Blanco Q&A | “We can enhance the kitchen water place”

Managing director of Blanco UK Neal Jones on becoming consumer-centric, with its Brand Experience Centre and appointment of brand ambassadors.

26 May, 23

Managing director of Blanco UK Neal Jones on becoming consumer-centric, with its Brand Experience Centre and appointment of first brand ambassadors for this country

Blanco Q&A | We can enhance the kitchen water place

Q: In its latest financial results, Blanco Group reported 2022 was a year of transformation, how has the business changed in the UK over the past 12 months?

A: Blanco UK has been evolving significantly over the last few months on the back of the Blanco Group strategy.

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We’ve been able to bring to market some of the many changes that had been due to come about earlier but were delayed by the pandemic, including technical innovations, evolving designs and new colourways in some of our hero products.

The development of our old showroom into the new Brand Experience Centre was also transformational in that it marked another step in Blanco becoming more consumer-centric within the UK.


Q: How important will the new Brand Experience Centre be to the UK business? What will it offer the company and its customers?

We opened the new Brand Experience Centre in St Albans at the start of May and it’s fantastic to have an epicentre for us to share all that is great about Blanco products.

The refurbished space has 28 full kitchen displays to highlight the Blanco UNIT and showcases a variety of drink systems, new colourways, Silgranit and stainless steel sinks and the different waste or storage possibilities available.

It means that we’re really able to hone in on the importance of the kitchen water place and our approach with the Blanco Unit.

We’re also using it as a training centre where we can be hands on with the products, and it’s also an environment where customers and consumers can touch and feel the quality of our products.

As well as benefiting the end consumer, the improved facility allows us to support our partners with a heightened training experience on Blanco and communicate the premium messaging behind the products.

Q: Can you explain the concept behind the Blanco Unit and how it can benefit your company and retailer sales?

A: The concept behind the Blanco Unit stems from the research that shows how consumers spend around 60% of their time in the kitchen at or around the kitchen sink.

By optimising the layout, features and functions of this area we can make an outstanding impact on the satisfaction of the overall kitchen design and use.

At its heart, the Blanco Unit benefits the consumer by giving them the best kitchen water place solution to fit their needs and lifestyle.

From a retailer point of view, we can offer a multitude of Blanco Unit configurations to suit the consumer’s lifestyle and/or style.

Q: How has the Blanco Unit concept been received by retailers and end-consumers?

A: From personal experience of talking to consumer in the Blanco Brand Experience Centre, they are really receptive to what we have to offer and often remarkably surprised by how Blanco can enhance that part of the overall kitchen.

Furthermore, the work we are doing with our three brand ambassadors to showcase the Blanco Unit on consumer-facing social media channels has received a resoundingly positive sentiment.

Now that we have the Brand Experience Centre we can really accelerate the understanding of the Blanco Unit approach and we welcome as many retailers as would like to come to the centre as possible.

Equally, we now have a range of in-store executions that can complement the kitchen design process and visually bring to life how an enhanced kitchen water place actually works.

Q: You’ve recently employed a trio of brand ambassadors, why, and what do you hope they will bring to the business?

We’re delighted to be working with TV presenter, Laura Hamilton, recipe book author, Melissa Hemsley and TV personality and architect, Laura Jane Clark as our Blanco UK brand ambassadors.

These are the first ever brand ambassadors we’ve had in the UK and it was important to us reach a diverse audience who are engaged in home and kitchen improvements.

We sought out to find three different ambassadors who fit our brand values and the panel will work alongside us on our consumer facing media campaign across social media as well as consumer print and online publications in the home and lifestyle sector.

Our ambassadors are part of our wider strategy to embed the Blanco brand into consumer channels and we’re delighted with the results we have seen since they’ve been on board.

Q: What are the biggest opportunities for Blanco UK

A: We believe that we can really enhance the kitchen water place experience for all consumers and we are only really just getting started on this mission.

We’ve already made a name for ourselves in the trade as the kitchen water place specialists and now one of our biggest opportunities lies in communicating this message to consumers too.

Q: What are the biggest challenges for the kitchen industry?

A: All businesses within the kitchen industry have gone through some of the most challenging circumstances in recent times, many of which would not have been foreseen.

Although the kitchen industry is recovering from the strain it was put under during the pandemic, we can not expect things to ever go back to how they used to be.

Adaptation will be key and I’m looking forward to evolving the Blanco brand to maintain our position as fit for the future ahead.

Q: How do you see the kitchen industry developing over 2023 and beyond?

As a global brand, we have sight of the international kitchen market and it’s evident that we’re currently in a cooling down phase.

The high that was experienced post-pandemic, coupled with concerns over cost of living and high inflation, will naturally dent consumer spending.

Longer term, we expect the consumer desire to optimise the home to still be a major trend and we are strong believers that investing in a quality kitchen renovation or upgrade is a much longer-term investment.