Editor's note: This is the fifth of an ongoing series profiling the 2018 SIPAward winners. See links to the others below.
"Identify the problem," Jim Sinkinson told us recently in a session on developing new products. "Customers aren't going to tell you what kind of product to develop. They're only going to tell you what their habits are and what the problems are. It's up to you to determine the solution."
Long-time SIPA member Behr's Verlag in Hamburg, Germany, followed this advice perfectly and thus created Infection Protection Law: Video in 10 Languages for Obligatory Training—an educational package on food safety containing a video, brochures also in 10 languages, and templates of certificates and instruction cards. The product brought in more than 10% of the company's total sales in 2017, even though it was just one of 357 products that they produce!
For these results and the way it was put together, Behr's Verlag won a 2018 2nd place SIPAward in the category of Best Video Product.
Here are some reasons for Behr's Verlag's success:
They responded to a government-mandated audience need. Heads of quality management in food production in Germany are legally obliged to train their employees according to the Infection Protection Law. This applies to employees in all categories of the food industry. If training is not conducted, the government can impose major penalties. "Our advantage is that all of these branches have to implement the same law," wrote CEO Arno Langbehn. "This way we have reached a big target group where everybody has the same problem."
They met the needs of a very diverse industry. Employees in food come from several countries, and many of them are not able to speak and understand German. "Our customers, the heads of quality management, [must still] train these employees... successfully, ensuring that they understand the contents of the training," Langbehn wrote. Producing the video and brochures in 10 languages may have been the biggest reason for their success. Everyone likes one-stop shopping.
They produced a very professionally done video. I just watched the 12-minute, English-language video, and I'm glad I waited until after breakfast. (The litany of possible diseases is not given short shrift.) There's footage of kitchens, classrooms, restaurants, factories and homes. But Behr's Verlag also sought outside approval. "To focus on the quality and benefit of the video, we had it examined by the Federal Association of Food Controllers," Langbehn wrote. "This was confirmed to us by a seal. We have integrated the seal in our advertising in order to give evidence of the quality of the video package."
They listened to their audience. Food quality managers have a lot of responsibility and are constantly under pressure. So this package was much welcomed by them. I will assume that the visuals for each video remain the same, but the voiceover changes, depending on the language. While this sounds easy enough, making sure your words and grammar are all correct—speaking and in print—takes time and research.
They priced it reasonably. For everything they include, $190 seems pretty fair, although Langbehn did write, "The customers accept the high price of $190 because of the high benefit." He adds, "In addition to individual buyers, the subscribers of our hygiene loose-leaf publications also received this video package at a price of $140. Over 95% of these customers paid for the package. This illustrates the high benefit for our customers."
They supplemented the videos with more information. Short summaries were added with the main content in printed brochures to be distributed to the employees. "With every video package, the customers receive one issue in each of the 10 languages," Langbehn wrote. "Customers have the possibility to order more issues in the language required for all their employees. From that we get an additional turnover." There is also an extra instruction card for the employees on which the individual steps of cleaning and disinfection are described.
They give out certificates. Who doesn't love a certificate? Customers receive certificates to hand out to the employees who are trained in order to document the training. Employees do have to complete a test after the training. For the heads of quality management, a completed test sheet is provided to check the answers.
They use the video to complement another product. Parts of the video integrate into a new online e-learning program from Behr's Verlag. And then that program refers back to the video package. So both products support each other in marketing.
They thought of everything. Just in case a customer might have second thoughts on his or her purchase, an original version in German of the Infection Protection Law completes the package (probably with possible penalties). "This way the head of quality management has the additional security of being able to train with the materials of the package in a legally compliant manner and to meet all requirements," Langbehn wrote.
Previous 2018 SIPAward profiles:
January Spring – Best Editorial and Marketing Collaboration
EB Medicine – Best Use of Video\
AAA Northeast – Best Product Launch
Access Intelligence - Best Conference Marketing