Lucy Cammiss, Senior Marketing Executive at Varlink, spoke to Brother UK, and asked a series of questions, here is what they had to say.
Please give us a brief history of Brother
Brother Group was founded 100 years ago in Nagoya Japan. It now operates globally, selling products and solutions in over 100 countries.
Our UK operation began in 1959 in London. We subsequently moved to Audenshaw, Manchester in 1968 and we still operate out of the same office today – it’s also the headquarters of Brother Europe.
Over the years, we’ve been responsible for several important innovations, from the world’s first high speed dot matrix printer in 1971, to the world’s thinnest self-contained mobile printer in 2004. We continue to provide innovative solutions for business communication, as well as portable printing solutions and software to enable employees to print from smartphones, tablets or any other mobile devices. We have recently launched OmniJoin, a sophisticated web and video conferencing solution, as well as AiRScouter, our wearable technology offering.
We’ve also recently been named as one of the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Small Companies to Work For, demonstrating our commitment to ethical practice and staff wellbeing.
Focusing on Brother’s mobile solutions division, can you give a history or background of this?
The global workforce is due to hit 1.3 billion in 2015 and business is becoming increasingly agile, so we know that our mobile offering is more relevant than ever.
Working with Value-Add Distributors like Varlink, Specialist Mobile VAR’s and Independent Software Vendors, we can offer a full mobility solution to end users, combining our portable printers and mobile scanners.
Brother stand out from the others – why would you consider yourselves better?
We’re a renowned global technology brand, providing high quality products and services. Thomson Reuters has also ranked us as one of the world’s “top 100 global innovators”.
We put our customers first, providing the commitment and expertise to help them in the constant search for improved efficiency and productivity. Our corporate message of “at your side” is demonstrated by the number of long-term business partnerships we’ve established over the years.
Where do you consider your key market sectors to be for your mobile products?
Our mobile products are relevant to a wide range of sectors. We’ve had particular success in the emergency services, healthcare and retail industries, as well as the pest management sector and among service engineers and parking enforcement officers.
And what work are you doing to target these sectors?
We work closely with our channel partners to provide fully integrated agile working solutions, enabling end users to do business on the move.
We have invested heavily in our agile working technology in the last year, growing demand and sales for portable print and mobility solutions through a mix of new product development and marketing activity.
Brother is a well-known consumer brand with high profile partnerships, such as Fulham FC and the Daily Telegraph – how do you use these to boost your brand profile?
The partnerships combine high profile branding and advertising with the chance to connect with existing and new customers through innovative events and experiences.
Our partnership with The Telegraph enables us to bring insight and technology trends to a business audience, as well as creating networking opportunities at events such as the Festival of Business.
As the Official Technology Partner of Fulham FC, we’re able to reach a domestic and international audience of millions through match-day advertising, hospitality and community engagement.
And does this affect your mobile solutions division?
Both partnerships enable us to reach a much wider audience than we have done previously.
We’re also able to share the business insight gained with channel partners, via our newsletter, as well as using it to better understand our target sectors.
Technically, for our smaller resellers who may not have their own technical departments, how easy are the Brother products to set up and use? And what support do you offer if resellers are struggling?
We make it easy for smaller resellers to access technical information and support. Our team is available 24/7 via our online support or contact us section of the site to answer any questions.
We also have an online portal packed with information on driver compatibility for each model, as well as software, driver update downloads and how to guides.
In addition, our developer site (www.brother.eu/developers) provides software development kit downloads, as well as resources for Independent Software Vendors to create specific solutions for different platforms.
How does Brother adapt to ever-changing technology trends?
It’s important to stay ahead of the curve, while being mindful about the technology that end users will adopt. There are often lots of buzzwords in the industry but they are not practical for our customers at the moment.
It’s also important to keep an eye on general workplace trends, as well as specific technologies. This means that we can work with our channel partners to create bespoke solutions for our end users’ specific business needs.
What is the future for Brother mobile solutions? Do you have any new products planned?
We’re continually developing new, innovative products and services to complement our existing portfolio. This enables us to bring our customers a comprehensive range of high quality solutions.
We work closely with our partners and customers to ensure that their requirements and feedback are part of our research and development for future products and solutions.
Thank you to Brother for taking the time to answer these questions, you can view the full range of Brother products Varlink has to offer at http://www.varlink.co.uk/brotherrange.