We talked to Manuel Siskowski of WIESEMANN 1893 on how you can repair, build, or create with solid tools of high quality for your projects, and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Manuel Siskowski: It is a difficult time for everyone. Luckily, I can say that we stayed healthy, which I wish everyone else as well!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded WIESEMANN 1893?
Manuel Siskowski: WIESEMANN 1893 is a direct-to-customer brand for hand tools launched in 2017. Focused on delivering outstanding products and excellent customer service, the brand is active in Europe and North America. I act as a founder and CEO of the brand. With WIESEMANN 1893, I am focused on building the first digital tool brand. Based on DTC e-commerce, brand building, and new technologies, I aim to create a new household name.
How does WIESEMANN 1893 innovate?
Manuel Siskowski: Hand tools is a very conservative industry. This is why we believed it is finally time for a digital brand in this field. We distribute our tools only via Amazon and our online shop and work with digital benefits, such as 3D printable holders for every tool. From production to customer service, everything is in our own hands, and we try to offer the customer the best experience and service.
Moreover, as most DIY industry companies relied on distribution partners and retail concepts, the pressure for intense consumer-style branding was relatively low. In contrast to these players, we are heavily dependent on a strong and recognizable brand concept. Our brand concept, “creators of tomorrow,” is centered around the brand pillars of adventure, friendship, and dedication.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
Manuel Siskowski: With the big hype for DIY projects during the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 had a positive effect on our small business. During the lockdown, people were looking online for tools of good quality. Mostly our sledgehammer was the best performing product during this time.
On the other hand, we were facing some difficulties with our supply chain, especially in South Europe. However, we have settled them now. As a brand with mostly digital processes, we are probably one of the few crisis winners.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Manuel Siskowski: Besides facing some delivery difficulties in Italy and France, we luckily had no more significant problems to deal with and therefore no difficult choices to make. However, we have learned that the system of a third-party supply structure involves a certain dependence.
How do you project yourself and your company in the future?
Manuel Siskowski: Our big goal is to become the first fully digital tool brand. On our way to get there, we want to expand onto different markets. We are already active in Europe and North America and want to conquer China and India as well. Furthermore, we are constantly developing new products, including digital products in the DIY section for additive manufacturing.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Manuel Siskowski: There are many tool brands on the market. However, there is still enough room for us as they are not very known. We will focus on our DTC and online distribution strategy. Moreover, to spread the word about our brand, we are relying on high-quality content. We clearly distinguish ourselves from other brands in the segment in the way we approach customers and with our imagery. Our brand concept “creators of tomorrow” tells a story and shows what to experience with our tools giving the brand a clear identity. It’s not about tools – it’s about adventure, friendship, and dedication.
Your final thoughts?
Manuel Siskowski: During the coronavirus pandemic, we saw how consumers’ shopping behavior has significantly changed within a very short time. Moreover, even after the pandemic, people will keep it that way. So, there is no way back, and companies should adapt accordingly.
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