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“We are Focusing on the Middle East Markets”

Exclusive Interview with Folker Stachetzki, Brother Group’s Head of Marketing

Brother is a Japanese company and a household name. The company name is synonymous with sewing machines and printers. However, the company has evolved during last century and now its profile comprises a diversity of electronic, industrial as well as domestic appliances. The company is also a major manufacturer of Textile printing machines, label printers and scanners. Brother plans to focus more on the Middle East markets in the coming years, through increased local activities such as trade fairs, open houses and etc. To find out more about the company, its history and its future plan we sat down with Folker Stachetzki, Company’s Head of Marketing. Here are the excerpts:

Brother electronic industrial sewing machine

Brother started its activities more than a century ago repairing sewing machines and then manufacturing sewing machine (actually my grandmother had one), and as the company evolved Brother launched printers, type writers, domestic appliances garment printers and more products. It is kind of a mixed bag now. What are company’s significant milestones or achievements along the way?

In over a hundred years of business history, there have of course been several milestones. One of the biggest, as it marks the beginning of Brother, was probably the production of our own sewing machine in 1932. This is still part of our company DNA, as we continue to rely heavily on our own developments.

As you mentioned, Brother is currently very broadly positioned. Therefore, I would primarily like to talk “only” about our business segments, as this is where I have the expertise. For our two business units, these were the first electronic industrial sewing machines in the 1980s and, of course, the development of the first direct to garment printer in 2003. Another milestone for us has just passed. The release of the first Brother Latex wide format printer in May.

How do you define Brother Group today?

In simple words: Brother is a very broadly positioned and therefore healthy company that is active worldwide and acts with a very forward-looking spirit. Our focus is to create sustainability within all processes to help our society, serve customers with products they need, and to support them in line with our Motto “At your side”.

Brother at your side
On what basis your company decides to diversify? What are your criteria?

Of course, one of the main criteria is the extent to which there are growth opportunities in the individual areas. However, Brother always relies on its core competencies when it is a question of entering new markets – in industrial printing, for example, on its own ink and printhead development.

How has Brother Group’s trajectory evolved over the years, and what key factors have contributed to the company’s growth and success?

The Brother Group started by providing repair services for sewing machines in 1908.
Since then, Brother has grown by focusing on the development of unique technologies and promoting the diversification of business that exploits accumulated core technologies while comprehending changes and always creating new markets. Unique manufacturing of high-end quality products with originality that always places our customers first is the driving force of our growth.

Looking ahead, what are Brother Group’s future plans and strategies for further expansion and development?

We have just released our so called VISON 2030 which represents a guideline of action for the entire group. This vision can be read in detail in its entirety on our website. The core messages are:

– By being “At your side,” we enable people’s productivity and creativity, contribute to society, and help protect the earth.
– We identify and eliminate barriers to customers’ success by utilizing our unique technologies and global network.
– Industrial – Become a trusted, invaluable solutions partner. Printing – Continue leading print innovation and pioneering new offerings

As mentioned above, this is an extreme abridged version of our Strategy 2030, which includes many more aspects.

In terms of marketing activities, could you share insights into Brother Group’s approach to marketing in the Middle East? What specific initiatives or campaigns have been undertaken to promote the brand and its products in this region?

We will focus more on the Middle East in the coming years. We will achieve this through increased local activities such as trade fairs, open houses, but also through the expansion of our dealer network and a few other activities that I cannot mention in detail here right now.

Brother GTX

Considering the garment printer market, what is Brother Group’s current position in this industry? Are there any specific plans or strategies in place to expand the company’s market share in the garment printer sector?

We are one of the market leaders in this segment and plan to expand and consolidate our position. Of course, there are strategic plans to achieve this. Just as naturally, we cannot disclose all of them here but Brother announced recently it´s business strategy till 2030.

Brother has determined that the industrial and printing sectors will be its focus areas by 2030. Brother intends to transform its business portfolio through rapid growth in the industrial sector and changes in the printing sector, continuing its growth as a global group.

In the industrial sector, where we have great strengths, we aim to improve customers’ productivity and solve problems related to human resources and the global environment. In this way, it will gain the trust of its customers and become a key solution partner for them.

Can you elaborate on the unique features or advantages of Brother Group’s garment printers that differentiate them from competitors? How does the company plan to leverage these strengths to gain a competitive edge?

We develop and manufacture all our products in-house. From the print head to the inks and the hardware. This means that we can develop products that are at the pulse of the times, meet the market’s requirements and offer a high standard of quality.

Furthermore, our printers are very flexible due to their compact size and the wide range of printing plates and printing processes (DTG & DTF). This has been a great advantage for our end customers, especially in recent years. When it comes to the print quality, we are also ahead of many of our competitors. In addition, our name stands for reliability and good service in the industrial sector for years.

Are there any specific target markets or regions where Brother Group aims to expand its garment printer market presence? What factors contribute to the selection of these target markets, and what steps are being taken to establish a strong foothold in those areas?

We are responsible for the EMEA region and are already very well positioned in our sales area. Of course, we are continuously working on expanding our presence in our sales region in addition to our dealer network. After we set up a sales and service hub in Poland last year, we are planning something similar in other regions. Sales and technical support will then be coordinated from there in order to be even closer to our customers. Which areas these will be depends on many factors. In addition to the opportunities offered by the market in this region, it also depends, for example, on how strong our dealer network is in the area and whether there are so-called superusers there – i.e. big producers who could then be supported directly by our team.

Brother Wide Format Printer
Considering the rapid advancements in technology, what role does innovation play in Brother Group’s garment printer business? How does the company foster a culture of innovation, and what steps are taken to continuously improve and enhance product offerings?

The direct to garment sector is developing steadily and very quickly. Brother is very well positioned for this, as we have already successfully demonstrated in recent years, we have our own development department and we have our own print heads and inks. In addition, we are in close and good contact with our customers in order to meet the requests of the various productions.

What is your global market share from printer’s market? Is it still an important market for you?

I cannot answer this question to you, as we as BIMH are taking care about industrial printing business only. What I can confirm to you is that our office equipment printer business is contributing a significant volume to Brother’s overall successit is growing steadily and that the industrial printing sector plays an important role in the new business strategy of the Brother Group.

Are there any third party supplier who sell your printer on OEM basis?

No we distribute our printers exclusively

Sustainability is a key factor now, what are your company’s approach to sustainability, specially when we talk about garment printing and fashion which is a major polluter?

The Brother Group has created a vision for 2030 and a vision for 2050, by which we act and whose goals we follow. One of the main aspects of this vision is the reduction of CO2 emissions and the goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and to keep CO2 emissions as low as possible. In general, we can see that this topic of sustainability is becoming more and more present and definitely more important, and that understanding is growing in society and among our customers. Accordingly, we can offer solutions for our customers and convince them with our machines. Furthermore, it is important to customers that the machines are of high quality and at the same time take sustainable factors into account.

mostly, what are the key strengths or competitive advantages that Brother Group possesses in the overall market? How does the company plan to leverage these strengths to drive its marketing and expansion efforts effectively?

The strengths lie in the past and also in the present of the Brother Group. Over the years, the company has naturally grown and, thanks to its wide range of products, has acquired extreme expertise and a forward-looking approach. Brother has always understood that people make, buy and use our products. Thus, appreciation of employees and customers is a strength of the Group when it comes to long-term business relationships.


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