Interview • 25.07.2012
”Women grab their own power drill and grinding machine“
Interview with Julia Anne Schneider, Spokesperson Bosch Power Tools, Leinfelden-Echterdingen
Power Tools is the name of the Bosch division for electric and gardening tools. For a long time, power drills and cordless screwdrivers were considered a man’s domain, but Bosch has understood the signs of the times: more and more women want to be independent from male help and dare to tackle ever-bigger projects in their homes and gardens. How does Bosch address its female customers? What products do women want? We talked about these questions, not with a man but with the Bosch spokeswoman for Power Tools – Julia Anne Schneider.
Women and do-it-yourself projects –how is this market segment developing from your point of view?
Women are an important target audience for us, especially in the do-it-yourself area. The attitude towards home improvement projects and gardening has changed a lot in Europe over the past few years. More and more women now grab their own power drill, grinding machine or hedge trimmer and do the job themselves. The need for independence plays an important role in this. The majority of women do not want to exclusively rely on others when it comes to incidental jobs at home.
Aside from power tools, you also manufacture gardening tools. How is the gender-based division here – do men use the large tools and women plant the flowers?
We keep launching new equipment in both the home improvement as well as the gardening sector that is especially lightweight and handy and is also being bought by women. The fact that many tools for home and garden tend to get smaller and more lightweight is possible thanks to lithium-ion battery technology. These rechargeable batteries have also proven themselves in mobile phones and laptops.
The small cordless electric screwdriver Ixo – at over eleven million sold copies by now the most popular power tool overall – was the first power tool in the world featuring this technology to hit the market in 2003. Since then, we have continued to develop new fields of application in the home improvement and gardening sector with this technology – whether that be cordless electric screwdrivers, drill hammers, grass and hedge trimmers or lawn mowers. This meets the female demand and tears down inhibition thresholds – since then, women more and more often dare to also tackle bigger home improvement projects. The Uneo for example, an all-rounder for drilling, hammering and screwing, barely weighs one kilogram and is as big as a hand-held mixer – this is exciting for our female customers.
Do you cater to women with special products for women? Do women not want products made just for women?
No, our products generally satisfy the demands of female and male customers, provided that we offer a number of tools that are small, handy and easy to use. This also meets the needs of male users. In addition, with our design we pay attention for the tools to be ergonomic and to have a good feel. After all, working with these tools is meant to be fun. The results of our marketing research show that women want to be taken seriously in their role as do-it-yourselfers.
The cordless electric screwdriver is now available with Swarovski crystals. A tool made just for women after all?
This cordless screwdriver is a one-time special edition for a very exclusive target group. It is not sold in hardware stores. However, there are also other special editions for men and women, for example the Ixo Vino, which is equipped with a special attachment to open up wine bottles. It is available in different versions that are offered at regular hardware stores from October until December.
Do you advertise your power tools in women’s magazines?
Women’s magazines are also in our portfolio. After all, female readers are also interested in topics about creative design for their own home or yard and of course in do it yourself projects. By now, do it yourself is a trend that inspires many young people and men and women alike. It is trendy to design your own things and to personalize your home with DIY furniture pieces.
Which colors do you choose for your tools and why?
Our home improvement tools are traditionally green in color and clearly distinguishable from the blue tools of professional users.
What image of women would you like to convey in advertising?
We show people that work with our tools in their natural environment. We often show professional users at the construction site, do-it-yourselfers are active in their homes and gardens and women of course also put bolts into their shoe cabinet.
The basement and the garage are already full of tools. When is the German market saturated?
The market in Germany will never be saturated. Our innovations keep stimulating new willingness to buy. At Power Tools, in 2011 almost 40 percent of our sales volume was achieved with products that we introduced to the market less than two years prior. This is the result of our steady high strength of innovation. One considerable part of our new products is our power and gardening tools with lithium-ion batteries. Russia is currently the number one market for future growth.
Interview by René Schellbach, iXtenso.com