Highlands undertook detailed market research to ascertain how they could address younger buyers who may have less established views of which brands to purchase from. The research enabled the following plan to unfold:
- Develop a new, younger feeling brand that reflect the premium nature of the product.
- Design all marketing collateral (digital and print) to the highest quality and best-in-class standards.
- Identify key target accounts and segment phase 1, 2 and 3.
- Collaborate with MBM Corporation to ensure all customer service and operational requirements could be achieved.
- Build a launch plan that was timely and included all necessary elements.
Once everything was in place, Highlands activated the plan. The key steps were:
- MBM Corporation created a specialist team to work alongside Highlands on this project.
- Launch new website that Highlands designed and built in-house.
- Make all digital marketing assets and collateral available on the Highlands SharePoint site.
- Deliver in-depth product training for all Highlands’ sales and marketing teams.
- Arrange one-on-one meetings with the Highlands strategic accounts sales team to initiate product placement with key distributors.
- Establish best-in-class online presence with key e-commerce partners.
- Ensure sales activities are captured on the Highlands CRM to ensure effective communication on progress.
- Setup a regular review cadence with all key stakeholders.
No project goes perfectly and, while we have enjoyed success, some things took longer than others. The key learnings were:
- Improved EDI connectivity to speed up account implementation.
- Adopt and promote social media for brand awareness.
- Instigate guerilla marketing tactics quicker to offset the power of the leading, competitor brands.
- Invest appropriately in marketing, especially retail media, at launch. An initial ‘splurge’ can be very effective.
- Stay focused on updating and refreshing the marketing collateral and digital assets.
Speaking on his confidence in the Highlands team, Daniel Priester, shareholder of Krug & Priester GmbH, said, “Initiating a new go-to-market strategy with a declining product category and, in a seemingly saturated market, would appear risky. However, we felt Highlands was the right partner and they have delivered time and time again. They have become a trusted partner to Krug & Priester and now work us on other business critical projects too.”
Additionally, Lindsay Hujsak, CEO of MBM Corporation, spoke of the benefits of working alongside Highlands, “I started on the ground floor with this project. While it’s not always been smooth sailing, working collaboratively with Highlands has shown how a focused strategy, great cooperation and adaptability can deliver excellent results.”