By David Gill
Sensio, the 10-year-old manufacturer of housewares, has plans to make Bella—its “star brand” in small electrics, said by Gokce Sezgin, director of marketing—into a more recognized overall kitchen brand.
It is attacking this goal in two ways. First, the company wants to make Bella a favorite with millennial consumers, those ranging in age from teens to mid-30s. Second, it is expanding the brand beyond its current orientation in small electrics into other kitchen products.
In an interview with HFN, Sezgin said Sensio’s approach toward millennials includes an increased social-media presence, new packaging and a redesigned website. This campaign will launch this fall and will be a major effort for the company. “We will spend more money on marketing the brand,” she said. “We will position Bella as an aspirational brand at great value.”
Sensio’s campaign will transmit its brand message through bold advertisements featuring creative lifestyle imagery, heavy social-media interaction and events that will tie the brand in with events in music, fashion and the arts. Even as this campaign unfolds, Bella has a firm social-media platform. “Our Facebook page (Bella Life) now has 112,000 fans,” Sezgin said.
According to Sezgin, millennials are looking for what Bella has to offer. “We believe there aren’t a lot of great offerings for these consumers,” she said. “Bella brings fashion and quality to these consumers at an affordable price.”
Two Bella product launches, the Dots and Diamonds collections of small electrics, definitely have millennials in mind. Dots debuted last year, and Diamonds was introduced at this year’s International Home + Housewares Show. “These are colorful, beautiful and highly designed, which makes them highly desirable for millennials,” Sezgin said.
Other key new products in this effort include the Linx Serve & Store slow-cooker system, the Bella coffeemaker/toaster combo and the NutriPro juicer. The Linx and the coffeemaker/toaster combo are space-saving items, positioned toward college students and first-apartment renters whose kitchen space may be cramped. The NutriPro uses a new technology that produces what Sezgin described as a “masticating” motion, which squeezes and presses each fruit and vegetable to produce more juice.
In focusing on this consumer group, Sensio has a distinct advantage in that its CEO, Shae Hong, age 35, is himself a millennial. Hong co-founded the company in 2003, after gaining experience as an executive with consumer electronics companies. Describing millennials, Sezgin said, “Kitchen is a big part of their lives. People think of them as focused on digital, on the outside, but they do focus on the inside, too. They believe in friends and family. They truly enjoy entertaining at home, and they want to do it in style.”
Hong’s commitment to growing Sensio is also evident in his efforts to grow the Bella brand beyond small electrics. Bella has now expanded into non-electrics by the licensing route.
The company now has a license for Bella-branded cookware with TTU, for a product line that includes ceramic, aluminum and stainless steel cookware sets, bakeware, cutting boards and knife sets. It has partnered with ARG Manufacturing for a line of Bella tools, gadgets and tool sets. It is also allied with Pelican Bay for Bella food kits, which include cake mixes for cake-pop makers, waffle mixes for waffle makers and ice cream mixes for ice cream makers.
“We started with these licenses last year,” Sezgin said. “We are now focused on making Bella an overall kitchen brand. The bread and butter will continue to be small electrics, but we want to complement these products.”
With this larger lineup, Bella is now separated into three product categories: the core, which includes products for daily use, and which are durable and lasting with timeless design; fun and entertainment, which involves products that inspire ideas in the kitchen and that make great gifts; and collections, which are created for consumers who love design.