Tableware International March April 2022

Page 95


Did you know?

Christa and Manfred Zieher established Zieher in 1986. What has been the key to Zieher’s success? When we founded the company in 1986, the market with comparable tableware products in Europe and worldwide was well covered with suppliers. We realised it did not bring Zieher forward to orient ourselves on existing manufacturers and product ideas. In order to get the necessary attention and acceptance on the market as a young and up-and-coming company at the time, we needed extravagant products with extraordinary design in top quality to inspire highly demanding customers. This target group is small but very liquid. In order to win them over worldwide, we had to invest in design, marketing and sophisticated craftsmanship production. As a result, in addition to good sales, we were also able to achieve an aboveaverage price level and thus higher margins, which helped us to invest even more in the awareness of the Zieher brand.

How has the industry changed since you established the business? The moment we decided to establish Zieher as a brand, it was all about generating “Zieher fans” from the aforementioned target group and stimulating them with extravagant products. We were only marginally interested in the existing industry and competitors and what they offered. Zieher is a hugely innovative company in terms of the products it brings to market, is that something that – as founders – was very important to you both? Our son Oliver joined our company in 2005 as chief designer. He developed new products, coordinated product ideas and suggestions from several external designers with whom we have been working successfully for many years.

Our own unmistakable design makes us independent of the competition and creates satisfied customers. What, in both your experiences, are the cornerstones to running a profitable tabletop business? We focused on the best and most successful people in the tableware industry – star chefs. They have the highest demands and creative ideas for new products. This applies both nationally and internationally. We also learned by close observation who has the best bar, bistro or restaurant. The guests of these establishments, who pay a higher price than the industry average guests, also want more. These guests, in turn, are our target group in the retail sector. Is there one Zieher product that you are most proud of, or perhaps one that you feel really launched the brand? In addition to the very successful and multi-awardwinning wine glass series VISION, Skyline is to be highlighted

as the first flexible buffet system worldwide as a milestone in the professional sector. Is there any moment over the course of your time with Zieher that really stands out as memorable? In Dubai in 2006, the first design products were exhibited at a hotel fair, the best in the industry came and were enthusiastic, which surprised us very much at the time. What does receiving an award such as this mean to you? Receiving this prestigious award makes us proud and gives great satisfaction. After all, an award is a confirmation from a neutral side that our efforts in terms of quality, design, applications and practice-oriented product solutions have paid off. Finally, what words of advice would you have to someone looking to establish their own business? Do you have an idea? Dare to be a doer. Formulate your goals. Go your way, step by step. Face the criticism. Be ready for change. Be authentic.

Fact! The company is now run by Christa and Manfred’s children – Jennifer Hübsch (CFO), Oliver Zieher (CMO), Dominik Zieher (CEO)