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Sweex set for DISTREE XXL 2011

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 24 December 2010

Netherlands-based Sweex is preparing to show the full breadth of its product portfolio at DISTREE XXL 2011. Offering a wide range of peripherals, accessories and networking products, Sweex will use EMEA’s premier channel event to drive its business development across the region. Kirsten Baane, PR and communications spokesperson at Sweex, outlines the company’s plans for the year ahead including the promotion of its Rocking Residence product line.

CE: What are Sweex’s main products and why should distributors consider making them part of their portfolio?

Kirsten Baane (KB): First you have to separate our company name from our brand names. Our company name is Sweex Europe B.V. The brands we carry are Sweex and Rocking Residence since last October. There is a big difference between the brand Sweex and the brand Rocking Residence. Sweex has a wide portfolio of computer related products, like network products, computer components and computer accessories. You can see Sweex as a real family brand. It is known for the value for money, reliable, easy-to-use and refreshing products.

Rocking Residence is part of the Sweex family, but with a totally different personality. Rocking Residence is a street gear brand that inspires and wants be inspired by its ‘crew’ - target audience. The first line ups are fashionable headphones and in-ears, but this will be extended with more lifestyle accessories.

We are really down to earth and accessible; this makes us a pleasant business partner. We are open to collaborations and promotional activities initiated by our customers. One of our main strengths is that we are very flexible and that we are able to move quickly. A costumer does not have to be afraid that we are out of stock this way. We also have a fast and uncomplicated RMA procedure, shelf friendly packaging and of course excellent margin possibilities.

CE: What are your main reasons for attending DISTREE XXL 2011? What do you hope to achieve at the event?

KB: For us DISTREE XXL is a very important event to come in contact with potential customers and refresh our relationships with existing partners. Over the last two years we have had quite a few changes, in a positive way. Of course we would like to show this as well. Our products and packages are becoming more and more professional and we are certainly proud of this.

CE: Which geographic areas and channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for Sweex in EMEA?

KB: Currently we are operating in 45, mainly European countries. Sweex Europe B.V. is from origin a Dutch company - that is why we have a large market share in the Netherlands. In Eastern European countries and especially in the Middle East and North Africa we are fairly new and we still have a lot to win over there. DISTREE XXL is always a great opportunity to introduce ourselves into new markets.

CE: Why should distributors focus on Sweex products? What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?

KB: The company has already existed for 32 years. Over the years we have proved to be a reliable and involved partner. For us it is very important that our customers are happy about the cooperation. We invest in long term relationships and choose our partners carefully. Of course in the end distributors want to know what’s in it for them as well, that is why our margins are competitive and are we offering high-volume products.

CE: Do you have a structured channel programme? Do you offer a strong margin proposition to your partners?

KB: Each country and market needs another approach and in the different markets each distributor or reseller has other expectations as well. This is why we chose to make our partner programme more custom made. We decide together with each individual costumer what the best proposition will be and we will follow up on that.

CE: What sort of support do you offer distributors in terms of marketing, promotions and channel development activities?

KB: We offer POS and promotional support. Further, we decide together with the distributor which marketing strategy is the best to follow. A lot of distributors have their own digital newsletter, website or magazine to inform their customers. Often we participate in their communication or in special partner programmes.

CE: What have been the major developments for your company in EMEA in the last year? What do you have planned for full year 2011?

KB: A major development last year was the opening of our local office in Poland. This office reflects the ambition and growth of Sweex Europe B.V. as a pan-European organisation. Simultaneously, it symbolically acknowledges the strategic importance of Central Europe. Central Europe offers great growth potential, which from a strategic perspective, makes a local presence very interesting.

For 2011 we are planning to extend this growth even more. We are ready for the next level. Our products are interesting for a wide target group, our packages look spectacular if I may say so myself and we are working with a dedicated team. This combination provides a guarantee for success.

CE: How quickly is your business growing in the EMEA region? What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?

KB: One important trend for us, is that consumers are not only interested in the product specifications, but even more so in the appearance of the product. This is nothing new in the lifestyle business. Fashion brands can only exists if people like the appearance of products such as shoes and clothes. But this is a new trend in the electronic market. We followed up on this trend very quickly. This is one of the reasons we launched Rocking Residence. The Rocking Residence line must not be sold on specifications or price, but on appearance and emotion.

This thought can also be applied to some of the Sweex products. Last year we launched a computer accessory line with 12 different bunch of fruit colours. Even the packages, the displays and the special landings pages are in this theme. Electronics have always been a typically male product, but this is slowly changing.

By ’womanising’ our products and communication, we hope to attract the female consumer. From now on an electronics manufacturer needs to focus on women and their needs as well, or you will miss a great opportunity. This is asking for a whole different approach and you can tell that a lot of companies in this market don’t have a clue how to make this work.

CE: Is Sweex channel-friendly? How would you describe your overall go-to-market approach in the EMEA market? What are your overall channel goals and aims for 2011 in EMEA?

KB: Yes, I would certainly say that our company is very channel friendly. Our marketing focus has always been business-to-business. For us the relationship with our distributors and resellers is very important. We don’t sell our products directly to the consumer, but always through the channel.

That is why we consider our customers as an extension of our company. We invest in good, open and transparent relationships. Part of our job is to make it as easy as possible for our customers. The main goal for 2011 is to get more brand awareness and brand knowledge. I always say: if they don’t know you, they can never love you.

CE: What else should distributors attending DISTREE XXL 2011 know about Sweex and its products?

KB: Many people don’t know that we are working with a small team of very dedicated people. We consider our team as a family. Everybody in our team is very involved and this is one of the main strengths of Sweex. We consider our customers as part of this family as well and for your family you want to move mountains.


Top distributors, retailers and e-tailers from across the EMEA region are invited to attend DISTREE XXL 2011, the premier event for the regional ICT and CE channel, from February 8-11th in Monaco.

DISTREE XXL gathers 400-plus senior executives from EMEA’s Information Communications Technologies (ICT) & Consumer Electronics (CE) volume distribution channel.

During the course of the three-day event, delegates take part in thousands of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with hundreds of vendors. Each year, hundreds of new distribution agreements are struck across EMEA as a result of business relationships initiated at DISTREE XXL.

DISTREE XXL 2011 will also build on successful initiatives launched at last year’s sold out event including a regional awards ceremony. The ‘EMEA Channel Academy: 2011 Awards’ will include more than a dozen awards handed out to vendors and distributors from across the region. www.distree.com/xxl

Follow the build-up to DISTREE XXL 2011 www.twitter.com/distreexxl

For more information on attending DISTREE XXL 2011 please contact fhemraj@distree.com

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