EXHIBITOR INTERVIEW with Michael Mühlenbruch, CCO, DICOTA
Updated: Feb 14
Leading carry solutions brand DICOTA is one of most recognised names in the bag & carry category. We caught up with DICOTA's Chief Commercial Officer, Michael Mühlenbruch, to hear about their 2022 channel plans and product announcements.
Tell us about DICOTA and your channel plans for 2022.
Next year, DICOTA will mark 30 years as a leading carry solution and accessories brand in the IT industry. Over three decades, DICOTA has seen excellent levels of sustained growth and great success in the market. We have also developed fantastic channel partnerships that continue to help us build our business. We have plenty to celebrate.
We will participate at Channel Summit EMEA to present our latest products and, most importantly, to reconnect face to face with our international customer base. DICOTA plans to bring some excitement to the channel with some new ideas that will help our channel partners to grow their business. I will personally attend all one to one meetings held at the DICOTA stand during the show to accelerate business discussions and decisions.
What specific products do you want distributors and retailers to know about?
DICOTA’s sustainability message will be a key focus at the Channel Summit event and we will launch an expanded range of products made out of recycled PET material. Our commitment to limit the impact on the planet started over a decade ago. In 2011, our products were already meeting the REACH and SVHC requirements plus we were the first IT computer bag manufacturer to be a member of amfori BSCI, a leading global business association for open & sustainable trade. Today more than 90% of all our notebook bags, backpacks and trolleys are made of 100% recycled PET.
In 2022 we will also introduce several new laptop accessories as well as a new product range specifically for e-tail and retail. Last but not least, we will further extend our range of products for the education sector.
Describe how your channel business has developed in the past 12 months? What trends have you seen and what have been the highlights for your business?
2021 has been a bumpy ride for many companies and it’s been a similar experience for us. We grew our business in a number of B2B sectors such as education, with our range of mobile working equipment and accessories proving particularly popular.
However, we were affected by the same logistical challenges as everyone else which slowed down our capacity to supply the market, impacting our profitability. But the most important benefit has been the lesson in managing volatility. The situation forced us to optimize the company’s ability to adapt quickly. By developing a more agile business, we have paved the way for our future growth.
Which geographic areas and/or channels are you prioritising in the next 12 months?
The EMEA region continues to be a priority market but we have a global view and are always receptive to new markets and opportunities in other regions.
What sets DICOTA apart from other carry solution & accessories brands in the market?
Today’s markets are moving fast with change happening every day. In these conditions, it’s vital to have strong partnerships in place. For 30 years, our product’s reputation has been for outstanding quality and finish. DICOTA’s strong local network and horizontal organization allows us to support our partners in a personal and responsive way with quick decision-making and implementation.
Do you have a structured channel programme? Please explain how you work with your channel partners (e.g. marketing, promotions, channel development activities).
We have channel communications and partner programmes in place to drive demand and provide our partners with a framework to sell our products. Margins need to be sufficient but we strongly believe the total profit - or sometimes ROI - of a channel cooperation must create value for both parties.
Each market is different in terms of its structure and competition levels. We create tailored proposals in line with the needs of the respective market. We strongly believe in our broad portfolio of products and are happy to adapt to a specific market need. When it comes to marketing and promotional content, our channel managers and graphic designers fully support our partners by providing custom-made solutions. We consider these activities very important and have tripled the number of employees dedicated to channels in the last two years.
What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?
Today’s markets are fast moving and changing on a daily basis. We believe that strong partnerships and an agile business approach are key assets for DICOTA to stay ahead in such times.
Any interesting partnerships, sponsorships or collaborations to share?
DICOTA is 100% committed to sustainability and next year we will be supporting a number of environmental charities and initiatives. We’ll be making some full announcements soon.
For more information about DICOTA visit dicota.com. DICOTA is a confirmed exhibitor at Channel Summit EMEA 2022.