Fordaq interview at DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR: Klaus Trautner, Head Marketing and Product Management at Haro

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Klaus Trautner, Haro's Head Marketing and Product Management at Domotex/Asia ChinaFloor (Photo credits: Fordaq)

Many European flooring producers were present at this year's 20th Anniversary of the DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR, a sign that the Chinese and Asia-Pacific market is becoming more important. As the German leading wooden flooring brand, Haro, decided not to be present at this year's Domotex in Hannover, Fordaq was curious why and approached Klaus Trautner, Head Marketing and Product Management at Haro, for an interview. 

1. Fordaq: Can you please describe to us a few innovations and new products brought at this year’s Domotex?

Klaus Trautner: For us, it is very important that we have sustainable products, that we have products free of PVC, plasticisers, and this was one of the drivers for innovations this year.

We have two new series in the design floor segment or the LVT segment, but without the ‘’V’’, as we use no vinyl in our products. It’s called DISANO (see photo below), with the series DISANO Saphir and DISANO Smart Aqua.

The DISANO Saphir is a solid plastic product, but it’s free of PVC, it’s 4.5 mm thick, it has a 5-G click system. The other one is Smart Aqua, it’s 6.5 mm, it is a three-layer floor with special moisture protection. Both can also be installed in wet areas, like in the bathroom. This is one thing.nAnd the other thing is that we have a special moisture protected laminated floor, it’s called Tritty 200.

 

Haro's stand at Domotex/Asia ChinaFloor (Photo credits: Fordaq)

Another thing which is important for us, and essential, is naturaDur, which comes from natural and durable. It’s a parquet surface which combines the look of a natural oil parquet floor with the durability and easy maintenance of a pre-finished parquet floor, creating the combination of a natural look and easy care.

For our interior segment, we have a new wall panelling, which is easy to stick to the wall.

2. Fordaq: How is the Chinese market responding to your products?

Klaus Trautner: China is not our top market at the moment, but we are working with a very strong partner. China is a very important market for us. It is a growing market for us, and also being such a huge market, it is a driver for us, which inspires for some innovations.

3. Fordaq: So, basically, the Chinese partner is the dealer for your company in China?

Tradition, one of Haro's core principles in business (Photo credits: Fordaq)

Klaus Trautner: It is a kind of a dealer, but it is more than this. Because it symbolizes the Haro brand in China, it helps us to make our brand very popular in China.

4. Fordaq: Can you please tell us your turnover in China?

Klaus Trautner: No (laughs).

5. Fordaq: What are the market requirements in China for wooden flooring? And what is different in China from other parts of the world? How do you adapt your products and innovations especially for the Chinese market?

Klaus Trautner: What is very important is that the Chinese are looking for a genuine German brand, the German culture, the German way of thinking. This means that we don’t necessarily need to make changes, we can adapt things that we do for our domestic market and transfer them to China. Of course, we always do some things in regards to China and the Chinese market, but it’s not like we are forced by the Chinese to have some innovations, as the Chinese are more interested in the German way of thinking. And I think this is what makes us a little bit different in the Chinese market because we can be ''very German''. We are not trying ''to be Chinese'', because we still have our identity which makes the brand, and our brand is the most important.

6. Fordaq: You were not present at this year’s Domotex in Germany? Can you please explain us why?

 

Klaus Trautner: I think there are two reasons: one is that we feel that the Asia-Pacific markets are getting more important, so we had to select either to go to Hannover or to go to Domotex Asia, and we decided to test Asia, waiting for the results. However, at the moment, I think that it was not a bad decision. We are also trying to show to our partner in China how important our partnership is, how important the Chinese market is for Haro. The other important reason is, of course, to make new contacts in the Asia-Pacific market.

7. Fordaq: We can see that you are surrounded at this year’s Domotex Asia by your competitors, just Classen, to name one. What do you think that are your company’s advantages on the Chinese market comparing to your competitors?

Klaus Trautner: Classen has no parquet. We are the ones who have parquet, who have design floor, who have laminate floor, we have 2-layer parquet, we have 3-layer parquet. This means that our product range makes us different. And the other thing is the Haro brand. We are a well-known brand in Germany, we are a family-owned company, which might be considered a soft factor, but it makes us different in the way we think from many others competitors.

Haro's NaturaDur (Photo credits: Fordaq) Haro parquet plank (Photo credits: Fordaq) Haro's DISANO (Photo credits: Fordaq)  Haro's Tritty 100 (Photo credits: Fordaq)

If we compare to Parador, even though it’s not present here, we can say that it’s not a family-owned business anymore, they are lead by an investment group, so they have to change their culture, they have to change their way of thinking. Parador comes from the design flooring, but we come from the parquet, from the craftmanship, from the wood experience. I think that one of our key factors is that we are very, very deeply anchored in the wood industry. We work with wood for about 150 years now. And that’s another thing: it’s a combination of tradition, we were established in 1866, and the power to adapt innovations to a continuously changing market.

Another thing that makes us different is that we try to be clear from the beginning: we work with sustainable and healthy products. We are not using any PVC in our products at the moment. A good thing is that we have sometimes solutions that no other company has. For example, our Celenio product is a standalone product. We have our Haro Interior Wall which is a bit different.

So there are many factors, but the most important are the history, the culture, the brand and our innovative products.

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