Gtech, a Worcestershire-based manufacturer of vacuum cleaners and garden tools, achieved global sales of more than £17m last year after taking the Taiwanese market by storm; how can others follow suit?
According to Grey Technology (more commonly known as Gtech), over half of its international growth in 2017 came from the country, with revenue more than doubling last year from £3.8m to £8.4m.
In total, the company sold 40,000 products in Taiwan, with most of these being its handheld ‘Gtech Multis.’
As the UK prepares to move out of the EU, international markets will undoubtedly play a crucial part for securing future trade; but how can manufacturers better utilise the opportunities they represent?
Nick Grey, owner and founder of Gtech, explained to The Manufacturer about the company’s surprise success in Taiwan.
He said Gtech expanded “so fast” in the UK market that the company actually focused on meeting demands in Britain over exporting globally.
Tapping into social media
Grey continued: “It was at this time that Kevin Quo – now our Taiwanese distributor – got in touch with us. He was so passionate about the product that I couldn’t say no, so we agreed to send over Gtech Multis for him to try in the market.
“Before I knew it he’d given the Multi to a well-known Taiwanese vlogger and interest sort of exploded! A big chunk of the success is definitely down to Kevin knowing that Taiwanese people are always looking for a cleaner bed, alongside the vlogger and his followers giving the Gtech Multi such good reviews.”
Grey’s tips for utilising international markets:
- Consistent and constant product innovation
- Meeting market demands
- Researching and exploring new markets
- Social media and digital influencers that act as brand ambassadors for products
The company, which was founded by Grey in 2001 and had a turnover surpassing £2m within two years, puts his success down to good design and reacting to market demands.
Currently, Gtech products are manufactured in China and transported to the UK in shipping containers that are unloaded into a warehouse and then distributed. However, the company is reportedly planning to bring part of their production back to Worcestershire within 12 months.
Grey commented: “One piece of feedback I get repeatedly from the British public is, ‘Nick, why don’t you manufacture your products here?’, so we have designed a product to be manufactured here in the UK.”
He explained that the new product will be built on the day of dispatch and collected from the end of the line by the courier. Consumers visiting Gtech’s shop will also have the option to collect their products directly from the line, reducing the need for distribution packaging.
Gtech has reportedly sold more than 25 million domestic appliances in 18 countries to date and is now looking to further its international success – with Japan mooted as the company’s potential next focus.