By Claire Reilly
There were a range of well-known brands vying for attention at last week’s ARBS air conditioning and refrigeration trade expo in Melbourne. While there was plenty of space in Melbourne’s convention centre, the retail floor is certainly a much more limited area in which big suppliers can compete for position.
According to Philip Perham, the deputy managing director of Fujitsu General Australia, a bit of award recognition doesn’t go astray in capturing the consumer’s attention in a retail shopfront. And Perham is certainly happy to talk up the benefits of Fujitsu’s recent Canstar Blue award win in the domestic air conditioning category.
“From our perspective it reaffirms a lot of the research that we independently conducted, and a lot of the focus that we’ve done our business looking at the customers,” he said.
“It’s nice to see a lot of that work that we’ve been doing – whether it’s warranty service or product quality or affordability – is paying dividends for us. It’s confirmation that we must be doing something right.”
Shortly after winning the award, Fujitsu sought its own feedback on the Canstar name itself, and whether consumers and retailers were aware of what it stood for. From this, Perham said the company was happy with the clout it already had in the retail sphere.
“We were quite surprised by the level of knowledge on it out there in general consumer and retail land. A lot of our retail partners have previously won the award – The Good Guys and those sorts of people – so it carries a fair bit of credibility.
“I think the Canstar badging definitely gives consumers confidence in the products, that they’re getting something high quality and reliable with back-up service, and something that will go the distance. So it’s a good silent seller for us in stores.
“And getting five stars across every category was a nice little tick of approval,” he added. “We’re hopeful at this stage that we can use our point of sale material to enhance the Fujitsu brand again. The job for us now is not to rest on our laurels, it’s to keep delivering.
Perham said that Fujitsu’s success comes in from the brand’s profile as a well-known brand in the marketplace. But he also recognised that being a big name comes with its own challenges.
“We’re very active in the market, we’ve got a high profile,” he said. “With that comes a lot of expectations and they’re the things that we’re trying to meet. If we can meet those customer expectations on all levels then we should do very well. That’s probably the biggest pressure for us – the presence that we have.”