Lighting firms must understand customers better, says GE’s European boss

Lighting manufacturers need to work harder to understand their customers’ need in the age of LED, says GE’s European boss.

In an interview with Lux Review, Agostino Renna said that responding to customer behaviour and trends ‘becomes very important to us as we move from the traditional product families that we’ve been known for, to the LED product families that have market lives that are going to be significantly shorter than what we’re used to. Being able to sit more closely to our customers, our end users, understand what they’re seeing and hearing, what they want to buy, what they don’t want to buy… ultimately that will be the thing that will shape our go-to-market strategy.’

As well as becoming more customer-focused, GE also wants to become a simpler, nimbler business, Renna said. He sees GE’s history and legacy in the lighting business as a ‘double-edged sword’. ‘Some of the businesses we’re currently in will cease to exist, and we have to figure out how we unwind those businesses in a way that’s responsible and timed, based on market demand,’ he said.

On the topic of misselling of LED products, Renna is optimistic, predicting that the market will clean itself up ‘very quickly and very naturally’ as good companies prosper and less scrupulous ones don’t. ‘All of that noise will subside over time,’ he said. ‘But we have to be hyper-diligent at the beginning to make sure that everyone is competing on a level playing field.’

And Renna made a final prediction about GE that will surprise no one: ‘Five years from now our lighting business will be predominantly an LED business.’

 

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