Why buy British when there are German brands out there?

German kitchen manufacturers are taking over the industry with their strong worldwide brands – and end users are starting to place more importance on the branding of their products rather than where they are acquiring them from.

Google Analytics reports show that most customers are searching for their key brands rather than local suppliers by typing in phrases such as ‘Leicht Kitchens’ or ‘Alno Kitchens’. The market is changing, and it’s brands that are the key factor in end users making their final choice.

Take a look at the high street; within Central London you have all the core brands such as Boffi, Poggenpohl and Bulthaup named above retailers’ doors. The German factories are becoming so much more sophisticated and clever with their branding and product lines that the smaller British manufacturers don’t really have a chance of catching up. They are forever playing second fiddle, copying doors, internal fixings and design by using European manufacturers such as Blum and Grass.

There is even more evidence of the penetrative power of the German brands when you look at the contract markets, where most housebuilders have typically used convenient English products such as Howdens, Symphony or Paula Rosa. Nowadays, you have the large German brands coming in and supplying the full package of their products to the nation’s top housebuilders. It’s not just a quality issue, UK market developers and builders want to use German brands as a selling tool for high-specification development sites.

There isn’t a single reason for the above either, with branding, reliability, and the reputation of German engineering all playing a part in this growth.

I predict that the market share will become less and less for smaller manufacturers, with bigger brands taking control as the UK housebuilding market starts to boom.

Liam Hopper is director of Leicht Sevenoaks & Contracts. During his time in the KBB industy he is turning it into one of Leicht’s top performing independent accounts in three years and is now also heading up the Leicht contracts side, supplying some of the most prestigious builders within the UK

Liam’s article was posted as a guest blog to kbbdaily.com