Power Tools

Bosch Lawn and Garden: Success through innovative strength and customer focus Bernd Müller
Sales Director for Germany, Austria, Switzerland
of the Power Tools Division
of Robert Bosch GmbH
on the occasion of the press conference
in Stuttgart on August 20, 2013

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  • August 20, 2013
  • Power Tools
  • Presentations

press release

Ladies and Gentlemen,
the garden continues to be very much “in style”. Many people increasingly feel their gardens are oases of rest and relaxation, in which they can leave their hectic everyday lives behind them. In urban environments where private green areas tend to be small, we see that gardens are becoming progressively very lovingly styled and cared for. It is also common to use the garden as a source for healthy and natural food. Additionally, there are many hobby gardeners who enjoy taking care of plants and watching them grow and flourish.

This rising affinity for gardening is clearly reflected in specific figures: one in ten garden owners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland visited a garden fair in 2012. Since 2000, annual garden fair attendance has risen by an average of 28 percent to over three million visitors per year. The market for electric garden tools in Germany, Austria and Switzerland has developed equally as well: the total value of tools sold increased in 2012 by eight percent to 306 million euros, while the number of units sold grew by one percent to 2.6 million units. Demand for high-quality products continues unabated, especially when it comes to cordless tools. Many users have recognized the advantages of working without a cable and are increasingly opting for cordless garden tools. As a result, the share of cordless garden tools in the German market for electric garden tools has increased from 22 percent in 2008 to 38 percent in 2012. Over the same time span the average price of electric garden tools has increased by 21 percent. This is impressive evidence that users are spending more money on higher-quality, innovative products.

Leading market position strengthened
Bosch has benefited from the trend towards cordless tools and quality products. We managed to strengthen our leading position at homecenters and at online suppliers who offer a broad product range in addition to garden tools. In the past year, the share of sales of garden tools in these channels has increased by six percent, whereas Bosch managed to achieve disproportionately high growth of eight percent.

A cornerstone of this success is Bosch innovation. Our innovative products have given the market an important growth impetus time after time, and they enable us to grow disproportionately in both new and in established product segments. In 2012, for example, the market for special saws stagnated if Bosch is left out of consideration. However, the launch of our Keo garden saw grew this segment by 19 percent, affecting a Bosch market share increase of nine percentage points to 59 percent. We have had a similar effect on established product segments, such as corded hedgecutters. Whereas the German market for corded hedgecutters without Bosch products grew by only nine percent in 2012, growth including Bosch hedgecutters was twelve percent. Bosch was therefore able to strengthen its market leading position in this segment by two further percentage points to 47 percent.

Bosch is the most sought-after brand
With an electric garden tool market share of 35 percent, Bosch is the most sought-after brand at homecenters and at online suppliers with a broad product range. Six of the ten best-selling tools in these sales channels in 2012 were from Bosch. We are number one for lawnmowers, shrub shears, shredders and hedgecutters with market shares ranging between 30 and 48 percent – 30 percent for lawnmowers, 42 percent for shrub shears, 46 percent for shredders and 48 percent for hedgecutters.

Building blocks of success
Bosch's success with garden tools is essentially based on three building blocks:

  • Innovative products that meet user requirements,
  • strong marketing activities with tangible brand added value at the Point-of-Sale and
  • intensive, interactive communication with users.
An example of how innovations lead to success is provided by our lawnmowers through to the Indego robotic mower launched in 2013. We launched the first Rotak mower onto the market in 2002. It provided an exceptionally powerful cut due to its “Power-Drive” motor. Our market share for electric lawnmowers back then was only four percent. In 2006, the launch of the first Rotak generation with grass combs made it possible to mow closer to the edge than ever before. In 2007, the first Rotak with lithium-ion battery was added. It enabled Bosch's market share to grow to 15 percent. The next cordless mower generation came onto the market in 2009 and had a 10 to 20 percent longer battery runtime thanks to the “Efficient Energy Management” (EEM) system. Bosch's market share simultaneously grew to 22 percent. The launch of the Ergoflex system for strength-saving, relaxed mowing in 2011 enabled us to increase our market share for electric lawnmowers to 27 percent.

All developments were made in the knowledge that users want tools for effortless gardening and maximum mobility. Robotic lawnmowers meet the demand for effortless gardening exceptionally well as after installing and programming the device just once, users no longer have to do any work themselves. Bosch's solution is the robotic lawnmower Indego. It was launched in January 2013 and enabled Bosch to increase its market share for electric lawnmowers to a total of 34 percent within one quarter of launch.

The high potential of the Indego is demonstrated by the numerous advertising activities conducted by retailers and other business partners on TV, billboards, in catalog advertising and as product demonstrations during events. In addition to this, we support sales of the Indego with eye-catching and emotionally appealing brand presentations at homecenters and garden centers.

Tangible brand added value at the Point-of-Sale
We pursue a strategy of strong marketing activities at the Point-of-Sale: In our tried-and-tested Shop-in-Shops for homecenters, users can hold our products in their hands, test them and get advice from Bosch expert personnel. In this way, we make the Bosch brand something that they can experience. Since 2011 we have been offering retailers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland Shop-in-Shop solutions specifically geared towards garden tools. The success of this concept is measurable, for us as well as for our retail partners. The number of garden Shop-in-Shops has now grown to 113. Markets with Shop-in-Shop concepts from Bosch have achieved year-over-year growth of 41 percent in the first half of 2013, which is 16 percentage points more growth than markets without Shop-in-Shop concept. These figures speak for themselves.

Interactive communication with users
The last important building block of our success is intensive, interactive communication with users. Of late, we have mainly used electronic media for this. The first objective for effective user communication is to enable users to obtain the information they seek about Bosch products quickly, easily and comprehensively. For this purpose, we are constantly enhancing our joint online site for DIY and garden tools: navigation is easy and self-explanatory. In addition to product descriptions and technical data, there are application videos to attractively communicate what it is that makes our tools excel. Our website has also been optimized for smartphones since the middle of this year to offer the constantly increasing number of mobile web browsing users a format that is tailored to their needs.

The Bosch community gets bigger day by day
People who want more than information can join our DIY community www.1-2-do.com. It already receives more than four million visitors per year and has more than 75,000 registered members. That is twice as many as last year. Gardening products and projects have also been integrated since March 2012. This makes the pages even more attractive: members have already submitted over 700 gardening projects.

More and more users are also taking part in our interactive communication offers via social media platforms. The number of registered fans on our Facebook pages increased in one year from 38,000 to more than 100,000. Since 2012 we have been offering a joint channel for our DIY and garden tools on Youtube. Under the motto “Make it your home”, users can find there information and videos “around the clock” about tools that enable them to individually style their house and garden.

The 2013 gardening season began poorly due to bad weather. In central Europe, frost prevented work in the garden all the way through April. This subdued start was followed by great sales momentum as temperatures rose. Due to our innovative products, sales activities, and attractive communication offers, we are well positioned to grow disproportionately and strengthen our leading market position again in 2013.

RF00202 - August 20, 2013

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