In 2017 Midea, the world’s largest air conditioning manufacturer, had achieved over 20% market share in Europe. Establishing further growth was never going to be easy, especially in countries where the status quo had remained relatively unchanged.
Midea had one of Europe’s largest consumers of VRF in its sights but needed a strategic offering to contribute towards the unique UK market, rather than taking market share based on price alone. Midea understood UK installers reluctance to change manufacturer, either due to a fear of poor support, issues with unfamiliar brands or a perceived need to meet alternative brand targets, believing this will support the competitive tender of pre specified business.
The primary focus to overcome possible reluctance was to demonstrate a commitment to helping customers win more business. Not just to win in the immediate term but by helping Midea customers confidently win continued business if they help to support and encourage the long-term care of the products.
This was achieved by developing a UK Mi-Pro strategy to reward those who install Midea products correctly and take long term care of them. The key message to installers is; if Midea products are installed and commissioned professionally with the correct refrigerant charge, they will operate at optimum efficiency from day one. Periodically maintaining the products after a professional installation will then not only offer the end user the lowest possible long-term running costs but also significantly reduce the wear and tear of the equipment’s key components. When adhered to correctly this can also offer an end user a warranty of up to 10 years – the markets longest – encouraging the end user to appoint the original installer to carry out regular maintenance.
To support this strategy Midea is giving maximum piping length refrigerant contributions @ £25/Kg to all installers. Mi-Pro rewards are also given to incentivise those who deliver and register professional installations that secure long-term end user service agreements.
This investment from Midea gives confidence that when equipment is installed professionally, commissioned with the correct refrigerant charge and taken care of responsibly, it is built to last and operate at its optimum efficiency.
Steve Robinson, general manager, Midea UK commented on the company’s success since their UK launch in 2017: “We have witnessed some fantastic success stories helping Midea become the fastest growing manufacturer of air conditioning products supplied into the UK. The Mi-Pro strategy we introduced in 2017 is unique and constantly evolving in line with the market feedback we have from our partners and this is helping us find new ways of developing our brand.
“The core purpose of our strategy will not change and that is to ensure the Mi Pro incentive for our partners and the end user delivers the best possible long-term care of our products. This simple after care partnership ensures our equipment provides the lowest possible energy use for the longest period of time and this significantly lowers the risk of equipment failure – this is a win-win for Midea, the professional installer, and the end-user. A true business partnership that is right for everyone not just the manufacturer.”
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