Byline: BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
Braun Buffel, a German manufacturer of top of the line leather goods products, is projecting 30 percent increase in sales of its Philippine operation this year as most foreign leathergoods manufacturers benefit from the country's underdeveloped leather and tannery industry.
Braun marketing manager Jeremy Cham recalled that Braun Buffel products including bags, portfolio, wallets, passport holders, key chains among others, entered the Philippine market five years ago just to "test the waters" while a bill seeking to grant incentives to footwear, leather goods and tannery industries was still pending Congress.
Although Republic Act 9290 otherwise known as the Footwear, Leather Goods and Tannery Industries Development Act was passed three years ago, its implementing guidelines was only completed recently.
Meantime, Cham said, Braun Buffel was making headway in the local market under the Montegani Inc. as the exclusive distributor of this German products.
"It did sell but the initial customer response showed that it was too expensive for most people," Cham said. This finding was the basis of its decision to locate the company's products in the country's high-end malls and position it as top of the line leather goods.
To support its target for a 30 percent increase in sales this year, Cham said the company is planning to add more outlets next year.
Cham said that the ordinary person may not have heard about Braun Buffel, but the target market is there and these are the people who are familiar with the brand.
"Braun Buffel's target clientele are sophisticated women, upwardly mobile and image conscious. They are also height and image conscious. They are also high to middle income earners, who have attained a high degree of success and are out to buy discriminating taste," Cham said.
But Cham said that Braun Buffel is also adopting to trends to capture the younger market by coming out with designs that are trendy but not too loud where some bags can be worn in the office and still good up to cocktails.
"Braun Buffel is here in the Philippines and it is here to stay. Its design are classic, versatile and in good taste. It does not feel threatened by the many competitors out in the market. Other brands may come and go, but Braun Buffel remains timeless in its elegance tasteful in its design. Braun Buffel is for keeps," he said.
Braun Buffel traces its beginning more than a century ago, in 1887 in Kuhn a town in Germany. In all those …