A Global brand
Smeg was introduced to New Zealand in 1986, and it was amongst the first European brands to be found in this country. Since then, Applico has invested in a substantial amount of growth for the Italian, family owned brand. As a result, Smeg appliances are today enjoyed to their fullest throughout New Zealand.
The European connection
Upon launching the brand in New Zealand, Applico chose to spend the entire profit from a single year to run a series of TV advertisements that promoted the Italian difference. These advertisements for Smeg appliances, which each featured a different actor, played up the notion that everything Italian was seen to be sophisticated, sexy, and a cut above the ordinary. The television advertising also promoted the affordability of the Smeg key points of difference, including the product’s reliability, style, beauty, and quiet operation. These TV commercials can still be found today on the social networking website Facebook.
Home show success
Right from the outset, Smeg has had a strong presence at home shows. Mark Jones, Executive Director of Applico says “I suspect we have been coming to the Auckland Home Show longer than any other company. We have always believed home shows provide an invaluable opportunity to present a complete range of appliances in a kitchen setting where you can market directly to the customer. We have found them to be hugely successful promotions.”
Service has always been a priority for Smeg, with Applico quick to establish a nationwide network of service agents. Applico has approximately 140 authorised service agents around the country, and has strong technical support with a service centre, website support, and service agent training. “Service agents in all parts of the country are important partners in the business”, says Rachel Louie, Managing Director of Applico. “They contribute greatly to the ongoing success of the business.”
Smeg has also worked closely with the kitchen design industry. Award-winning designer Mal Corboy has had a long association with Smeg, having been first introduced to Applico at the Home Ideas Awards in 1999. “The Smeg product is leading the appliance market in many ways. For example, the fact that the company employs renowned architects and designers to design appliance collections is quite unique. The brand has some iconic products, such as the Retro refrigerator and the new Marc Newson range. These products are design statements, and designers need to take this into account when planning a kitchen. But, Iike many designers, I also appreciate the Linea series, which can recede into the background if required. With Smeg, there is always something for every situation.”
Smeg’s industry involvement has extended to many sponsorship arrangements over the years, including the NKBA Kitchen and Bathroom Design Awards. “We are a firm believer in the need for professionalism in the industry,” Mark says. “Consequently, we have sponsored the NKBA for many years. The majority of our customers will use a kitchen designer for their new kitchen project, and we have invested in the design industry to help lift their profile and to support the NKBA’s education programme.” More recently, Smeg sponsored renowned English chef Rick Stein when he toured New Zealand in 2010. Rick specifically requested Smeg appliances, as he has these appliances in his own kitchen.
Smeg retains its leading edge in New Zealand and worldwide through a total dedication to the design and manufacturing of specialist appliances. A continual monitoring of trends and developments in both style and technology has led to a constantly evolving partnership with leading architects and designers. Indeed, this dedication to the marrying of style with function has created an ongoing love affair between Smeg, architects and designers worldwide.
The Smeg brand statement is “Technology with Style” – and given its commitment to high performance, it was only natural that Smeg would become a sponsor for car racing in New Zealand.
Mark Jones, Executive Chairman for the Jones Family Business, explains that, for the brand, sponsorship is more than simply sticking logos on a car. “The racing is only a small part of it – it’s all about engagement and amplification. We invite our key customers, particularly commercial customers, along to the track and we give them a real WOW experience. Smeg Racing is fantastic, and they get that before we even start a race – in the pits, with the set-up, the professionalism of the team and the pride they have.”
Mark views motorsport like a business – and like any business, every person must be dedicated and working as part of the team in order to achieve success. “And the best teams in business win!” he concludes. Simon Evans won Silver in the 2014 V8SuperTourer season, and was crowned champion in the 2015 season, winning both the Sprint and the Endurance trophy. The team repeated their success recently by winning two championships in two weekends: the BNT NZ Touring Car Championship on 12 March 2017, and the New Zealand Endurance Championship on 19 March.
Simon’s winning performance is built upon his team’s commitment to quality and desire to be the best in the field, both values shared by The Jones Family Business. Smeg NZ is proud to be associated with Simon and the team, and look forward to the next racing season!