With so many branches in so many countries, it seems to me that it is quite a challenge to keep everyone on the same page.
“That can sometimes be a challenge, yes. From the head office, we work on the vision, strategy and policy of the brand. But each country also has its own country office, which in turn has contact with the local retailers. Maintaining a good relationship with retailers is extremely important to us. We are convinced that if the retailers are happy with us, they will also be more likely to convey this enthusiasm about the Shimano brand to the consumer. More solidarity ensures more commitment and more cooperation. So we work on that all the time. Ultimately, you see the positive effect of this also reflected in shop sales and in the brand preference for Shimano by consumers.”
“A good relationship is extremely important to us. More closeness leads to more commitment and cooperation. And ultimately more shop sales.”
How do you maintain contact with retailers? How do you pulse whether they are still satisfied?
“In principle, the country offices maintain contact with the retailers. Nevertheless, we also want to keep the lines of communication with them short from our head office. For example, we sometimes conduct large-scale surveys. The disadvantage, however, is that it takes a lot of time to process and analyse the data. Moreover, not everyone is keen on an extensive survey. But sometimes you just want to ask a short question. To find out how things are going in the shops and whether retailers are satisfied. Or a quick survey on how you like that new bicycle parts display. Askemo turns out to be the perfect tool for this.”