Contract, or third-party, manufacturers, better known as OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), just mass-produce cheap products for the big players to market under their own brands, right? Think again. For China’s leading third-party manufacturer of refrigerators, cooling also resonates with cool. Homa Appliances have been in business for 20 years, and have gone a long way in moving from simply building products under their clients’ specifications to anticipating industry needs and societal trends. Not only do they now provide original design products of the highest quality, but they are also able to complement their offer with a suite of communication tools, from effective user manuals to enticing PoP materials, including all kinds of flyers and leaflets, to highly shareable instagram movies.
Studio Volpi, a longstanding partner in their international communication endeavours, has stepped in to support a new, ambitious and out-of-the-box idea to strongly position Homa as a true maître-à-penser in the industry.
Beyond the product: Homa’s Design Magazine
Content marketing is not exactly a new concept, with universally known examples in the likes of the famous Michelin red guide and Pirelli’s iconic calendar. The idea is to create and provide valuable and relevant content to specific audiences, without necessarily pitching one’s products or services, while speaking lots about the company’s culture and values. This was precisely Homa’s intent with the creation of Design Magazine, a polished, paper-based elegant publication with real journalistic content and inspiring insights about all things design. It is not by accident that design was chosen as the inspiring subject of the magazine, since it is indeed one of the company’s three founding pillars, together with care and food preservation. What's interesting about design as a subject for this project is that it goes well beyond the product itself, and touches all aspects of lifestyle in our modern societies, on top of being truly international.
Creating a real editorial team
The first step in the long journey to the publication of the first issue was the constitution of an editorial dream-team made up of international media professionals specialised in design, lifestyle and the domestic appliances industry. Some choices had to be made as to the tone of voice, the style and the topics that were to be chosen for the articles. Next was the identification of relevant content, stories and celebrity interviewees. The Studio, in addition to contributing some of its best writers and graphic artists, coordinated and led the choral effort. A final editorial calendar was laid down for the client’s approval. Interviews were planned and carried out through videoconferencing. A well rehearsed presentation routine for interview candidates was instrumental in winning over some of the most interesting and inspiring personalities in the field, who fully understood the cultural and journalistic approach to this project.
Transcending the internet
The end result of what is indeed the start of a great adventure is a physical object, a magazine that is beautiful to look at, satisfying to hold in one’s hands, pleasant to the touch. A must-have for any design fan’s coffee-table, an elegant piece of cultural furniture for the modern renaissance man.
Its immemorial physicality transcends social media and their electronic dimension, yet digital versions of the entire magazine, and single stories, are available for sharing. Most importantly, it is highly enjoyable to read, with stories spanning from the classics of Design to interviews with celebrity and emerging designers, as well as profiles of some of the great names of the past, to the industry’s latest trends and a fresh take food design from the most creative chefs.
Corporate cultural positioning
With this initiative, Homa strongly positions itself as a company attentive to modern living, with a particular focus on Design and fully aware of worldwide societal trends. This message is particularly important for its clients, with whom it has established a long lasting relationship based on trust and mutual respect. Also, Design Magazine is an important tool from an internal point of view, as it offers inspiring insight into corporate culture and valuable information about some of the subjects that really matter to its international clients. As such, it was welcome by both the global appliance industry community and Homa’s employees. The first issue has just been published, with a second one ready to be released in the Spring. The first two chapters of what might really become a time honoured tradition of Homa in its journey towards world class excellence.