Saunier Duval Brand GroupHot Stuff

Two years' hard work and lots of Saunier's statement red went into this project. A brand experience around the subject of hot water and cool air.

The assignmentTo devise and realise a brand experience with factory tour for the Saunier Duval Brand Group – a manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technology – at the company’s production site in Nantes.

The challengeTo develop a two-day programme for trade visitors. To communicate the Group’s mission statement “Always at your side” authentically and plausibly. To integrate the concept into existing structural conditions at the most important production site.

The ideaTo insert a compact new build into the shell of the old storage hall. To create an ideal starting, centre and end point for the brand experience and factory tour thanks to its location between main gate and production hall. Follow the red line from the newly created centre – from the 360° show in the cinema via Product and Benefit Communication zone to the factory tour.

The reality Construction of the new rooms begins after a one-and-a-half year development and planning phase. It includes two storeys and has direct access to a gallery in the 100-year-old press plant.

The expansive glass facade breaks up the sheet metal cladding of the factory halls and visibly marks out the new location.

The detailsThe welcome area on the ground floor is light and open-planned. This is where guests are offered lunch on the first day and welcomed by the plant manager. The service hatch in the buffet and kitchen block with closed blind acts as a projection area during the reception and can be used for a variety of other events.

From here, visitors can proceed to the 360° cinema where they watch a 20-minute show. Brand, brand family, history, markets, F&E, products and services are presented in an entertaining and amusing way. The show is divided into short quiz sequences. In rotating armchairs, guests can watch the 360° presentation. 3D sound and animations accompany the show. There are altogether seven individualised versions for regional markets and brands. The entire technology is controlled by a centre manager with a tablet PC.

Guests then go up the stairs to the showroom. The first subject here is boilers. Guests are given an short introduction to the product range, followed by a hands-on exercise in the Experience Room. After a short break, the same programme is run through on the subject of heating pumps and solar systems.

The showroom contains an aesthetic presentation of Saunier Duval’s entire product range. Digital data sheets contain technical data and describe the products’ benefits in several languages. One particular challenge was organising and presenting the different market-specific features: some products are only available in certain markets, technologies differ slightly from market to market.

In the Experience Room, small groups of visitors test and learn how to use the equipment. In a race against time, four teams have to install spare parts, analyse errors, configure system controls and put the systems into operation. This is where the claim “We are easy to work with” is fulfilled.

Benefits, such as saving freshwater as a result of shorter heat-up times for hot water can be experienced live. Actual water volumes needed until the ideal temperature is achieved are recorded and measured.

After work is finished, a shuttle bus takes visitors to dinner in the old part of Nantes.

The next morning, work continues: Visitors pose for group photo. Once the photo has been taken, the guests take the lift directly to the Safety Advice Room on the gallery in the old press plant. Here, they are given a brief introduction by their guide and provided with safety jackets and overshoes. The newly structured 2-hour tour through the production and F&E departments with xx stations begins.

A well-earned break is followed by a presentation of services and a visit to the spare parts department, taking visitors up to the lunch break. They have nearly made it: the programme ends with a sales presentation, and then it is time to say good-bye.

Two intensive, informative and entertaining days offer fitters and retailers a clear impression of the company, its products and services. They have experienced the Saunier Duval Brand Group as competent partners with a past and a future.

The factsArea: 500 m² on three storeys

Project duration: 2.5 years

Construction time: 6 months
Idea: simple

Design buildings and experience: simple

Production of 360° show: Awww Design, Cologne

Production of interior: simple

Media technology: Deutsche Werbewelt, Cologne
Architectural implementation: Cabinet Rouxel, Nantes, France

Project management: simple

Photos: Annika Feuss