Santher´s new project for the Brazilian Professional Market

Jaime de Sousa of Santher describes the launch of the company's new dispenser line. A totally innovative dispenser born to confer added value to the product and consolidate Santher as a modern and innovative company, with a high quality standard.

Perini Journal

PJL: When did it begin?

Jaime De Sousa: The project started in 2003 with a survey amongst consumers and the target audience in this market, including architects, distributors, restaurant owners, doctors, buyers and vendors. The goal was to get an overall view of the market to detect opportunities to launch a new line of dispensers for toilets that would be innovative compared to competition.

The main attributes analyzed were functionality, aesthetics, adaptability, installation and costs. Research revealed that appearance was the weak point of all the dispensers evaluated. “Very little creativity”, “very large”, “lacking aesthetically”, “antiquated design” – these were some of the terms used to describe those in existence. The users’ view was that the manufacturers were not concerned with the aesthetics where their hygiene systems would be installed.

PJL: What were the next steps?

Jaime De Sousa: As a result of the survey, we defined that our positioning would be “a line of dispensers with a bold design, with personality and adaptability to diverse types of ambiences styles, and at a low cost”. The market’s weak point would be our great differential: aesthetics.

PJL: Why design as a differential?

Jaime De Sousa: Globalization has been provoking significant changes in the market’s behavior. Quality and an adequate price are not the only requisites to win and keep clients. Design expresses the quality of the products and services, it generates empathy, transmits messages. In essence, it provides a company an identity and it communicates this to the client. It was this concept that we chose as the decisive differential for our competitiveness.

PJL: How was the dispenser “look” defined?

Jaime De Sousa: Since this was to be our line’s great differential, we could not permit any errors when it came to developing the products. We prospected several design professionals; not only in Brazil, but also in Europe and in the United States. Of all the proposals, we opted for the designer Ado Azevedo, a Brazilian, the director of the Center of Research of the European Institute of Design in Milan, Italy.

We chose Azevedo because his project allied innovation and sophistication, characteristics of European design, without losing its Brazilian ‘essence’. Another strong point was his creative idea: having a sheet of paper in movement as the inspiration for the new line’s visual concept.

PJL: How did the project’s technical development proceed?

Jaime De Sousa: A multifunctional group of Santher internal professionals (from the marketing, R&D and supply areas) and external professionals (plastic resin suppliers, injector company, industrial design engineers and the designer Ado Azevedo himself with his team) was formed to guarantee the functionality and low costs, transforming the paper dispenser project into a reality. The technical phases were: translation of the design into a technical design, elaboration of the prototypes with functional evaluation, production of the molds, the pilot batch, the usage test and finally commencement of production on an industrial scale. This entire process took approximately 9 months.

PJL: What were the raw materials used in the dispensers?

Jaime De Sousa: Polypropy-lene, whose application for this type of system is an innovation in the world market. This resin, already utilized for high value-aggregated domestic use products, was very expensive in Brazil. In 2003, with investments in the local resin industry, it started becoming more accessible in the internal market, which made its use possible in this project. The main properties of PP, as it is called, are its translucency, which gives the product a refined and modern finish; its resistance to the injected pieces, which makes them practically unbreakable, and its low cost, fundamental to the project’s success.

PJL: What were the results after so much work?

Jaime De Sousa: The final result of the pieces was excellent, exactly as we had imagined them to be: a modern, compact dispenser with a bold design, but above all extremely “clean”, capable of adapting to any type of restroom. In addition, we offered six different colors at launch to further increase its flexibility and adaptability to the diverse types of restroom toilets.

Due to its characteristics and the translucency obtained for the dispensers, we decided to name the new line “Cristal”.

PJL: What are the Cristal Line products?

Jaime De Sousa: Interfolded Towel Dispenser, Interfolded Toilet Paper Dispenser, Roll Towel Dispenser, Roll Toilet Paper Dispenser and Soap Dispenser.

PJL: How was this new line Launch conducted?

Jaime De Sousa: A large party was held for all our distributors at a nightclub in São Paulo, which was completely decorated with the colored resin and injected dispenser pieces. To present the new line, there was a show where jugglers interacted with the dispensers and presented them to the audience.

This same party mode was successfully repeated in the main regions of Brazil for clients and guests, sponsored by distributors, in partnership with Santher.

PJL: How did the distributors evaluate this new line?

Jaime De Sousa: The initial reaction to the dispensers was shock. Some considered the dispensers to be extremely simple due to their minimalist aspect. Others considered them sophisticated and were concerned with the costs. But all were unanimous in one aspect: they were amazed at the variety of colors. By the end of the evening, after the presentations, they were aligned and sure that the new Cristal line was a great innovation in the Professional market. With a revolutionary and exclusive design that unites beauty, resistance and low cost, everyone concluded that this new line would be the market vanguard.

PJL: Which marketing tools were utilized?

Jaime De Sousa: The first action we held was to sponsor the main restrooms linked to the cultural circuit: museums, cinemas, showrooms and theaters. Our goal was to make contact with the opinion leader to generate spontaneous media. In addition, we placed ads in magazines directed to the leisure segment: restaurants, shopping malls, bars and nightclubs. The fundamental tool utilized was training the distributors in relation to the new line of dispensers. The focus: make the differentiation of the new system clear so that they could sell it in an attractive way.

PJL: What was the Cristal Line’s contribution to the Santher business?

Jaime De Sousa: Santher is a paper company that offers the market the highest quality products. However for the Professional segment this is not sufficient. It is necessary to have a complete system to cater to the client, which is what the Cristal and paper line now manages to provide. In this way, the new dispensers (innovation, modernity, differentiation, technology etc.) generate value for the entire system.

PJL: Is there any evidence that it already is successful?

Jaime De Sousa: We participated in Issa Mexico presenting our new system, and we are already negotiating not only with local distributors, but also with some American companies that are interested. In South America, we are already starting to export to Argentina, Paraguay and Chile.

The Cristal line was selected to participate in the fair in Milan “Brazil makes Design”, together with products of several other categories developed by Brazilian designers. The results are also encouraging.

The Cristal line arrived in the market in March and in the months of April, May and June the Professional Business had already grown 18% compared to the same period in the previous year. Our goal for the second semester of 2004 is to increase 50%.

PJL: What are the next steps for Santher for this market?

Jaime De Sousa: Innovation is the key word. We increasingly wish to surprise the consumer, and be recognized as a high end company that is always in search of technological improvement - in conjunction with products that reflect our concern with the preservation of the eco system.•

Login or Register to publish a comment