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Whirlpool Canada Introduces ‘Whirlpool Central’ B2B Communications Platform

Case Study

Large home appliance manufacturer uses Creative Guild to solve their B2B communications challenges.

With nine major household brands in their portfolio carried by hundreds of retailers across the country, appliance giant Whirlpool Canada needed a solution that ensured product and brand information was conveyed efficiently, accurately and consistently to all B2B channels.

Whirlpool Canada owns some of Canada’s leading home appliance brands, including Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, JennAir, Amana, Inglis, Gladiator, Affresh and Everydrop. With over 8,400 active SKUs sold across over 3,300 retail locations nationally, the accurate and timely distribution of brand and product information to their internal team, marketing agencies, new home builders and retail sales channels was an ongoing challenge that needed rethinking.

With the help of the Creative Guild team, Whirlpool Canada now uses a dynamic custom engineered cloud-based platform that not only pushes data out to their broad B2B network, but also facilitates easy two-way communication to gather invaluable data and feedback from their retail sales force and beyond.

Built-in automations ensure new user registrations and on-boarding are quick and easy, regardless of each user’s role or access level. Once registered, users are given self-serve access to the information they need for only those brands and products relevant to them, including detailed product information, image galleries, promotional assets, videos, manuals, on-line training courses and more. And when questions remain, they’re almost instantly addressed through an on-site ticketing system powered by a team of dedicated Whirlpool Advisors.

In addition, flexible user profile settings allow each user to identify the communication topics and cadence they prefer, and innovative user-centric tools allow retail sales associates and new home builders to generate on-demand product spec sheets and brochures for their clients that are automatically co-branded with their company logo and tagged with their personal contact details.

Registered

3,349

Active Retail Locations
Registered

8,550

Active Users
Registered

1,551

Active Companies

All stats shown as of February 2019.

Problem

Challenge

The challenge Whirlpool Canada faced was twofold.

First off, they had a vast and diverse B2B network they needed to communicate with, from large national retailers like The Home Depot and Lowe’s to small independent retailers and new home builders. The Whirlpool account team spent too much time keeping up with the demand for information and, despite best efforts, they still saw inconsistent or inaccurate information used in the retail marketplace.

Secondly, Whirlpool Canada needed more ways to measure the engagement of its B2B network with its brands and products. They were passing out a lot of product data without getting enough data in return. Having a deeper understanding of their B2B network’s needs, wants and habits would enable Whirlpool to strengthen these relationships through a truly higher level of service than the competitive set.

Thinking

Strategy & Approach

Our strategy was relatively simple. We needed to build a single source of truth for all brand and product information and drive all B2B communications through this one platform to ensure accuracy and consistency across all channels. And, we needed to make it easy to access and a pleasure to use to ensure a high level of adoption and engagement by our target audience.

The various product data feeds used by Whirlpool Canada to support their multiple brand websites were amalgamated into one centralized display, making it quick and easy for users to select and package up product data, images, documents and more (even across multiple brands) into one customizable, sharable download through one central point of access.

In additional, always thinking about the end-user first allowed us to add a selection of role-specific tools tailored to the needs of the B2B audience, differentiating Whirlpool Canada from its competitors by offering an ever-growing list of thoughtful, timesaving features and functionality.

Result

Final Experience

Whirlpool Canada could not be happier with their new communications platform. With approximately 7000 users and counting, the company now has a direct line of communication to those people who most influence the consumer at the point of sale.

Not only are they now able to quickly and easily share detailed and accurate product information, product training and related assets with their B2B network, but they’re also able to track engagement with their brands from the retailer, to the location, to the individual retail sales associate on the sales floor. They know exactly who has seen what, and when.

And through regular user surveys and their new ‘Ask an Advisor’ tool, they now also get regular feedback from their users on what information and functionality they’d like to see on the site next. This makes internal decisions around how best to direct the evolution of the platform pretty straight forward and very low risk.

“Creative Guild helped usher Whirlpool Canada into a new era of working B2B. WhirlpoolCentral.ca has modernized our approach to B2B relationships and the way we collaboratively get work done on scale.”

Kevin Turchyn, Digital Channel Manager, Whirlpool Canada LP

Whirlpool Central smart lesson