LENEXA, KS— Select Brands is appealing to consumer lifestyle changes with its latest round of kitchen appliance introductions, targeting the convenience, wellness and beverage categories with a host of new products.
“The on-demand culture and always-on lifestyle has created new pressures, and we’re investing in design and functionality to make our products more personalized,” said Eric Endres, vp/marketing, Select Brands. “We’re also emphasizing the need to stay connected with our consumers. We’re working to make brand engagement faster, easier and more efficient to eliminate any stresses related to product questions or service. We want to communicate to our consumers that we understand and recognized that they are stretched. If we can do anything to make life easier we want to step into that gap and assist.”
Endres pointed to Select’s new TRU cordless collection of appliances, a series of products powered by a rechargeable battery. The lineup includes a hand mixer, an immersion blender with a whisk attachment, a glass bowl food chopper and a taller food prep processor.
“Consumers gain the freedom to move around a little more while creating in the kitchen— or by the grill or at a tailgate,” Endres said, noting that the TRU series will launch in mid-2020.
Select also is spotlighting products supporting the continuing coffee trends, as well as items designed specifically for tea drinkers.
“As a specific product category trend, we’ve had our eye on the ‘third wave’ of coffee for some time,” Endres said. “Better coffee quality, transparency in sourcing, an emphasis on sustainability and innovative brew methods are all intrinsic to this new wave of coffee. Now roasters and baristas are able to share coffee origin stories with consumers. As this movement continues, consumers will begin to demand similar transparency and quality coffee for their home brewing experience. We’re already seeing coffee brewers evolve to incorporate more customization and functionality. We believe this is only the beginning and the customization will become expected, driving even more personalization.”
For the tea enthusiast, Select is launching a new Teamosa fusion tea that not only operates the product but also connects the consumer to a personalized experience from pre-programmed brew settings for specific teas to customizable brewing preferences.
“We’re very excited about the launch of the Teamosa fusion tea brewer,” Endres said. “It marries the tradition of brewing tea with a technology component, has a unique aesthetic and is aimed at a specialty consumer. There is not another product with this type of functionality focused on the tea brewing experience.”
The company is also featuring a range of products designed to promote healthy cooking alternatives.
“Self-care and mental wellness have become consumer priorities,” Endres noted. “If we can integrate healthy cooking, a community of other consumers and incremental value such as access to recipes and information, then we’re helping to meet this very important need.”
Licensed products have performed well for
Select in the past, and the company is expanding on many of its licensed franchises for 2020, including Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, DC Comics, Nickelodeon and Toastmaster. Featured products include the Mickey Mouse double flip waffle maker, which was the top-selling licensed item last year, with a suggested retail price of $79.99; a SpongeBob two-slice toaster that launched in February, with a suggested retail of $34.99; a Friends 12-cup percolator with the Central Perk logo, packaged with two ceramic mugs; and a Star Wars digital slow cooker with themed sound bites, which will be available in the fourth quarter with a suggested retail of $49.99.
The company has been experiencing strong growth in online sales and is expanding its consumer engagement efforts, according to Endres.
“We continue to see growth in e-commerce,” he said. “There is a convenience factor to shopping online and the data shows smart phone-based purchases have rapidly increased. It’s a space where consumers will continue to migrate. Now we’re focused on not only selling in the wide open online space but striving to connect with, serve and maintain the customers that are invested online.”
“We’ve also found new growth among specialty retailers that we attribute to our broad portfolio of brands and licenses,” Endres continued. “These retailers are creating exciting in-store narratives and have emphasized connecting the online and in-store experiences for the consumer. Our marketing efforts will focus on ways to help the consumer move seamlessly between the digital and physical experiences with our brands and products.”
Select is working closely with its retail partners on a wide variety of marketing tactics.
“In addition to tried-and-true strategies, there are so many new and exciting ways to market brands and products,” Endres said. “We’ve been able to tap into a variety of strategies to market our appliances. Offering exclusive launch windows to our retail partners drives product demand and encourages our launch partners to champion the launch with additional resources. We’ve curated assortments meant to be available online only. We have utilized social media posts and advertising to drive new products and to point consumers to a specific retail partner.”
He added, “We will continue to expand these tools to create as many shopping moments in as many different environments as possible. We’re working to connect with consumers in an all-encompassing strategy. The goal is to build life-long brand loyalists who fall in love with our products and come back for more in the future.”