Written by ZOOZ
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| Issue 69 |
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Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ
An interview with a senior executive
Ronen Ben Haim, Director of Marketing and Sales, Kitan
- Number of company
Approx. 300 employees in Israel and worldwide, approx. 100 of which are my direct subordinates.
- We provide: Home textiles. We design and manufacture bedding and various leading-brand bathroom products. We also manufacture private label products.
- I have been in my
position for: : Approx. one year.
My last position was as Manager of the Afrodita chain for 4 years. Prior to that, I was the private market manager at Gibor-Sabrina for about 5 years.
- What I like about the
job: The dynamic nature of the job, the fact that it pertains to numerous domains, from planning the fabrics, manufacturing sources and developing collections, to the sales channels at the retail chains, development, and contact with the retail customers.
- The most difficult
part of the job: Constantly following the changing market trends, new competitors, and changing markets.
- Goals I want to
attain: Restoring the Kitan brand to its former glory through retail business and online sales. Also, leading the company to be the frontrunner of development and design.
- Our vision: Kitan’s vision is to make quality, innovation, and leading design primary goals and to continue to lead the home textile market in developments and quality.
- Original products
in the field: Royal Satin products, which were introduced to the Israeli and American market approx. 8 years ago and which has become the brand symbolizing quality, innovation, and beauty.
- Sources of
innovation: We have a studio that is responsible for development for Israel and Kitan Europe, under the Esprit brand, owned by the Kitan concern, as part of the Clal Industries Group. We get ideas and trends from international trade shows. For example – the Amitex Exhibition in Frankfurt and the
Canton Fair Exhibition in China. Most development ideas are raised by a think team composed of a procurement manager, the studio, shop representatives, and the category manager at the Mashbir.
Recommended professional book: A book that I highly recommend, which I enjoyed immensely, and which has stuck with me throughout life, is Mitch Albom’s
Tuesdays with Morrie. The book gave me a lot of insight into life, work, taking advantage of opportunities, and the courage to try.
- Kitan’s website:
- Send feedback to
- Would you like to be interviewed?: contact us
A must-read book for managers
The Marketing Playbook / Zagula & Tong / Portfolio
John Zagula and Richard Tong are marketing executives that managed the branding and marketing of Windows OS and Microsoft’s Office Suite. For several years now, they have been venture capitalists at the investment firm Ignition Partners, where they have helped dozens of high-tech enterprises and companies to grow. They summarized the lessons they learned from their extensive experience launching and marketing high-tech products in their book,
The Marketing Playbook.
The book presents five fundamental marketing strategies, which according to the authors cover all the existing options for marketing sales and services, and high-tech and technological products in particular:
The Drag Race – Squaring off against a
single competitor in order to beat him and take him out of the race. This
option is good when you have a decisive advantage, and want to achieve
market dominance by directly comparing your solution to that of your main
The Platform Play – Protecting your status
as a market leader. When we are the leaders, we can reinforce our position
by promoting the entire industry and fostering alliances and collaborations
with other entities in the industry (associations, suppliers, customers, etc.),
and maintaining the dominant approach by avoiding direct reference to the
The Stealth Play – Bypassing the competition
– when we are not prepared to confront them on head-on. When we do not have
the financial resources and the capability of fighting the market leaders,
we will first find niches and supplementary services that we can offer in
order to gain assets and power. Only once we have grown significantly, can
we cope with market dominance.
The Best of Both Play – Establishing
yourself exactly in between two competitors, and taking the lead by combing
the advantages of both. When two competing groups offer extreme solutions –
either too simple or too expensive, the market can be attacked in its
underbelly, and an intermediate solution can be offered –better than the
basic solutions, and cheaper than the expensive solutions.
The High-Low Play – The opposite of the Best
of Both strategy. We attack our competitors in the midline and pit both our
deluxe high-end product line and our cheapo down-market line against a
rival’s mediocre compromise offering.
Each of the five strategies in the book is explained in detail, and includes examples, steps to take, highlights, recommendations, and warnings. The authors’ approach is straightforward, effective, and comprehensive, and therefore suitable for almost every marketing arena. This is a must-read for marketing and brand managers in any field, and we also warmly recommend it for anyone interested in marketing and marketing strategy.
An innovation which
surprised the world market and competitors
A Flowering Banister
About an innovative enterprise that started as a gift idea.
It all started when a group of 30+-year-old Israeli high-techies wanted to buy a planter as a housewarming gift for their mutual friend’s balcony. There was no room for the planter on the balcony floor, and the friend’s wife claimed that a planter on the banister was unsightly. The solution came about by chance, when they saw a paperboy with a type of split saddle affixed to his motorbike to hold the newspapers. They decided to go to a well-known designer, Miki Ganor, to develop a planter for them with a depression in the middle, which can be safely secured to the banister, without the need for hooks or external accessories.
After developing the model, and an investment of approx. 150,000 NIS, they created and began to market the innovative planters at the end of 2008, under the brand name
GreenBo. The first planters were sold in three colors, and additional shades soon followed (as shown in the photo), as well as longer planters. When buyers started placing their beautiful flowering GreenBo planters on their balcony banisters, the neighbors and passerbys saw them and followed suit with their own GreenBo planters. Viral success soon ensued.
One of the interesting things about the GreenBo planter is that it is compatible with three inventive thinking tools (out of the six tools described in
The GreenBo planter is compatible with the following thinking tools:
There is naturally an overlap between different inventive thinking tools, and therefore certain ideas lend themselves to more than one thinking tool. The overlap between tools is essential for covering almost all the innovation possibilities. Were it not for this overlap, the six inventive thinking tools together would not succeed in predicting between 80-90% of all the possible innovations in a product or service. Without an overlap, too many uncovered “holes” would be left between the tools.
To summarize, we wish the GreenBo entrepreneurs, who have registered the idea as a worldwide patent, much success in marketing in Israel and exporting abroad, and we hope to see the innovative planters on the balconies in other countries as well.