INTERVIEW: Christian Butzer, PanzerGlass
by Stuart Wilson, Friday 12 August 2016
PanzerGlass is ready to make its mark in Latin American consumer channels with its innovative screen protection technology. PanzerGlass will attend next month’s DISTREE Brazil event in Sao Paulo on September 20-21st, to meet senior executives from the country’s leading retailers and disributors. Channel LatAm, a media partner for DISTREE Brazil, caught up with Christian Butzer, general manager Latin America at PanzerGlass, to find out more about the company’s plans.
Channel LatAm (CL): What do you want to achieve at DISTREE Brazil 2016? What are your key goals for the event?
Christian Butzer (CB): PanzerGlass is a new brand for Latin America in the area of mobile phone accessories and screen protection. We want to show the attendees that we are the best brand in the area of tempered glass screen protection. Finding partners and customers in the area of distribution, network operators and retailers is our key goal at DISTREE Brazil 2016 in Sao Paulo.
PanzerGlass secures users’ investment in smartphones and tablets by protecting the display with the hardest glass in the market. This also means that insurance companies are possible partners for the upcoming operations of PanzerGlass in Latin America.
CL: What products and solutions will you be showcasing at DISTREE Brazil 2016? What do you want distributors and retailers to know about your portfolio?
CB: PanzerGlass has more than 250 different products for smartphones and tablets in the range for devices from major brands such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Sony and LG among others. We will especially showcase and highlight our products for the new upcoming iPhone 7 and 7 Plus as well as the new Samsung Note 7. PanzerGlass will demonstrate with a hammer how incredible the amount of impact is that PanzerGlass can resist.
CL: Describe how your channel business has developed in the past 12 months? What trends have you seen and what have been the highlights for your business?
CB: Within the last 12 months we rolled out the business across all continents with new offices in Hong Kong, Dubai and Kapstadt. In the last six months we acquired the partner factory in China we had collaborated with until that time. We are increasing our turnover year-on-year by 400% for the last five years and are more than keeping pace with the worldwide development of tempered glass in the area of screen protection.
CL: Which geographic areas and channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for your company in Brazil?
CB: Our main focus is on network operator shops, kiosks in shopping centres and retailers. We want to start working wherever we can find this structure.
CL: Why should distributors focus on your products? What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?
CB: We make sure distributors make money on our product by providing them with all the necessary tools needed. Our strong brand ‘PanzerGlass’ is a guarantee for success at the point of sale and therefore also for the distributors. Our packaging makes it easy for end users to find the right product on the shelf, which is only one of the differences to our competition. Our DNA is glass – meaning we totally focus on the production of glass-based screen protectors and we are the only company with that level of focus.
CL: Do you have a structured channel programme? Do you offer a strong margin proposition to your partners?
CB: We are used to channel programmes. We developed the PanzerGlass way five years ago with a strong margin proposition for each player in the value chain. PanzerGlass creates win-win-win scenarios: When the end-users have an accident with his smartphone and the PanzerGlass protection does its job that’s a win for the end-user. Then the end-user drops into the point of sale and buys a new PanzerGlass – that’s a win for the dealer. Finally, the dealer will order from the distributor – that’s a win for the distributor. The margin is almost equally divided through the whole value chain and this is what makes partnership with PanzerGlass a no-brainer.
CL: What sort of support do you offer distributors and retailers in terms of marketing, promotions and channel development activities?
CB: We have a broad range of marketing materials from POS posters, stickers, displays and wobblers. Furthermore, we offer ‘hammer-days’, which are a promotion for the POS where our team shows how much impact PanzerGlass can take using a hammer. This and a lot of customised specific marketing support through the whole value chain makes it easy and valuable to sell PanzerGlass.
CL: How quickly do you expect your business to grow in the Brazil region? What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?
CB: As we are just starting [in Brazil] at the DISTREE event we predict a strongly growing business in Brazil. The trend for expensive smartphones and tablets pushes our business with PanzerGlass screen protection in the same way as in the other regions worldwide.
CL: Is your company channel-friendly? How would you describe your overall go-to-market approach in the Brazilian market? What are your overall channel goals and aims for 2016 in Brazil?
CB: We do not go direct to the POS. We always use the distribution to allocate our PanzerGlass products. We want to find the right distributors at the DISTREE event 2016 and start collaborating with them as soon as possible.
CL: What else should distributors attending DISTREE Brazil 2016 know about PanzerGlass?
CB: PanzerGlass provides the ultimate screen protection for smartphones and tablets. We help people protect their precious personal devices and help our retail partners grow their business as a one-stop-shop for the broadest portfolio of premium screen protectors available globally.