Although the name suggests a different arena, Sunware is a brand that provides an organised living and work environment. It’s a remarkable journey from its start in 1978 when they were merely selling plastic storage boxes, waste bins and garden decorations. Like a lot of companies, Sunware too was product focused. Their life was driven by moulds, granulates and plastic products; literally shipping air with this high volume, low value portfolio. Yet they did have a good feeling of consumer demands; already in 2006 they claimed the slogan ‘perfectly organised’. Over the last decade, the development of the brand and organisation made some quantum leaps. In line with ‘the experience economy’ of thinkers like Joseph Pine, Sunware evolved from storing goods to organising your belonging and creating a sense of well-being. Research has shown that consumers feel peace of mind when they have a well-organised place, either at home or at work.
Sunware doesn’t claim to be Zen, but their approach certainly is purposeful and value driven:
– Stretching their portfolio with decorative organising solutions for the living and working space and launching a sub brand; Sigma home.
– Stretching their channel strategy and intensifying e-commerce on marketplaces and specific ventures with international e- and retailers.
– Encouraging their employees to live their values and have a meaningful contribution to society: Not only by making a logic contribution to the Plastic Soup Foundation, from their product expertise point-of-view. But also by taking care of people. For instance, Sunware provides a silent workspace for people with a distance to the labour market (‘Baanbrekers’ project). Sunware is also active in Community days.
All of the above show a great level of organisationvitality; investing in brands and people to guarantee a purposeful and fit existence as an organisation.
Ten years ago I started consulting Sunware on trade and category management. Honestly; we were thinking too far ahead. The fmcg background was yet turf to explore for the retailers that Sunware worked with. Still; we learned in which areas we could gain a ‘first mover advantage’. You all know the saying about vision and action. Sunware grouped internal and external experts and defined the roadmap which lifted their offering from commodity to promising niche. And for me, professionally, the vision turned into action; since 2015 my role in the company is Key Accountmanager for the Dutch retailers. A kind of longer term interim role, providing vitality for Sunware and myself.