Bringing clean air to homes and office buildings
Flexit is a company based in Norway that manufactures and sells ventilation, air and dust handling products aimed at real estate developers, builders and resellers. At the time when we did this project they operated mainly in Norway and Sweden.
The company was founded in 1974 and were planning to expand their business, but was struggling with shrinking margins and low profitability due to cost cutting demands from the building industry and price competition from low cost countries in Asia and eastern Europe. After a series of cost cutting initiatives, management was starting to realise more needed to be done, so they contacted us to come up with a few ideas.
Insight – what we found out
As many producers in their industry, Flexit relied heavily on product and price performance for their sales and marketing efforts, making them an easy target for price competition and competition from low cost producers. However, as we began to dig deeper into the problem, we found that there was a large, untapped need that no one seemed to be exploring: the need for clean and fresh air.
The climate in Scandinavia, and other northern countries, has made it a challenge to construct buildings that preserve heat in the winter and at the same time circulates air efficiently all year round. The demand for more energy efficient buildings, due to rising energy costs and environmental concerns leading to stricter building regulations, has made this even more challenging, This has in turn added to the cost of building, putting even more pressure on builders and manufacturers to cut costs.
Due to the climate, people in Scandinavia spend a large part of their lives indoors and it was estimated that up to 50 % of the buildings in Norway lacked proper ventilation. There has also been a significant rise in the number people suffering from allergies and asthmatic disorders the past decades, which scientists believe to be caused by mold and fungus building up in poorly ventilated buildings. Adding to these problems are the high levels of radon, a radioactive gas, found in many buildings from the 60s and 70s due to a popular building material at that time called ”blue concrete”. The gas is suspected to be the cause behind an increasing number of lung cancer victims. But it doesn’t end there. When the radon problem was discovered in the 70s, it was also found that the bedrock in Scandinavia has a natural emission of radon that varies from site to site depending on the type of rock, making proper ventilation even more important.
To sum things up; effective ventilation and clean air is crucial for our health.
Focus – what we proposed
Based on the facts, our conclusion was that if Flexit wanted to steer away from competition based entirely on price/performance, they would need to shift their focus to the issues that concerned the people who lived and worked in the buildings that their clients built or restored.
Rather than focusing on selling different fans and other products for different use in different price ranges, they would need to shift their focus to selling and market solutions that would guarantee clean air and a dust, mould and radon free environment.
This also meant addressing the potential problems caused by “bad air” and a poor indoor environment, making the decision on which ventilation and cleaning products to install an important health issue.
Action – what we did
In the light of our discoveries we created the concept “Flexit – Clean and fresh air”.
The concept included everything from a redesign of their logo and corporate profile, creating a new set of branded product solutions, to in-store displays, advertising, a new homepage and ha whole new set of promotion material to support sales.
Flexit also started an indoor environment certification program, enabling builders and developers to offer warranties that would help them guarantee healthy indoor environments.
Result – how it all turned out
Flexit has since then successfully expanded their business and is now established all over northern and eastern Europe.