David Gubbin, General Manager Europe, Sage Appliances – on the European roadmap for the Australian appliance company


Sage is at IFA for the first time, and is opening a number of eyes. We asked the company’s European GM, David Gubbin, firstly to tell us more about the company.

We are part of the Breville Group out of Australia. It’s a family business that started in the 30’s. We’ve become an innovation business over the years, and we are publically listed now. For many reasons, we had to launch under another brand name in Europe, and that was Sage. We launched in the UK in 2013, and it’s been very successful. We have flipped a few of our distributors throughout Europe – around 14 other countries with Sage, and we launched in Germany in April this year.

What is your background with the company?

I am a 15-year veteran. Started off in sales, headed up a group of the designers at one stage when we designed the dual-boiler machines, got into marketing, and then they sent me over here, because I’d had a bit of experience in everything.

What are the key differentiation factors of the machines?

We don’t look at everyone else’s machines and try to design a better domestic machine. We have studied commercial machines and domesticated those machines, living within the commercial world’s rules. In our presentation at the Innovations Media Brie ng in Berlin, we did a side-by- side comparison next to a fifteen-thousand-pound commercial machine, with a Barista, just to show that someone can do what a coffee shop can truly do, using a machine that costs only €400.

What are your future plans for Europe?

I can’t give you all our plans right now as there are a lot of discussions going on at the moment. But you can see we are Sage within the Nordics, Baltics, out of Czech Republic, Germany, UK… the rest we will leave up to guessing. One of the key things for us is that rather than have distributors with their brand names on our products, if we have one consolidated brand we can market strongly against the bigger players as well; so we can be a big players versus the big players as opposed to small companies versus these big guys.

How important is IFA as a platform for you?

This shows everyone in Europe the company that we actually are. We are bringing around 20 new products to the German market, because our previous distributor of these products only had a small range. So, people will see how big we are. We have 52 different products, plus coloured versions of those ready to go. I guess it’s just to show our size, show our professionalism, show how big we are around the world, and show everyone what we will be throughout Europe in hopefully a short time.

An Australian company pushing into Europe like this is a bit of an eye opener, especially given the number of already strong existing players here…

We launched in the States in 2002, and we are one of the biggest premium brands there. We followed that up with Canada and the UK, so we have been successful in each market in which we have rolled-out. Germany is very different, due to the landscape of the retailers, and consumers are slightly different everywhere, but we are fairly con dent that the product will be seen for what it is, as it is around the world.

Will you be creating any promotional campaigns? We are very big digital asset marketers. YouTube content is our biggest driver, and we have started a campaign based on the espresso machines. If you go on our Australian or US websites you will see reams and reams of content. That will very quickly follow through into the German market and across Europe.

Photo: David Gubbin, General Manager Europe, Sage Appliances