The trend towards individualization is strong, with no end in sight. Goods and services are becoming more and more customized. So what does this mean for your sector?
Bernhard Reinkemeier: "Consumers are becoming more and more focused on products and services tailored to their specific requirements and preferences. The Internet is an enabler of this, and there are already many highly customizable offerings on the market. These factors are feeding through into the floor coverings market and driving demand for individualization there, too. Consequently, the flooring industry is breaking with the mass-production models of the past and moving towards individualized one-off production. This trend is bound to last. Our industry needs to place greater emphasis on meeting individual customer requirements."
Individualization promises new sales opportunities for manufacturers and resellers. To what extent is your company in a position to capitalize on the opportunities offered by this megatrend?
"Many manufacturers and providers are either unwilling or unable to accommodate individual customer requirements. But we see tailored products and matching tailored services as an opportunity to open up new market segments and to inspire and delight our customers. Customized products and tailored transportation and supporting services offer significant added value and are thus attracting customers in growing numbers.
The key is to tailor these offerings carefully to individual customer needs and to leverage new marketing and sales channels, particularly online channels. In this sense, short delivery times and accurate order processing and fulfillment are increasingly important for us. We are well positioned to reliably offer our customers precisely these kinds of individualized, value-added products and services."
In what ways will DOMOTEX's keynote theme be embodied in your company’s showcase? What products and services will you be showcasing under the individualization banner at DOMOTEX?
"We are working on some exciting new presentations and product developments for DOMOTEX 2018 and its keynote theme of UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE . Among much else, our plans include the following products:
- carpets with the customer's own logo
- door mats with customized print designs
- carpets with customized digitally printed motifs
- carpets that customers can design themselves
- carpets in the customer's choice of color, shape and size"
Do you think the current individualization trend will continue?
"Customers are going to become more and more demanding with regard to individualized products and services. And they will become less and less tolerant of non-customized, mass-produced items. They will insist on having their specific requirements taken seriously and acted upon. Ultimately, customers will want to be able to specify the size, color, shape, material mix and design motif and have their carpets delivered to them at a time and location entirely of their choosing. I have no doubt that such expectations are going to become a major challenge.