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Sandberg: three brothers, one vision

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 8 February 2017

Offering a wide range of consumer tech products and accessories, Sandberg is a unique company based on one simple vision: making the channel and users happy today creates a good tomorrow. Sandberg is a family business founded in 1985 by brothers Martin Hollerup and Erling Hoff Pertersen, who today form the management of the company alongside younger brother Anders Partida Petersen.

Ahead of Sandberg’s participation at this month’s DISTREE EMEA channel event, Channel EMEA caught up with the brothers behind Sandberg to find out more about the company’s business philosophy.

The Sandberg story can be summed up simply as three men with a mission they have focused on for more than three decades. They bring all sorts of gadgets and connectivity products to the market and they do not care for quick deals.

The focus is on high quality, ease of use, durability, long-lasting partnerships and value for money. Their successful business uses DISTREE channel events to build relations and gain market share.

User experience

Many people think that all that counts today is a quick deal. We hear it all the time: price, price, price. Everything is about price – or so it seems. Huge volumes, low prices, spot deals. In this world of intense focus on the lowest price points, it is refreshing to meet a company putting a focus on more ‘old-fashioned’ values like quality and ease of use.

It is also interesting to see how the market responds to this proposition. Sandberg has achieved double digit percentage sales growth, year after year, and this performance level looks set to continue.

Anders Partida Petersen, the brother responsible for product management, explained the specific qualities that are the core characteristics of Sandberg products.

He said: “We focus on what happens, when the user comes home after purchasing a Sandberg product from the local retailer. It has to be easy to get started with the new product. The product has to work. The feeling of the product is to be good, so you know you have a quality item in your hands.”

“Registering for the five-year warranty will be easy. The product will look nice on your desktop, in the car, on your head or wherever it’s meant to be used. Basically, we want to give a good experience to the users, both when using the item for the first time, and through the years to come,” he added.

Sandberg takes a range of specific measures to ensure that it creates a positive consumer experience.

Anders Partida Petersen explained: “First there are the basics of good raw materials, high quality build work, and first class constructions and architectures of the products. Then there are the three QCs: Quality Control, Quality Control, Quality Control. We have a per-item quality control of all products. We know for sure that each item works when it’s put into a Sandberg packaging. Finally, we work hard to create easy to understand packaging and user manuals, supporting 23 languages.”

Channel first

Great products can only take a brand so far. Sandberg’s second core strength is its unflinching support for and commitment to indirect channels as a route-to-market.

Erling Hoff Petersen, sales director at Sandberg, commented: “Our strategy is long-term and based on the channel. We don’t make direct deals, and we believe that all levels of the channel are important links of the chain. Distributors appreciate our loyalty and the fact that they have decision makers as contact points [within Sandberg].”

He added: “Distributor margins are good and risks are low. Retailers love our stylish packaging, allowing 50 product categories to fit into a few metres of display and still look awesome and produce a high profit per square meter store space. Very low RMA rates and a high level of consumer satisfaction makes the workday of a retailer more fun and productive.”

In 2016, Sandberg was named ‘IT Comet of the Year’ in Denmark by ComputerWorld, based on its high growth rates for several years. Sandberg CEO Martin Hollerup is in no doubt this success will continue, stating: “Our growth is not only continuing, it’s accelerating. More great products, more markets, higher market shares and even better financial results.”

DISTREE EMEA in Monaco remains an important annual event for Sandberg and a contributor to the company’s successful growth and development. The opportunity to meet senior executives from hundreds of top consumer tech distributors in one place at one time is a powerful business development opportunity for Sandberg.

New products

Erling Hoff Petersen said: “DISTREE Events are a key driver to our expansion. After each event, we come home with loads of new opportunities for business. Our goals this year are quite simply to do the same again. Our gaming series EsportsEquipment will be an area of focus at the show. We are also showing exciting novelties in the mobility and PC accessories series, and within audio.”

“Our new Office line will be displayed, and the Sandberg Excellence series has grown with new high-end items added. We have great new products to drive interest. We are still looking for distributors and retailers in all parts of EMEA, so DISTREE EMEA this year is fantastic timing for us. We really look forward to it,” he concluded.

Distributors and channel partners confirmed to attend DISTREE EMEA can pre-schedule one-on-one meetings with the Sandberg team at this year’s event.

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