By Claire Reilly

When Hagemeyer Brand Australia moved into the Shriro stable – bringing with it the Omega, Omega Altise, Blanco and De Dietrich brands – the process saw more than a name change. The company restructured at the end of last year, and the Omega cooking brand relaunched with an entirely new brand message just last month.

Following the launch, spoke to Omega’s new national sales and marketing manager, Craig Handley, about the brand’s future and the kinds of consumers Omega was hoping to attract.

“When it comes to developing new product in the future, we’re engaging both consumers and retailer customers much more in that process,” said Handley.

“The traditional product development process has been a product manager or a marketing management team working with the manufacturer overseas, and while they certainly conduct research, sometimes key decisions are made by one or two people. We won’t do that anymore.

“We’re currently in the process of doing consumer research on oven design features. So we’ve already researched more than 1000 people in our demographic and we’re getting feedback on design of product, feature sets, price points and so on. Then we do the same process with our key customers – particularly in the trade.

“We’re focused on engaging as many of our retailer customers and end consumers as possible to try and bring the product that we think is perfect for this market. So that’s our philosophy going forward, whilst still sticking to our core values of affordable quality.”

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According to Handley, the driving focus of affordable quality ensures the brand has a clear image of the ideal Omega consumer.

“The key is ‘For cooks, not chefs’,” he said. “There are a lot of brands out there that target somebody that really values spending time in the kitchen. Whereas we feel like our customer has a busy life, has a lot on their plate, is probably a little younger customer than some of our competitors target.

“So they want product that looks good, something they’re proud of and that’s reliable, but they don’t need a tonne of features. That’s generally who our customer is – 28 to 40 year olds, first home buyers or first home renovators. Generally it’s somebody who is in the beginning of their cycle of property ownership, so they have to be careful with how much money they spend.

“For retailers selling our message, it’s about identifying some of those values, delivering the features you need and nothing you don’t.”